February 9, 2014

Men's Basketball Game Central: Quinnipiac vs. Marist - Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 at 7:00 PM Live on ESPN3

MAAC Men's Basketball: Quinnipiac vs. Marist at 7 PM | ESPN3
Monday, Feb. 10, 2014 | TD Bank Sports Center | Hamden, Conn.
Quinnipiac | 14-8, 9-4 MAAC | Game Notes | Homepage
Marist | 9-14, 6-7 MAAC | Game Notes | Homepage
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All-Time Series First Meeting Series at TD Bank First Meeting


BOBCATS SEEK THIRD STRAIGHT WIN
Winners of two straight and three of its last four, the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team (14-8, 9-4 MAAC) returns to the hardwood on Monday night. The Bobcats welcome Marist College (9-14, 6-7 MAAC) to the TD Bank Sports Center for a game that will be aired live on ESPN3. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. 

ALL-TIME AGAINST MARIST
Monday night will mark the first meeting between the two programs.  

SCOUTING THE RED FOXES
After an 0-9 start to the regular season, Marist bounced back strong through the middle-third of its schedule. Marist is 9-14 overall and 6-7 in league play, and is currently riding a three-game winning streak heading into Monday night's matchup. Chavaughn Lewis leads the team in scoring at 16.9 points per game, a figure that has him just ahead of Ike Azotam for eighth in the conference. He also brings in 4.7 rebounds while shooting better than 40 percent from the floor. The MAAC's front runner for Rookie of the Year Khallid Hart is averaging 13.2 points per game, and Jay Bowie averages 11.5 points per outing to cap off team's double-digit scorers. Bowie and Adam Kemp each notched double-doubles in the Red Foxes' latest win, as Marist collected a road win at Rider, 68-61, on Thursday night. 

LAST TIME OUT AGAINST RIDER
Ike Azotam continued to make his case for MAAC Player of the Year, and the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team rolled past Rider University, 82-61, at the TD Bank Sports Center on Saturday. He finished with 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds in the triumph. Zaid Hearst, Umar Shannon, Shaq Shannon and Evan Conti all joined Azotam in double-figures. 

HOME COOKING
Quinnipiac is 14-2 in its last 16 home games at the TD Bank Sports Center. Since head coach Tom Moore took over in 2007, the Bobcats are 64-33 (.660) on Lender Court. Furthermore, Quinnipiac has won 12 of its last 13 games at home against conference opposition (dating back to last season), and has won six out of its last seven overall on Lender Court. Moore is 44-17 (.721) in conference games at the Bank. 

HEATING UP IN FEBRUARY
Over course of the past six seasons, Tom Moore and the Bobcats have posted a 34-8 (.810) record in the month of February, including a 17-3 (.850) mark at the TD Bank Sports Center. Furthermore, through the last five seasons, the Bobcats are 29-5 (.853) and 15-1 (.938) when playing in Hamden. Quinnipiac went 7-1 in February last season and is 2-0 this year. 

DOUBLE TROUBLE
Quinnipiac is the only team in the country that has two players averaging at least 12.0 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Quinnipiac is one of just two teams (UNLV) that has two players averaging at least 10.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. Ike Azotam is averaging 16.8 points and 11.3 rebounds per game, with Ousmane Drame bringing in 12.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per contest.  

CHASING RUTTY
Ike Azotam collected his 40th career double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds against Rider. Azotam only sits behind Justin Rutty's Quinnipiac Division I record of 41 career double-doubles. He has double-doubles in 13 out of his last 19 games, including eight out of his last 11. Azotam ranks second in the country in offensive rebounds per game (4.9), is tied for third in double-doubles (14.0), and ranks fourth in rebounds per game (11.3). All three of these figures lead the MAAC.  

FEED THE BIG MAN
Ike Azotam has 1,455 career points and just passed Bill Romano '02 (1,450) for fourth place among 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 trails Justin Rutty for 13th on the all-time list. Azotam's 21-point effort against Rider marked his 16th career 20-point game.  

IN ELITE COMPANY
Ike Azotam has 965 career rebounds which puts him in fifth place all-time in program history. He became the third player in Quinnipiac history, the second player during the Division I era, to record 1,400 points and 950 rebounds in a career. Furthermore, Azotam serves as the only player in QU history to have 1,400 points, 950 rebounds and 85 blocks. He currently sits in second place among Division I players, only trailing Rutty's mark of 1,032.  

NOT IN IKE'S HOUSE
Ike Azotam recorded a career high of five blocks against Iona (1/6). He has 88 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 collected his 10th career game with 15 or more rebounds against Iona (1/24). With the 16 boards against Iona, Azotam matched Justin 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 serves as the only QU Division I player record 15 or more rebounds in three straight games (1/4 – 1/9). 

CRUISE CONTROL
Zaid Hearst had 13 points and three rebounds against Rider, recording double-digits offensively in nine of his last 11 games. Hearst has scored at least 25 points in three of his last four games, included a career high of 33 against Canisius (1/30). He is averaging 24.0 points and 6.8 rebounds in his last four games, while shooting 56.3 percent from the floor, 45.5 percent from long range and 84.1 percent from the free-throw line. 

VERY PROFICIENT
Zaid Hearst is 11th in the MAAC in scoring (15.3), 10th in free-throw percentage (.802), and 12th in both field goal percentage (.467) and in three-point shooting percentage (.403). Hearst has 10 or more points in nine of his last 11 games and has at least 20 points in seven games this year. 

