CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team carried a lead deep into the second half on Sunday night, but a late run by Oregon State left the Pac-12 foe with a 76-68 win at Gill Coliseum. The game marked the first time the Bobcats faced a member of the Pac-12 Conference.
Umar Shannon (Atlantic City, N.J.) led all Bobcats with 18 points, four rebounds and four assists. He was 5-of-11 from behind the arc, marking the most threes by a Quinnipiac player since Shaq Shannon (Philadelphia, Pa.) made six against Central Connecticut last season.
Ike Azotam (Boston, Mass.) and Ousmane Drame (Boston, Mass.) were dominant in the post, especially with their play early on in the second half. Azotam finished with 17 points, five rebounds and two blocks, while Drame collected his 13th career double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Drame suffered a vicious blow to the face in the closing minutes and was forced to seek medical treatment. He returned late in the game but Oregon State had built an insurmountable lead.
Trailing by 12 points with 16:34 left in regulation, Quinnipiac put together its best stretch of basketball over the next four minutes. The Bobcats erased their double-digit deficit with a 15-0 run and took a 50-47 lead after an old fashion three-point play from Kasim Chandler (Newark, N.J.). Chandler finished with seven points in the game, all of which came in the latter stanza.
Oregon State entered the game with the nation's fifth most efficient offense, a statistic that shined at times throughout the night. The Beavers answered with a 12-1 run, capped off by a three-point play in transition from Langston Morris-Walker to give Oregon State an eight-point advantage, 59-51.
Quinnipiac made one last run in the waning minutes when Umar Shannon knocked down his fifth three of the game to cut the deficit to five with 2:21 remaining. The Bobcats had a chance to make it a one possession game but failed to convert, and OSU sealed the victory by sinking 7-of-8 from the free-throw line in the final minute.
Oregon State did most of its damage in the first half and carried a 10-point lead into the locker room at the break. Quinnipiac held OSU below its season average for the game, but allowed the Beavers to shoot 55.2 percent in the first half. Angus Brandt, who was sidelined with an injury in the team's final game of the Hawaiian Classic, returned to score a game-high 21 points on 8-of-11 shooting. He had 17 in the first half.
Quinnipiac, now 6-5 on the season, controlled the edge on the glass for its nation-leading 43rd straight game. The Bobcats out-rebounded the Beavers, 43-36, which included 19 on the offensive end. Quinnipiac attempted 73 shots on the night but connected on just 34.2 percent from the floor.
James Ford (Hopewell, Va.) contributed again with strong minutes off the bench. He chipped in with seven points, four rebounds and one assist in 13 minutes of action. AJ Sumbry (East Windsor, N.J.) added four and Marquis Barnett (Bronx, N.Y.) and Zaid Hearst (Bethesda, Md.) finished with two points apiece.
Oregon State improved to 8-4 on the season and opens Pac-12 play next week against Colorado. The team and conference's leading scorer, Roberto Nelson, finished with 19 points. Hallice Cooke added 12 and Devon Collier chimed in with 11.
Quinnipiac is back in action on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2013 with their third Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) game of the season. The Bobcats host Iona College at 7:30 p.m. on Lender Court at the TD Bank Sports Center. The game will be televised throughout the region on SNY.
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