By Andrew Mannion, Assistant Sports Editor
The Manhattan College women’s basketball team won a thrilling match in round 1 of the MAAC Conference Tournament 59-56. The Jaspers will move on to play Quinnipiac in the next round on Thursday.
This was a game the Lady Jaspers were heavily favored to win, as St. Peters entered the match with an 0-29 record on the season. Manhattan got off to a hot start, finishing the 1st quarter up 19-12. The 2nd quarter was a different story, as they would be outscored 19-9 and be down by 3 entering halftime. That was a deficit the Lady Jaspers would hang onto until the final seconds of the 4th quarter.
Manhattan trailed throughout the second half until late in the game. With 30 seconds left in the game, Narrie Dodson was being double-teamed and found Petra Juric under the basket. She would hit the layup to make the score 57-56 and ultimately put up the game-winning basket. Juric would also hit 2 clutch free throws to close out the game for the Lady Jaspers.
Narrie Dodson was the player of the game for the Lady Jaspers in the match, having a career game. She put up a final stat line of 20 points while shooting 89% from the field. She also tacked on 6 rebounds and the game-winning assist.
Dodson credited a lot of her success today to her teammates and the faith they have in her.
“For me personally, my teammates instill a lot of faith in me and just trust me to just be a slasher,” Dodson said. “They let me do everything that I need to do whether it’s dirty work or just playing cleanup, doing this slashing, whatever it takes to win. Just executing that game plan to the best of my abilities. I think I did a really good job today. They put me in a position to score to get a career-high, and I appreciate them for that.”
The Lady Jaspers will have a dance with Quinnipiac coming up this Thursday, who they’ve already played twice this season. They lost both contests, by scores of 69-55 and 52-38. Manhattan’s head coach, Heather Vulin, seems confident in the Jaspers’ chances on Thursday.
Vulin commented on the formula for Manhattan to get a win against the Bobcats in the second round.
“Our thing in March is we’ve got to make sure that we’re doing our DNA, and there have been things that we’ve been working on,” Vulin said. “Obviously today was primarily zone (defense), while Quinnipiac is more man than zone, so it’s gonna be a different look on Thursday. Obviously, we’re really excited because they’re a great program.”
Fans are looking forward to a good game Thursday. Manhattan upset Quinnipiac in last year’s MAAC Championship semi final by a score of 72-59. With the intensity that March brings for every college roster, it should make out to be another great match between the two teams.