Hamden, Conn. – Evan Conti (Bayside, N.Y.) scored a career high of 18 points, which included the game winner with 13 seconds remaining on Thursday night, as the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team won its third straight game with a 63-61 victory over Robert Morris at the TD Bank Sports Center. The Bobcats, now winners in five of their last six games, improved to 11-13 overall and 7-5 in the Northeast Conference, while the visiting Colonials dropped to 17-9 and 9-4 in the league. The game was televised on SportsNet New York (SNY) throughout the region.
Conti stole the show on Thursday night, as the sophomore guard went 7-of-11 from the floor, 3-of-5 from the free-throw line and grabbed six rebounds in the triumph. Joining Conti in double-figures were Ike Azotam (Boston, Mass.) and Ousmane Drame (Boston, Mass.), who each finished with double-doubles on the night. Azotam collected 10 points, all in the second half, and 10 rebounds, while Drame had 10 points and a game-high 15 rebounds. Zaid Hearst (Bethesda, Md.) added nine and Jamee Jackson (Newark, N.J.) had eight.
The first eight minutes of the game belonged to the Colonials who garnered a 14 point-edge with a 20-6 run. Quinnipiac weathered the storm nicely though; outscoring RMU 24-9 through the remainder stanza - which included a 15-6 run over the final six minutes. Evan Conti paced the offense with 11 points and four rebounds and the Bobcats carried a 30-29 advantage into the locker room at the break.
Quinnipiac held onto its lead for the next 10 minutes, but saw a five point lead turn into a five point deficit after a 10-0 Robert Morris run. Coron Williams capped off the surge with a three-point shot, leaving a 56-51 lead for the visitors.
The Bobcats responded with a 5-0 run of their own, setting the stage for the final minutes. Conti tied the game up at 58 apiece with a layup, was fouled on the play and went to the line looking for the lead. Conti misfired on the attempt, but Azotam skied for the rebound and was fouled on the way down. Azotam connected on both free-throws, putting Quinnipiac up by two, 60-58, with 1:18 showing on the clock.
Robert Morris put the ball in Velton Jones' hands on its ensuing possession, but the senior guard was forced into a difficult shot - which fell into the arms of Drame with 48 ticks left. Quinnipiac went down the other end, let the shot clock wind down, and then Evan Conti went to work. Conti drove to the left and knocked down a jumper from the elbow which put the Bobcats up by four with 13 seconds left. RMU hit a three with one second left, but the game was out of reach as Conti sealed the scoring column off with a final free-throw.
Evidenced by the final score, both teams were very evenly matched throughout the night. The two major discrepancies were in rebound and turnover margins. Quinnipiac dominated the glass with a plus-20 edge, 45-25, but turned the ball over 23 times compared to just 13 from RMU. The Bobcats grabbed 18 offensive rebounds, resulting in 21 second chance points. The Colonials had 27 points off of turnovers.
With the season split, Quinnipiac is now 12-17 all-time against the Colonials. The Bobcats are however 5-1 in the last six regular-season match-ups, including a 3-0 mark at the Bank.
The Bobcats return to action against Saint Francis University on Saturday, Feb. 16th at the TD Bank Sports Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 3 p.m.
Fans interested in purchasing tickets for the 2012-13 campaign 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; firstname.lastname@example.org