HAMDEN, Conn. – Umar Shannon (Atlantic City, N.J.) earned his Navy and Gold on Saturday afternoon, as the fifth year guard tossed in 24 points to lead the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team past Albany, 79-69, at the TD Bank Sports Center. The Bobcats improved to 2-1 on the season and collected their fourth straight win against the Great Danes.
Umar Shannon did most of his damage behind the three-point line, making 5-of-11 including 4-of-7 in the first half. He was 8-of-17 for the game and made all three of his free-throw attempts as well. Ousmane Drame (Boston, Mass.) collected his 10th career double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds and Zaid Hearst (Bethesda, Md.) notched the fourth of his career with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
The start of the game wasn't pretty for the hosting Bobcats. The visiting Great Danes jumped out to an 11-0 run to start the game and forced head coach Tom Moore into an early timeout. The timeout was exactly what Quinnipiac needed though, as the Bobcats settled down and responded with a significant surge of its own. Umar Shannon capped off a 21-8 run with three straight free-throws which gave Quinnipiac its first lead of the game, 21-19, with seven minutes remaining in the first half. From there, the Bobcats had regained control of the game.
The Bobcats carried a six-point lead into the locker room at halftime, and quickly extended the lead to double-digits after the break. Albany managed to keep the game within one possession for a good portion of the half, but Quinnipiac put the game out of reach in the waning minutes. Sparked by two free-throws from Drame, the Bobcats rattled off a 13-6 run to close the game, making all five of their attempts from the charity stripe.
Quinnipiac was dominant on the glass and in particular on the offensive end. The Bobcats out-rebounded Albany, 41-28, which featured a season-high 21 rebounds on offense. Quinnipiac converted those 21 rebounds into 21 second-chance points.
Freshman Kasim Chandler (Newark, N.J.) joined Umar Shannon, Hearst and Drame in double-figures with 13 points, five assists, two rebounds, one block and one steal. Ike Azotam (Boston, Mass.) finished with eight points and five rebounds and Evan Conti (Bayside, N.Y.) chipped in with two points and five rebounds.
With the win, Quinnipiac improved to 8-2 all-time against Albany. The Bobcats also extended in home winning streak to seven straight dating back to last season.
The Great Danes, who suffered their first loss of the 2013-14 season, were led by Sam Rowley who had 20 points. John Puk had 12 and Gary Johnson finished with 11. Albany made 52.7 percent of its field goals.
Prior to the game, several former Quinnipiac players reunited for the 2013 Alumni Game. Former players including the likes of Quinnipiac's Division I Scoring Leader James Johnson and recent graduate Dave Johnson partook in the annual event.
The Bobcats return to action on Wednesday, Nov. 20 with their second home game of the 2013-14 season. Quinnipiac welcomes Hampton to the TD Bank Sports Center for a 7 p.m. tip-off.
Fans interested in purchasing tickets for the 2013-14 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.
Student-Athletes, parents and fans can download the 2013-14 QU Athletics schedules to your laptop and mobile devices for free by clicking in the iCalendar link at the bottom of each sport's homepage or the master schedule page. Fans can also follow Quinnipiac Athletics on Facebook and Twitter (@QUAthletics) for all of the latest news and updates.