BETHLEHEM, Pa. – Lehigh limited the Quinnipiac men's basketball team to 15 first-half points on Saturday night to pace the Mountain Hawks in a 69-58 win over the Bobcats at Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, Pa. Quinnipiac, who had won five out of its last seven games entering the contest, drops to 6-4 on the season while Lehigh's fifth straight win improves the team record to 7-5 on the year.
Ike Azotam (Boston, Mass.) was one of three Quinnipiac players in double-figures, snatching a game-high of 18 points in 36 minutes of action. Azotam netted 12 of the points in the second half and grabbed eight rebounds by night's end. Ousmane Drame (Boston, Mass.) chimed in with 14 points and nine rebounds while Kasim Chandler (Newark, N.J.) added 11 points and three assists off the bench.
Shooting woes plagued both teams from the opening whistle, but it was Lehigh who mustered an early lead. Quinnipiac went 0-for-11 to start the game with its first field goal coming at the 13:58 mark on a Chandler layup. The Bobcats connected on just 6-of-30 attempts in the stanza, resulting in just 15 points before the break. It was the fewest number of points in a first half since recording 15 against Seton Hall back in 1999.
Lehigh didn't fare much better through the opening 20 minutes, but a few four-point swings allowed the Mountain Hawks to carry a 22-15 lead into the locker room at halftime. After intermission, Lehigh used a 14-6 run to extend the lead to double-digits – a 10-point margin that it would never relinquish. Lehigh never trailed in the game.
Quinnipiac shot just 33.3 percent from the floor and didn't record one three-point field goal (0-16). The Bobcats had made at least one three-point field goal in every game since Dec. 19, 2000, when they went 0-for-11 against Dartmouth. The 33.3 percent was inflated with 16 Bobcat turnovers as well.
Lehigh connected on 48.1 percent of its field goals, but enhanced that number by shooting 59.3 percent in the second half. The Mountain Hawks used a balanced attack that featured six players with at least nine points. Tim Kempton led the way with 12 points and seven boards.
Quinnipiac controlled the rebounding margin with a plus-10, 43-33, edge on the glass with 17 coming on the offensive end. The Bobcats continued to make free-throws too, finishing 14-of-17 from the stripe.
Zaid Hearst (Bethesda, Md.) aided the Bobcat offense with nine points and four rebounds. James Ford (Hopewell, Va.) and Evan Conti (Bayside, N.Y.) chipped in with four points and two points, respectively.
Quinnipiac is back in action after the holiday with its final non-conference game of the 2013-14 campaign. The Bobcats travel across the country to Oregon State for a clash with the Beavers on Sunday, December 19, 2013. Tip-off is set for 11 p.m. EST at legendary Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore. Quinnipiac has never faced a Pac-12 opponent.
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