Highlights: Quinnipiac women’s basketball puts up fight before falling short to No. 22 Michigan State, 71-54

(WTNH)–No matter what the sport, Quinnipiac doesn’t get many chances to play home games against teams like Michigan State.

So when the Spartans women’s basketball team showed up at TD Bank Sports Center on Tuesday night, it felt kind of special.

Fans in Hamden could hit up Ray and Mike’s, maybe a little Side Street action, and then watch the Bobcats put up a pretty good fight against a team that was ranked No. 22 in the country as recently as last week.

Quinnipiac struggled early on, falling behind 18-6 after the first quarter and 30-14 at halftime. They shot just 5-for-27 in the first half. But the Bobcats picked it up in the second half, outscoring Michigan State 18-15 in the third quarter and drawing to as close as 10 (56-46), before falling, 71-54.

Tori Jankowska, who hit a shot from Jimmer Fredette range near the end of the first half, led the Spartans in scoring with 18 points. Nia Hollie scored 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting.

Quinnipiac was led by Waterford native Adily Martucci, who went for 20 points on 6-of-13 shooting. She said that games like this will help prepare the Bobcats for the NCAA Tournament:

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Michigan State ended up in Hamden on Tuesday night because they were looking for another game to pair a trip to Providence with. Quinnipiac, which has won 20-plus games in five straight years and reached the NCAA Tournament twice in that time, fit the bill. The Spartans dropped the game against the Friars after a coaching change, and will instead play at Rhode Island later this week.

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“They had Providence on the schedule and they were looking for a second game. They were calling around and emailing, and the timing obviously worked,” QU head coach Tricia Fabbri said.

“Their schedule changed with Providence, they were able to pick up Rhode Island. They’ll go out and play Rhode Island in two nights,” she said.

As part of the agreement, Quinnipiac will play at Michigan State in December of next year. They also picked up a game against Central Michigan, a solid mid-major program according to Fabbri.

“It was a fun day, a fun shoot, had a little hop in the step. It was nice to get around—we got down to the cafeteria and talked the game up, and we had a nice crowd,” Fabbri said. “We’re committed to getting games like this on the schedule. I think we do a really good job scheduling, but I think we’re even more committed to getting games like this against a Top 25 team, at the TD Bank Sports Center.”

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