January 3, 2014

Men's Basketball Game Central: Quinnipiac at Monmouth - Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (6-5, 1-1 MAAC) at
Monmouth University Hawks (7-7, 1-2 MAAC)
Saturday, January 4, 2014 – 3:00 p.m.
MAC – West Long Branch, N.J.
Series vs. Monmouth: 15-13
Last Meeting: February 7, 2013 – W, 79-63
QU Last Five: 2-3
MU Last Five: 4-1 

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


MAAC Play Resumes
After a trip across the country to Oregon, the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team (6-5, 1-1 MAAC) enters the most important portion of its schedule this week. Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference basketball resumed around the league on Thursday and continues for the remainder of the season. A snow storm postponed Quinnipiac's game with Iona and the Bobcats now devote their attention to Monmouth University (7-7, 1-2 MAAC) on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. at the MAC in West Long Branch, N.J. 

Multimedia Links
Quinnipiac's game against Monmouth will be streamed live on Hawk Vision, courtesy of the Monmouth athletic website. 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. Bob Mortali has the play-by-play call with Bob Tipson providing insight on color commentary. Fans can also tune into live stats as well. 

All-Time Against Monmouth
With last season's 79-63 victory in West Long Branch, N.J., the Bobcats now hold a 15-13 advantage in the all-time series with the Hawks. Quinnipiac has won 10 of the last 12 meetings and is currently riding a six-game winning streak. Since head coach Tom Moore took over in 2007, Quinnipiac is 8-2 against MU which includes a 4-2 mark in New Jersey and a 4-0 mark at the TD Bank Sports Center. 

Scouting The Hawks
One of the hotter teams around the league at the moment, Monmouth enters Saturday's game having won four out of the last five games. The Hawks earned their first-ever Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference victory on Thursday night, as the Hawks rallied from 10 points down in the second half to defeat Siena, 63-59, at the MAC. Trailing 39-29 with 18:54 left, the Blue & White put together a 22-5 run to lead 51-44 with 11:40 showing, and connected on six free throws in the final minute to secure the win. Prior to its game with the Saints, Monmouth's hot streak included wins against St. Francis Brooklyn, Binghamton and Fordham with the lone loss coming to Wagner. Deon Jones and Andrew Nicholas lead the team in scoring. Jones is averaging 16.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, while Nicholas averages 14.4 points and 3.5 rebounds per outing. Monmouth ranks in the bottom half of the league in scoring, but presents one of the better defenses in the MAAC. MU is 5-3 at home this year. 

Last Time Out against Oregon State
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 led all Bobcats with 18 points, four rebounds and four assists. Ike Azotam finished with 17 points, five rebounds and two blocks, while Ousmane Drame collected his 13th career double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. 

Scoring the Basketball
Umar Shannon netted 18 points against Oregon State, marking the seventh time he reached double-figures in a game for the Bobcats. He was 5-of-11 from behind the arc, marking the most threes by a QU player since Shaq Shannon netted six of them against CCSU last year. Shannon has 1,065 career points between his brief career at Quinnipiac and his stay at Saint Francis University. Shannon is averaging 11.7 points per game at Quinnipiac which ranks him fourth among Bobcat players and 21st in the MAAC. He is also 18-of-19 (.945) from the free-throw line, missing his first attempt against the Beavers.

Feed the Big Man
With his 17-point performance against Oregon State, Ike Azotam has 1,265 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 is tied with Robert Vacca '73 (1,265) for 18th on the all-time list. 

Double-Double Machine
Ike Azotam has 32 career double-doubles at Quinnipiac. 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 eight games and at least 12 points in each game. Azotam leads the MAAC in offensive rebounds per game (4.2) and rebounds per game (10.2). That has him ranked 10th and tied for 12th in the nation, respectively.   

In Elite Company
Ike Azotam has 828 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. 

A Force on the Block
Ousmane Drame corralled his 13th career double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds against Oregon State. He is nearly averaging a double-double over his last nine games (14.0 ppg/9.5 rpg), recording at least 11 points in eight of the nine and at least 10 rebounds in five of those. Drame has reached double-digits in 14 of his last 17 games dating back to last season, which included the third 20-point game of his career against Fairfield (12/6). He has four double-doubles on the season. 

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 86 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). 

Built Ford Tough
James Ford had seven points and four rebounds in 13 minutes of action against Oregon State. He was 2-of-4 from the field, 2-of-2 from the free-throw line and 1-of-3 from behind the arc. Ford set a new career high with 10 points off the bench against Rider (12/8). He was 4-of-5 from the floor and 2-of-3 from long range helping the Quinnipiac comeback bid. Ford is averaging 6.5 points per game in just 9.8 minutes per outing. 

Efficiency is the Answer
Zaid Hearst collected his eighth career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds against Vermont (12/15). Hearst has double-doubles in five out his last nine games and has 10 or more points in 14 of his last 18 games dating back to last season. He is third in the MAAC in rebounding (8.7), tied for eighth in free-throw percentage (.820), and 15th in field goal percentage (.456) and scoring (14.5). 

Chandler Getting Comfortable
Kasim Chandler has scored 10 or more points in seven out of his 11 collegiate games. He had 11 points, three assists and two rebounds against Lehigh (12/21), which followed a 14-point performance against Vermont (12/15). Chandler is averaging 10.0 points per game this season, ranking him 29th in the MAAC and second among rookies. 

Stacking Up In New England
Head Coach Tom Moore's .570 overall winning percentage is fourth best among active Division I Coaches in New England, only trailing UConn's Kevin Ollie (.738), Harvard's Tommy Amaker (.647) and Vermont's John Becker (.605). (Winning percentage among coaches with at least one season at respective institution)  

Rebounding Dominance
The Bobcats are second in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (17.2) and rebounds per game (46.4) and third in rebounding margin (12.6). 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 172 of his 200 games (.860) – including 43 straight without losing the battle on the glass. In 67 of the 200 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 57-10 (.851) mark when holding a plus-10 edge and a 14-4 (.778) record with plus-20. Quinnipiac's 43-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 46-9 (.836) when making more free-throws than its opponent, including a 6-1 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 11-4 over the last two seasons when their opponent makes fewer than 12 free-throws in a game. 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 (12/15). 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. 

Defense Wins
Head coach Tom Moore has repeatedly stressed the importance of keeping opposition to below 40 percent from the floor, and with good reason. Over the past five years, Quinnipiac is 53-14 (.791) when keeping its opponent to below 40 percent from the field. This also includes a perfect 12-0 mark in the 2009-10 season.

Looking Ahead
Quinnipiac is back in action on Monday, Jan. 6 with its makeup game against Iona College. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the TD Bank Sports Center. The game will be televised on SNY.