December 19, 2013

Men's Basketball Game Central: Quinnipiac at Lehigh - Saturday, December 21, 2013

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (6-3, 1-1 MAAC) at
Lehigh University Mountain Hawks (6-5, 0-0 Patriot League)
Saturday, December 21, 2013 – 7:00 p.m.
Stabler Arena – Bethlehem, Pa.
Series vs. Lehigh: 3-3
Last Meeting: November 27, 2012 • L, 77-66
QU Last Five: 3-2
Lehigh Last Five: 4-1 

 Multimedia Links - LU  QU Game Notes
 Lehigh Game Notes  Live Video
 Live Stats  WQUN 1220 AM Audio


QU Takes on Lehigh
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team (6-3, 1-1 MAAC) continues its four-game swing away from Lender Court when it plays at Lehigh University (6-5, 0-0 Patriot League) in a non-conference clash, Saturday, Dec. 21, at Stabler Arena. The Bobcats are coming off of an impressive double-digit win at Vermont, while the Mountain Hawks recently won their fourth straight game against LIU Brooklyn. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. 

Multimedia Links
Quinnipiac's game against Lehigh will be streamed live on LehighSports.com. Bobcat fans can access audio as well with play-by-play and color commentary provided by AM WQUN 1220 radio or by clicking on the appropriate links at QuinnipiacBobcats.com. The Voice of the Bobcats Bill Schweizer has the play-by-play call with Bill Mecca providing insight on color commentary. Fans can also tune into live stats as well. 

All-Time Against Lehigh
Saturday's game will break a 3-3 deadlock in the all-time series between the two programs. The series began in November of 2006, where QU won in decisive fashion with a 16-point triumph in Hamden. Quinnipiac followed the first meeting with a double overtime win the next time around, but has surrendered three of the last four to the Mountain Hawks – including a 77-66 loss in last year's meeting. 

Scouting The Mountain Hawks
A tough non-conference schedule left the Mountain Hawks with a 2-5 start through their first seven games. However, that mark is in the rearview mirror due to a four-game winning streak over the past three weeks. During the stretch, Lehigh has three wins against Northeast Conference teams, with the other coming against UMBC of the America East. In their most recent outing, the Mountain Hawks picked up a 76-69 victory over three-time defending NEC Champion LIU Brooklyn from Stabler Arena on Monday, Dec. 9. Sophomore Jesse Chuku scored a team-high 15 points while adding 10 rebounds, two blocks and two steals, while freshman Tim Kempton finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. Senior guard Mackey McKnight finished with eight points and continues to lead the team in scoring with 14.3 points per game. Three others, including Kempton, are in double-figures for the season. 

Last Time Out against Vermont
Quinnipiac flashed its potential again, earning another impressive victory on Sunday afternoon. The Bobcats played the defense that head coach Tom Moore wanted to see, while Umar Shannon and Ike Azotam turned in solid all-around performances to help Quinnipiac to a comfortable 80-67 win at Vermont. It was Quinnipiac's third win by 10 or more points this year. 

Double-Double Machine
Ike Azotam collected his 32nd career double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds against Vermont. Azotam only sits behind Justin Rutty's '11 mark of 41 for second in Quinnipiac's Division I history. He has double-doubles in five out of his last six games and at least 12 rebounds in each game. Azotam leads the MAAC in offensive rebounds per game (4.4) and rebounds per game (11.0). That has him tied for seventh and ranked eighth in the nation, respectively.   

In Elite Company
Ike Azotam has 815 career rebounds which puts him in seventh place all-time in program history. He currently sits in second place since among Division I players, only trailing Justin Rutty's mark of 1,032. Ike Azotam corralled his 800th career rebound against Rider (12/8) and joined an elite group of five other Quinnipiac players to record 1,000 points and 800 rebounds in a career. Azotam was just the second Division I player to accomplish the feat, as he and Rutty are the only two players to do it since 1998. 

Feed the Big Man
With his 18-point performance against Vermont, Ike Azotam has 1,230 career points and is closing in on James Feldeine '10 (1,320) for sixth place among the Quinnipiac Division I scoring leaders. In the 2012-13 season, he was the 10th player to score 1,000 points in the Division I era and 26th all-time. Azotam needs 35 points to catch Robert Vacca '73 (1,265) for 18th on the all-time list. 

Hearst Still Rolling
Zaid Hearst collected his eighth career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds against Vermont. Hearst has double-doubles in five out his last seven games and has 10 or more points in 14 of his last 16 games dating back to last season. He is second in the MAAC in rebounding (9.6), seventh in field goal percentage (.531), tied for seventh in free-throw percentage (.826) and 11th in scoring (15.1). 

A Force on the Block
Ousmane Drame finished with 14 points and five rebounds against Vermont. He is nearly averaging a double-double over his last seven games, recording at least 13 points in six of the seven and at least 10 rebounds in four of the seven. Drame has reached double-digits in 12 of his last 15 games dating back to last season, which included the third 20-point game of his career against Fairfield (12/6). He has double-doubles in three out of his last seven games as well. 

