Men’s Basketball Powers Past Hartford In Season-Opener, 65-61

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WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – Power forward Ike Azotam (Boston, Mass.) scored 17 points and Garvey Young (Washington, D.C.) added 15 as the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team opened the 2012-13 season with a 65-61 win over Hartford in the fourth annual Connecticut 6 Classic at Chase Family Pavilion. The Bobcats improved to 3-1 all-time in the CT 6 dating back to inaugural tournament back in 2009.

Quinnipiac, now 5-1 in season-openers under head coach Tom Moore, also extended its winning-streak against Hartford to six straight with the win. The Bobcats improved to 16-5 all-time against the Hawks, while handing the Hawks their 23rd loss all-time in a season-opening contest. The Bobcats were ranked first in the CT 6 Coaches' Poll, announced prior to the weekend.

CT 6 All-Tournament selection Ike Azotam paced the Bobcats offense with a game-high 17 points on 8-of-15 shooting. He narrowly missed his 17th career double-double with nine rebounds, and added two blocks to complete his stat-line. Young played a large role in the outcome with 11 of his 15 points coming in the second half of action. Jamee Jackson (Newark, N.J.) chimed in with nine points and four rebounds, Ousmane Drame (Boston, Mass.) added six points and Dave Johnson (Jackson, N.J.) finished with six points and five assists. Kendrick Ray (Middletown, N.Y.) was stellar in his collegiate debut with eight points, one rebound and one assist.

Quinnipiac needed a late surge to pull ahead, as the visiting Bobcats trailed deep into the second half. The Hawks controlled a mere two-point lead, 51-49, with 6:53 remaining in the game, when Jackson sparked a Bobcats' run with a bucket underneath. Quinnipiac ended the final minutes with a 16-10 run, with Ray sealing the deal with a lay-up with 11 seconds showing on the clock. The Hawks pressed to cut their four-point deficit, but time expired and left the Bobcats with a four-point victory.

The Bobcats' front court proved to be too much for the Hawks, controlling the paint with a dominating 44-22 edge in the paint. Quinnipiac also garnered a plus-eight margin on the glass, 43-35, and added 10 second chance points compared to seven from Hartford.

Defensively, Quinnipiac held the Hawks to 39.6 percent (21-53) from the floor, blocked six shots and altered many more with its lengthy front court. Mark Nwakamma led Hartford with 15 points and rebounds before fouling out with 38 seconds left.    

Quinnipiac endures a quick turnaround with its home-opener on Monday, November 12 at the TD Bank Sports Center. Prior to the 7 p.m. tilt against American, the men's basketball program will host a clothing drive for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. All fans who donate will receive two complementary tickets to the Bobcats' home game against Maine on December 29.

Fans interested in purchasing tickets for the Quinnipiac Basketball Season can call the QU Ticket Office at 203-582-3905, visit the official website of Quinnipiac athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com or make a trip to the TD Bank Sports Center Ticket Office.

Please refer to the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com, for any schedule changes as well as the latest news, scores and highlights. The 2012-13 Men's Basketball Schedule is also available for download at www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com for all mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads, as well as all desktop computers.

Contact: Tony Distasio; ardistasio@quinnipiac.edu