Freshman Cheyenne Stubbs scored nine points, hauled in seven rebounds and recorded eight steals, while fellow first-year player Rhay Porter blocked five shots, tying Canisius’ Division I freshman record for blocks, in a 62-53 loss to Quinnipiac on Thursday in MAAC women’s basketball action at the Koessler Athletic Center.

Stubbs’ seven rebounds and eight steals are both season highs for the Bradenton, Fla., native. Her eight steals are the most by a Canisius player since Brittané Russell had nine swipes against Colgate on Nov. 12, 2007.

Sophomore Dani Haskell scored a team-high 16 points, while freshman Athina Lexa chipped in 10 points for the Golden Griffins (2-16, 0-9 MAAC).

Mackenzie DeWees recorded a double-double, registering a game-high 17 points and 10 rebounds for Quinnipiac (11-7, 6-3 MAAC). Amani Free (14 points) and Mikala Morris (10 points) also posted double-digit point totals for the Bobcats.

Quinnipiac made five of its first six shots to open the contest on a 9-3 run over the first four minutes.

Canisius trimmed the Bobcats lead to 16-15 late in the first quarter after closing the final three and a half minutes of the period on an 8-2 run behind 3-pointers from graduate student Ella Väätänen and Lexa.

The Griffs and Bobcats swapped the lead three times in a three-minute span, which was capped by Lexa’s second 3-pointer of the half, giving the Griffs a 20-19 advantage. Quinnipiac then closed the final 4:30 of the half on a 13-4 run, highlighted by eight unanswered points following Lexa’s 3-point shot, taking a 32-24 halftime lead into the locker room.

Coming out of the break, Quinnipiac utilized an 8-3 run to take a 13-point lead, 40-27, its largest of the game. Canisius countered the stretch by scoring 12 of the following 16 points, cutting the Bobcats lead to 44-39. The Griffs outscored the Bobcats in the third quarter by one, 14-13.

Back-to-back jumpers by Jackie Grisdale and DeWees to open the fourth quarter gave Quinnipiac a double-digit lead once again before Haskell scored four points, all from the free-throw line, in a matter of 31 seconds. The latter of the free throws from Haskell cut the deficit to seven, 50-43, with 6:17 left, but the Bobcats were able to stave off a Canisius comeback.

Head Coach Sahar Nusseibeh‘s Postgame Comments
“I wish we hadn’t shot ourselves in the foot as much as we did in the first half. We competed for the bulk of 40 minutes. The first half, in terms of unforced errors, was just way too much to overcome. There was a lot of sloppiness. It wasn’t necessarily Quinnipiac beating us but Canisius beating Canisius. We’re going to address it tomorrow, get back after it tomorrow, clean some things up and do better at not hurting ourselves.

“Cheyenne stepped up in the biggest way possible. We needed every single minute that she gave us. She was a bright spot and we’re excited about the growth that she’s had thus far in the season and the growth that she’s going to continue to have. The one thing about Chey, in the beginning of January, she was playing really well. She had a little dip for about two or three games and for a freshman to respond this way and to snap out of that as quickly as she did, it’s really impressive. Cheyenne is maturing right in front of our eyes and we’re excited about her.

“Rhaymi [Rhay Porter] is incredible. Once Rhaymi realizes how incredible Rhaymi is, she’s going to be dangerous. To hear that stat [tying the Division I freshman block record] is pretty incredible itself, but the thing about Rhaymi that makes her so interesting is her natural ability is incredible. Her feel for the game in terms of rebounding, blocks and her ability to use her length and athleticism at the right times, she’s just a natural. We have to keep reaffirming her. She’s a typical freshman who tends to get in her head when she doesn’t do things perfectly. Nobody does anything perfectly on our team, including myself. The best thing we have to do is keep reaffirming our freshmen and the rest of our team in terms of just continuing to play hard and good things will happen.”

Game Notes
• Thursday was the 17th all-time meeting between Quinnipiac and Canisius. The Bobcats extended its unbeaten streak over Canisius to 17 games.
• Freshman Rhay Porter recorded five blocks in the contest, tying the Canisius freshman record in the Division I era (28) set previously by Jen Lennox in the 2010-11 season. Porter’s 28 blocks are the most since Crystal Porter logged 32 rejections during the 2014-15 season.
• Porter’s five blocks marked her seventh multi-block performance of the season, the most by a Canisius player since Crystal Porter had 10 multi-block games in the 2014-15 season.
• The eight steals by Stubbs are tied for the most by a freshman at the Division I level this season. She joins Chicago State’s Aaliyah Collins, Miami’s Lashae Dwyer and Colorado’s Kindyll Wetta on the list.
• Graduate student Ella Väätänen added four blocks in the loss, matching her career high initially set on Feb. 11, 2019, when she blocked four Mount St. Mary’s shots while playing for LIU.

Up Next
Canisius concludes its two-game home swing on Saturday when Siena travels to the Koessler Athletic Center. The Saints and Golden Griffins will tip off at 1 p.m. and game action will be broadcast on ESPN3.

For complete coverage of Canisius women’s basketball, please follow the Griffs on social media at @GriffsWBB on Instagram and Twitter.