Rejection is the Key to Success
Ousmane Drame matched his career high and Division I program record with six blocks against Fairfield (12/6). Drame has 83 for his career which has him ranked third in the DI era and top 10 all-time at Quinnipiac. QU set a new season-high with nine blocks against Fairfield (12/6). 

Scoring the Basketball
Umar Shannon netted 16 points against Vermont, marking the sixth time he reached double-figures in a game for the Bobcats. Shannon has 1,047 career points between his brief career at Quinnipiac and his stay at Saint Francis University. Shannon is averaging 12.3 points per game at Quinnipiac which ranks him fourth among Bobcat players and 20th in the MAAC. 

Still Perfect
Umar Shannon went 6-for-6 from the free-throw line against Vermont and extended his consecutive made streak to 15 in a Bobcat uniform. Ironically, Shannon's last missed free-throw came at Quinnipiac last season (2/16/13) on his final attempt of the year. 

Chandler Getting Comfortable
Kasim Chandler has scored 10 or more points in six out of his nine collegiate games. He had 14 points and two assists against Vermont, which saw a 6-for-7 showing from the free-throw line and 4-fo-7 from the field. Chandler is averaging 10.2 points per game, placing him 29th in the MAAC and second among rookies. 

Stacking Up In New England
Head Coach Tom Moore's .576 overall winning percentage is fourth best among active Division I Coaches in New England, only trailing UConn's Kevin Ollie (.725), Harvard's Tommy Amaker (.644) and Vermont's John Becker (.613). (Winning percentage among coaches with at least one season at respective institution)  

Rebounding Dominance
The Bobcats lead the nation in offensive rebounds per game (17.0) while ranking second in the nation in rebounds per game (47.1) and third in rebounding margin (13.6). Last year, Quinnipiac led the nation in total rebounding (42.1) and offensive rebounding (15.9) and was second in rebounding margin (10.4). In 2011-12, Quinnipiac led the nation in offensive rebounds per game (16.7), and finished second in total rebounds per game (43.2) and rebounding margin (10.2). Quinnipiac is the only team in the nation to finish first or second in each category over the last two seasons.  

Rebounding Margin
With Tom Moore at the helm, Quinnipiac has out-rebounded its opponent in 170 of his 198 games (.859) – including 41 straight without losing the battle on the glass. In 66 of the 198 games, QU has posted a plus-10 or better rebounding margin, including 18 with plus-20 or better and a rebounding-margin high of 31 against Maine on Monday, Nov. 25, 2013. The Bobcats hold a remarkable 57-9 (.864) mark when holding a plus-10 edge and a 14-4 (.778) record with plus-20. Quinnipiac's 41-game streak is far and away the longest active streak in the nation.  

Another Rebounding Stat…
Quinnipiac posted 50 rebounds for the third time this season against Fairfield (12/6), marking the 20th time during the Division I era. In nine years prior to Tom Moore's arrival, QU had just five 50-rebound games, with only two coming against teams classified at Division I at the time of competition. The Bobcats have eclipsed 60 rebounds twice. 

Free-Throws Make a Difference
Over the last five seasons, Quinnipiac is 46-8 (.852) when making more free-throws than its opponent, including a 6-0 mark this year. Furthermore, the Bobcats are 8-0 in the last two seasons when making 25 or more free-throws. 

Less Fouls, More Wins
The Bobcats are 2-1 when their opponent makes fewer than 12 free-throws in a game this year and were 9-2 in 2012-13. On the contrary, when the opposition has recorded 25 or more free throws made over the last two seasons, Quinnipiac is 0-6. 

Tough to Lose If You Don't Miss
Quinnipiac shot 50 percent from the floor for the first time this season against Vermont. The Bobcats connected on season-best 58.6 percent of its field goals against Monmouth last year (2/7/13), nearly eclipsing 60 percent for the first time since 2010. The Bobcats made at least 50 percent of their shots in 28 games over the last five seasons, posting a 23-5 (.821) mark when accomplishing that feat. 

ECAC New England Player of the Week
Ike Azotam was named the Corvias ECAC New England Player of the Week, the association announced Tuesday, December 17, 2013. In a 1-1 week for the Bobcats, Azotam led the team in points, averaging 21 points a game. He also averaged 10 rebounds a game. In a loss against Rider, he had 24 points and seven rebounds. In the win against University of Vermont, he had 18 points to go with 13 boards. 

CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll
The hype continues to hang around the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team as the Bobcats received votes in the latest College Insider Mid-Major Poll on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. Quinnipiac is off to a 6-3 start and caught the attention of the voters in the most recent census.

Looking Ahead
Quinnipiac concludes its non-conference schedule with Oregon State at legendary Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore. Tip-off is set for 11 p.m. EST on Sunday, December 19, 2013. Quinnipiac has never faced a Pac-12 opponent.