January 15, 2014

Men's Basketball Game Central: Quinnipiac vs. Monmouth - Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (9-6, 4-2 MAAC) vs.
Monmouth University Hawks (8-9, 2-4 MAAC)
Thursday, January 16, 2014 – 7:00 p.m.
TD Bank Sports Center – Hamden, Conn.
All-Time Series vs. MU (DI): 16-13 (15-13)
Last Meeting: January 4, 2014 • W, 94-77
QU Last Five: 3-2
MU Last Five: 2-3

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QU HOSTS MONMOUTH
For the second time in two weeks, the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team (9-6, 4-2 MAAC) squares off against Monmouth University (8-9, 2-4 MAAC). The Bobcats and the Hawks are scheduled to tip-off at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 at the TD Bank Sports Center. Quinnipiac defeated Monmouth, 94-77, in their first meeting on Jan. 4. 

ALL-TIME AGAINST MONMOUTH
With their victory 12 days ago in West Long Branch, the Bobcats now hold a 16-13 advantage in the all-time series with the Hawks. Quinnipiac has won 11 of the last 13 meetings and is currently riding a seven-game winning streak. Since head coach Tom Moore took over in 2007, Quinnipiac is 9-2 against MU which includes a 5-2 mark in New Jersey and a 4-0 mark at the TD Bank Sports Center. 

SCOUTING THE HAWKS
Monmouth enters Thursday's matchup with an 8-9 record overall and a 2-4 mark in MAAC play. The Hawks are coming off of a 1-1 road trip to upstate New York where they took on Niagara and Canisius. Monmouth opened the two-game set with an 85-74 victory against the Purple Eagles in a game that saw four players score at least 13 points for the visitors. Deon Jones and Andrew Nicholas each had 14 points in the win as the team shot 62.8 percent from the floor. Monmouth's game at Canisius told a different story with the Griffs holding the Hawks below 70 points in an 87-67 victory. Josh James led the Hawks with 16 points but it was severely overmatched by 26 points from Billy Barron and 25 points from Zach Lewis. Against the Bobcats, four players scored in double-figures with Justin Robinson netting a team-high of 15 points. Quinnipiac dominated the glass, 45-24, while corralling 20 offensive rebounds in the game. 

LAST TIME OUT AGAINST SAINT PETER'S
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team suffered its second MAAC loss of the season last Sunday as the Bobcats fell to Saint Peter's University, 74-67, at the Yanitelli Center in Jersey City. The contest featured a physical battle from the opening whistle, which might have taken its toll on offensive production. Both teams shot around 34 percent from the floor, but the game's difference came from behind the arc and the charity stripe. SPU knocked down eight threes (8-22) and earned a plus-seven edge on the free-throw line. 

HOME COOKING
Quinnipiac is 11-1 in its last 12 home games at the TD Bank Sports Center. Since head coach Tom Moore took over in 2007, the Bobcats are 61-32 (.656) on Lender Court. 

DOUBLE TROUBLE
Quinnipiac is the only team in the country that has two players averaging at least 12 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. Quinnipiac is one of just two teams (UNLV) that has two players averaging at least 10 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. Ike Azotam is averaging 17.0 points and 11.7 rebounds per game, with Ousmane Drame bringing in 12.2 points and 9.0 rebounds per contest. 

FEED THE BIG MAN
Ike Azotam had 16 points and 14 rebounds against Saint Peter's. Azotam has 1,340 career points and is closing in on Bill Romano '02 (1,450) for fourth 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 also trails Romano for 14th on the all-time list. 

IN ELITE COMPANY
Ike Azotam scored his 1,300th career point and corralled his 850th career rebound against Iona (1/6) and joined an elite group of two other Quinnipiac players to record 1,300 points and 850 rebounds in a career. Azotam was just the second Division I player to accomplish the feat, as he and Justin Rutty are the only two players to do it since 1998. Ike Azotam has 891 career rebounds which puts him in sixth place all-time in program history. He currently sits in second place since among Division I players, only trailing Rutty's mark of 1,032. 

DOUBLE-DOUBLE MACHINE
Ike Azotam collected his 36th career double-double against Saint Peter's. Azotam only sits behind Justin Rutty's Quinnipiac Division I leading record of 41 career double-doubles. He has double-doubles in nine out of his last 12 games, including four straight, and has at least 16 points in nine straight. Azotam leads nation offensive rebounds per game (5.2), ranks third in rebounds per game (11.7), and is tied for third in double-doubles (10). All three of these figures lead the MAAC. 

NOT IN IKE'S HOUSE
Ike Azotam recorded a career high of five blocks against Iona (1/6). He has 87 for his career which has him ranked fourth during the Division I era and top 10 all-time. Azotam's five blocks in a game was the third most in DI history. 

15 OR MORE
Ike Azotam has nine career games with 15 or more rebounds. He has four of them this year and looks to meet Rutty's record of five in one season. He is also chasing Rutty's mark of 12 career games with 15 or more rebounds. Azotam has 15 or more rebounds in three of his last four games, and serves as the only QU Division I player record 15 or more rebounds in three straight games. 