CRASHING THE BOARDS
Zaid Hearst had 25 points and 10 rebounds against Manhattan (1/26) en route to his 10th career double-double. Hearst has seven double-doubles on the season, which has him ranked fourth in the MAAC and tied for 53rd in the nation. He ranks fourth in the league in rebounds per game (7.5) and is top 10 in both offensive and defensive rebounding. 

A FORCE ON THE BLOCK
Ousmane Drame collected his 17th career double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds against Siena (2/1). Drame has reached double-digits in four of his last six games, which included the third 20-point game of his career against Fairfield (12/6). He has seven double-doubles on the season which has him ranked third in the conference and tied for 40th in the nation. He is also tied for 13th in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (3.8) and ranks 21st in rebounds per game (9.8). He had nine points and nine rebounds against Rider. 

ALONE AT THE TOP
Ousmane Drame has 112 career blocks which has him atop the leaderboard for Division I career blocks at Quinnipiac. Drame ranks sixth on the all-time list and only trails Maurice Morris '91 and Carl Miazaga '87 for fifth place in program history (114). He set a new QU Division I program record with seven blocks against Monmouth (1/16), breaking his own record of six which he had done twice before. Drame blocked four shots against Rider and passed CJ Vick (43) for the Quinnipiac Division I record for most blocks in a single season (47).

SCORING THE BASKETBALL
Umar Shannon netted 12 points against Rider, marking the 17th time he has reached 10 points in a game for the Bobcats. Shannon has at least 12 points in 11 of his last 12 games and has 15 or more points in 13 games this year. With his 25-point performance against Manhattan (1/26), Shannon (1,243) crossed the 1,200 career-point plateau between his time at Quinnipiac and his stay at Saint Francis University. Shannon is averaging 14.0 points per game this year which ranks him third among Bobcat players and 15th in the MAAC.  

CALM, COOL AND COLLECTED
Umar Shannon ranks fourth in the MAAC in free-throw shooting percentage, averaging 83.7 percent from the charity stripe. Shannon was 12-of-15 (.800) from the free-throw line against Siena (2/1), which included the game-tying tally with 28 seconds left to force overtime. It was the second time this year that he tied the score with a free-throw with fewer than 30 seconds to play. 

THE SHAQ ATTACK
Shaq Shannon finished with 12 points and five rebounds against Rider. He totaled double-digits offensively for the fifth time this year, and has double-figures in four of his last six games. Shannon is averaging 8.4 points and 4.8 rebounds during the six-game stretch, shooting 42.4 percent from the floor and 50 percent from long distance. 

THE SPARK
Evan Conti has provided a spark off the bench over the last four games. He is averaging 8.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game, while recording a season high of 11 points in two of those games. Conti totaled double-digits offensively in four of those five games, had a career high of eight assists against Canisius (1/30) and had eight rebounds against Manhattan (1/26). He had 10 points against Rider. 

STACKING UP IN NEW ENGLAND
Head Coach Tom Moore's .578 overall winning percentage is fourth best among active Division I Coaches in New England, only trailing UConn's Kevin Ollie (.712), Harvard's Tommy Amaker (.650) and Vermont's John Becker (.645). (Winning percentage among coaches with at least one season at respective institution)  

REBOUNDING DOMINANCE
The Bobcats lead the nation in rebounding margin (12.2) and offensive rebounds per game (17.7), and rebounds per game (46.4). 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 181 of his 211 games (.858) – including 53 of its last 54 games without losing the battle on the glass. In 74 of the 211 games, QU has posted a plus-10 or better rebounding margin, including 21 with plus-20 or better and a rebounding-margin high of 31 against Maine on Nov. 25, 2013. The Bobcats hold a remarkable 64-10 (.865) mark when holding a plus-10 edge and a 17-4 (.810) record with plus-20. 

ANOTHER REBOUNDING STAT…
Quinnipiac posted 50 rebounds for the sixth time this year against Manhattan (51) (1/26), marking the 23rd 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. 

BLOCK PARTY
Quinnipiac has had eight or more blocks in five games this year and had a season-high of 10 against Manhattan (1/9). QU ranks second in the MAAC and is tied for 59th in the nation in blocks per game (4.8). 

FREE-THROWS MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Over the last five seasons, Quinnipiac is 54-9 (.857) when making more free-throws than its opponent, including a 14-1 mark this year. Furthermore, the Bobcats are 14-0 in the last two seasons when making 25 or more free-throws. Quinnipiac ranks third in the MAAC in free-throw percentage (.723). 

LESS FOULS, MORE WINS
The Bobcats are 12-4 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 0-7. 

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 55-15 (.786) when keeping its opponent to below 40 percent from the field. This also includes a perfect 12-0 mark in the 2009-10 season.  

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. 

FREE-THROW FRENZY
Quinnipiac went to the line 65 times and made 47 of those attempts at Siena (2/1). The 47 made free-throws were the most by any NCAA Division I team this season, while the 65 attempts tied Morehead State (Marshall, 11/17/13) for the most attempts in a game this year. Furthermore, the 47 made free-throws were the third most makes in a game since the 1997-98 campaign. Both figures set new Quinnipiac Division I program records.

LOOKING AHEAD
Quinnipiac returns to action on Thursday night with a trip to Bridgeport to take on Fairfield University at Webster Bank Arena. Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m. and will be aired live on ESPN3.