By, Kyla Guilfoil, Managing Editor/Sports Editor
The Jaspers’ women’s basketball team snagged a road win at Canisius, but fell to Quinnipiac days later at home. With a 7-12 record, the team faces pressure to perform in their remaining 10 games of the season.
On Jan. 21, the Jaspers took a 64-48 win against Canisius, taking control of the Golden Griffith’s court early on into the game, GoJaspers reported.
The team had lost to Cansius’ neighbor, Niagara, just two days before their win. The team’s head coach, Heather Vulin, called the loss “one of the worst losses of my career.”
Vulin told The Quadrangle that the Jaspers dominated the Purple Eagles throughout the first three quarters, but lost their hold in the end. However, Vulin said the team’s ability to come back and give their all against Canisius was impressive.
“I really gotta give credit to my team,” Vulin said. “They took complete ownership and really responded with a very well played game against Canisius on Saturday. In the MAAC, it’s really tough to win on the road, doesn’t matter what your record is or who you are, it’s just really tough to win on the road, and so every road win is a really great win.”
Dee Dee Davis, the Jaspers’ lead scorer, told The Quadrangle the key to turning their loss around was focusing on maturity.
“We need to be mature,” Davis said. “We need to be more poised. A word that I constantly brought up was ‘desperate.’ We need to be desperate and people think that’s often a bad thing or it’s a negative, but to me, it’s a positive because I am going to show that I’m hungry.”
Davis showed herself to be hungry, slipping into No. 10 of MC’s all-time scoring list during their win at Canisius, bumping her former teammate, Courtney Warley, from the spot.
Davis told The Quadrangle that she wasn’t even aware of her being near the top 10 list before the game. It wasn’t until she came off the court that evening that Vulin told Davis she had hit the milestone.
“After the game, [Vulin] asked me if I liked Courtney or not,” Davis said. “And I said, ‘What do you mean? Of course, I love Courtney.’ She said, ‘Well, why did you just pass her?’”
Davis added that she was very grateful for the honor to be No. 10, but the best part of the night was the team’s win.
While the Jaspers returned to the Bronx with a win under their belt and hunger for another, the squad lost to Quinnipiac on their home court on Jan. 26 38-52.
Despite the team’s loss, Davis knocked yet another well-known Jasper, MC’s current athletic director, Marianne Reilly, down the list during the Quinnipiac match, putting herself up at No. 9 of the Jasper’s all-time scoring list.
“Records were made to be broken and surpassed,” Reilly wrote to The Quadrangle. “Dee Dee Davis is a very special player and is not finished impacting our women’s basketball program. There is much more to come. I am honored to have witnessed another Lady Jasper moving up on the scoring list during our celebration of the 50th anniversary of Title IX.”
With excitement for Davis’ recognition, the Jaspers remain focused on their record.
“The team is very happy for [Davis’] success but also the team wants to win, that’s the ultimate goal,” Vulin said. “We have high expectations of ourselves, and obviously, we’ve got to find a way to get these cool accolades but also get the W.”
Vulin told The Quadrangle that the Jaspers have really stepped up their defense, which she thinks made the difference at Canisius. That held true against Quinnipiac, Vulin said, but the Jaspers lacked offensive strength at the latest match.
“I believe it was the worst shooting performance we’ve had since I’ve been here at Manhattan College,” Vulin said. “We only shot 18%…They played their hearts out, but it’s just sometimes you have a game where nothing goes in the basket and unfortunately that was [this game].”
Nonetheless, Vulin said the team is moving forward and prioritizing maturity and playing through end-of-game fatigue. Vulin credits senior Jade Blagrove for a particularly strong performance in the game against Quinnipiac, despite the ending score.
Blagrove recorded a double-double with 12 points and 17 rebounds, eight of which came on the offensive end of the floor, according to GoJaspers. Those 17 rebounds are the most recorded by a member of the team since Courtney Warley hauled a stunning 19 rebounds against Siena in Feb. 2022.
With Blagrove and Davis leading the team’s stats out of the last week of play, the Jaspers are looking to lock in a strong end of the season.
“We’re in a position where we don’t take anything for granted,” Davis said. “We know that in this league, in this particular season, anybody can beat anybody and that’s exciting.”