A FORCE ON THE BLOCK
Ousmane Drame collected his 14th career double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds against Saint Peter's. Drame has reached double-digits in 18 of his last 21 games dating back to last season, which included the third 20-point game of his career against Fairfield (12/6). He has five double-doubles on the season which ranks him fourth in the conference and tied for 54th in the nation. He also ranks 20th in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (3.9) and tied for 50th in rebounds per game (9.0). 

REJECTION IS KEY TO SUCCESS
Ousmane Drame matched his career-high and Division I program record with six blocks against Fairfield (12/6). Drame has 96 for his career which has him ranked third in the DI era and top 10 all-time at Quinnipiac. With four more blocks, Drame would be the seventh player in QU history to register 100 blocked shots in a career. Quinnipiac has had eight or more blocks in four games this year and had a season-high of 10 against Manhattan (1/9). QU ranks second in the MAAC in blocks per game (5.2) and 47th in the nation. 

SCORING THE BASKETBALL
Umar Shannon netted 16 points against Saint Peter's, marking the 11th time he has reached double-figures in a game for the Bobcats. He is 17-of-40 (.425) from behind the arc over the last five games, marking the most threes made in a five-game stretch since James Johnson tallied 18 back in 2010-11. Shannon has 1,131 career points between his brief career at Quinnipiac and his stay at Saint Francis University. Shannon is averaging 13.0 points per game at Quinnipiac which ranks him third among Bobcat players and tied for 19th in the MAAC. 

CALM, COOL AND COLLECTED
Umar Shannon leads the MAAC in free-throw shooting, averaging 93.0 percent from the charity stripe. That percentage has him ranked third in all of NCAA Division I basketball. 

CHANDLER GETTING COMFORTABLE
Kasim Chandler has scored 10 or more points in 10 out of his 15 collegiate games. He had 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and dished out three assists against Saint Peter's. Chandler is averaging 10.2 points per game this season, ranking him 29th in the MAAC and second among rookies. He has at least nine points in six out of his last seven games. 

HEARST CONTINUES TO IMPRESS
Zaid Hearst scored 20 points against Manhattan (1/9) to mark his fourth 20-point outing of the season. Hearst has 10 or more points in 17 of his last 22 games dating back to last season and has 767 career points. He is 14th in the MAAC in scoring (13.5) and 10th in free-throw percentage (.800). Hearst tallied a new career high with 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against Iona (1/6). He was 9-of-11 (.818) from the floor, 2-of-2 from long range and 2-of-3 from the free-throw line. 

CRASHING THE BOARDS
Zaid Hearst collected his ninth career double-double against Iona (1/6). Hearst has six double-doubles on the season, which has him ranked third in the conference and tied for 29th in the nation. He ranks fourth in the league in rebounds per game (8.0) and is top 10 in both offensive and defensive rebounding. 

BUILT FORD TOUGH
James Ford had nine points and four rebounds in 16 minutes of action against Monmouth (1/4). He was 3-of-7 from the field and 2-of-5 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 5.3 points and 3.1 rebounds per game in just 11.4 minutes per outing. 

STACKING UP IN NEW ENGLAND
Head Coach Tom Moore's .574 overall winning percentage is fourth best among active Division I Coaches in New England, only trailing UConn's Kevin Ollie (.717), Harvard's Tommy Amaker (.649) and Vermont's John Becker (.624). (Winning percentage among coaches with at least one season at respective institution)  

REBOUNDING DOMINANCE
The Bobcats lead the nation in rebounding margin (13.1) and offensive rebounds per game (18.1) and are second in the nation rebounds per game (46.9). 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 176 of his 204 games (.863) – including 47 straight without losing the battle on the glass. In 69 of the 203 games, QU has posted a plus-10 or better rebounding margin, including 20 with plus-20 or better and a rebounding-margin high of 31 against Maine on Monday, Nov. 25, 2013. The Bobcats hold a remarkable 59-10 (.855) mark when holding a plus-10 edge and a 16-4 (.800) record with plus-20. Quinnipiac's 47-game streak is far and away the longest active streak in the nation.  

ANOTHER REBOUNDING STAT…
Quinnipiac posted 50 rebounds for the fourth time this season against Iona (1/6), marking the 21st 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 49-9 (.845) when making more free-throws than its opponent, including an 9-1 mark this year. Furthermore, the Bobcats are 11-0 in the last two seasons when making 25 or more free-throws. Quinnipiac ranks second in the MAAC in free-throw percentage (.729) and 63rd in the nation.   

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 second time this season against Monmouth (1/4). 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 29 games over the last five seasons, posting a 24-5 (.828) 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 53-15 (.779) 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 Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014 with the second game of its weekend set. The Bobcats host Niagara for a 4 p.m. tilt at the TD Bank Sports Center.