HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team dropped a Northeast Conference match-up to St. Francis (N.Y.), 64-56, at the TD Bank Sports Center on Thursday night. With the loss, the Bobcats fall to 15-11 overall and 8-7 in league play, while the Terriers improve to 14-12, 11-4 in the NEC.
In a game where scoring did not come easy for the Bobcats, Ike Azotam (Boston, Mass.) led the way with 15 rebounds and 12 points on the night. Garvey Young (Washington, D.C.) chimed in with 14 points and five rebounds, while James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.) scratched out 11 points in the losing effort.
St. Francis (N.Y.) set the tone early on in this one, as the visitors jumped out to a 13-6 lead through the first six minutes of play. Quinnipiac clamped down defensively though and disallowed the Terriers to extend the advantage. The two teams traded baskets through the remainder of the frame, leaving a mere four-point lead, 30-26, for SFC at the break.
After the intermission, the Terriers once again boasted a quick start out of the gate. Stefan Perunicic capped off an 11-3 run over the next 4:34 seconds, pushing SFC ahead by 12 points. QU frantically began to pick up the pressure, but struggled to cut into the deficit as the clock crept inside of 10 minutes.
The Terriers maintained a lead of three possessions for most of the second half, but finally gave way to a mini run late in the frame. Trailing by 10 points with 3:41 showing on the clock, Young ignited an uplifting spurt by the QU offense. The Bobcats scored the game's next seven points, chopping the Terrier lead to just three.
Over the course of the next three possessions, the QU defense stepped up and collected the stops needed to inch closer on the scoreboard. Unfortunately on the other end of the floor, the Bobcats came up empty in their next three trips, allowing the Terriers to pull away by way of the free-throw line in the waning minutes.
Turnovers really plagued the Bobcats on the night, a major factor in the loss. QU coughed up the ball 20 times in the game, easily setting a new season-high for the category. In addition, the nation's best offensive rebounding team was held to just seven second-chance points on nine offensive rebounds. QU edged SFC on the glass by one, nine below its rebounding margin average.
For the game, neither team shot the ball particularly well, each hovering around 37 percent. Both teams also connected on just over 60 percent from the charity stripe and less than 21 percent from behind the arc.
The Bobcats entered the night's match-up two games behind the Terriers in the NEC standings.
The Bobcats are back in action on Saturday, Feb. 18 at the conference's top ranked team, LIU Brooklyn. Tip-off is set for 4:30 p.m. in Brooklyn, N.Y. For all the latest news, scores and highlights pertaining to the men's basketball program, visit www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.
Contact: Tony Distasio; Ardistasio@quinnipiac.edu