February 12, 2014

Men's Basketball Game Central: Quinnipiac at Fairfield - Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 at 8:30 PM Live on ESPN3

MAAC Men's Basketball: Quinnipiac at Fairfield at 8:30 PM | ESPN3
Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014 | Webster Bank Arena | Bridgeport, Conn.
Quinnipiac | 15-8, 10-4 MAAC | Game Notes | Homepage
Fairfield | 5-20, 2-12 MAAC | Game Notes | Homepage
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All-Time Series  1-1

Series at Fairfield

 First Meeting


BOBCATS LOOK FOR SEASON SWEEP OF FAIRFIELD
Winners of three straight and four of its last five, the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team (15-8, 10-4 MAAC) returns to the hardwood on Thursday night. The Bobcats travel down the road to Bridgeport for a clash with Fairfield University (5-20, 2-12 MAAC) at Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard. Tip-off is set for 8:30 p.m. and the game will be aired live on ESPN3. 

ALL-TIME AGAINST FAIRFIELD
Although they stand just 30 miles apart, Quinnipiac and Fairfield are meeting for just the third time. The first meeting came back in 2011 at the Connecticut 6 Classic where the Stags held off a late surge from the Bobcats. A few months back, Quinnipiac and Fairfield met for the first time since QU joined the MAAC. The Bobcats evened up the series with an 83-79 win behind dominant performances from Ousmane Drame and Ike Azotam. 

SCOUTING THE STAGS
Fairfield is 5-20 overall and 2-12 in league play. Despite the lopsided record, half of Fairfield's losses are by single-digits with half of those by four points or fewer. That includes a strong showing against the Bobcats back on Dec. 6 when Quinnipiac mustered a four-point victory in Hamden. Fairfield's two conference wins are against Manhattan (71-67) earlier in the year and Monmouth (60-56) just two games ago. Last time out, Fairfield dropped a heartbreaker at Siena, 77-75, where the Saints broke the 75-75 deadlock with a bucket in the closing seconds. Maurice Barrow led all Fairfield scorers with 18 points, one of five Fairfield student-athletes in double figures. Steve Johnston was next in line for Fairfield with 14 points. Marcus Gilbert leads the team in scoring for the season (13.4) with Barrow (13.0) right behind him. 

LAST TIME OUT AGAINST MARIST
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team won at home again on Monday night, defeating Marist College, 83-78, on Lender Court at the TD Bank Sports Center. Umar Shannon led all scorers with a season-high 26 points, while Ousmane Drame collected his ninth double-double of the season in the win.

HEATING UP IN FEBRUARY
Over course of the past six seasons, Tom Moore and the Bobcats have posted a 35-8 (.814) record in the month of February, including an 18-3 (.857) mark at the TD Bank Sports Center. Furthermore, through the last five seasons, the Bobcats are 30-5 (.857) and 16-1 (.941) when playing in Hamden. Quinnipiac went 7-1 in February last season and is 3-0 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 16.7 points and 11.0 rebounds per game, with Ousmane Drame bringing in 12.4 points and 9.9 rebounds per contest. 

SCORING THE BASKETBALL
Umar Shannon was spectacular against Marist, netting 20 points for the fifth time this season. Shannon finished with a season high 26 points, dished out four assists and grabbed three rebounds in the win. It was the 18th time this year that he has reached double-digits, and it was the 12th time in his last 13 games scoring at least 12 points. Shannon has 1,269 career points between his time at Saint Francis U and Quinnipiac, upping his career scoring average to 13.1 points per game. Shannon is averaging 14.5 points per game this year which ranks him third among Bobcat players and 14th 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 (Manhattan, 1/26). 

A FORCE ON THE BLOCK
Ousmane Drame collected his 18th career double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds against Marist. Drame has reached double-digits in four of his last six games, averaging 12.8 points, 12.2 rebounds and 3.8 blocks during the stretch. He has eight double-doubles on the season which has him tied for second in the conference and tied for 30th in the nation. He also ranks 19th in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (3.7) and 20th in rebounds per game (9.9). 

ALONE AT THE TOP
Ousmane Drame has 119 career blocks which has him atop the leaderboard for most blocks during a Division I career at Quinnipiac. Drame ranks fourth on the all-time list and only trails LeRon Gittens '94 for third place in program history (123). He matched his QU Division I program record of seven blocks against Marist, which he had also done earlier this year against Monmouth (1/16). He became the sixth player ever at Quinnipiac to have 50 blocks in a season, and also set the Division I record for most blocks in a single season (54). 

FEED THE BIG MAN
Ike Azotam had 15 points and five rebounds against Marist. He has 1,470 career points and 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 (2/8) marked his 16th career 20-point game.  

IN ELITE COMPANY
Ike Azotam has 970 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.  

CHASING RUTTY
Ike Azotam collected his 40th career double-double with 21 points and 12 rebounds against Rider (2/8). Azotam only sits behind Justin Rutty's Quinnipiac Division I record of 41 career double-doubles. He has double-doubles in eight out of his last 12 games, and has reached double-digits offensively in 20 straight games. Azotam ranks second in the country in offensive rebounds per game (4.7), is tied for third in double-doubles (14.0), and ranks sixth in rebounds per game (11.0). 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 89 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 15 points and nine rebounds against Marist, now recording double-digits offensively in 10 of his last 12 games. Hearst has scored at least 25 points in three of his last five games, including a career high of 33 against Canisius (1/30). He is averaging 22.2 points and 7.2 rebounds in his last five games, while shooting 51.7 percent from the floor, 37.5 percent from long range and 86.0 percent from the free-throw line. 

VERY PROFICIENT
Zaid Hearst is 11th in the MAAC in scoring (15.3), eighth in free-throw percentage (.811), and 14th in both field goal percentage (.460) and in three-point shooting percentage (.390). Hearst has 10 or more points in 10 of his last 12 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 61st 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. 

THE SPARK
Evan Conti has provided a spark off the bench over the last six games. He is averaging 8.0 points, 5.0 rebounds and 4.0 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 six games, had a career high of eight assists against Canisius (1/30) and had eight rebounds against Manhattan (1/26). He had six points, seven rebounds and six assists against Marist. 

THE SHAQ ATTACK
Shaq Shannon finished with 12 points and five rebounds against Rider (2/8). He totaled double-digits offensively for the fifth time this year, and has double-figures in four of his last seven games. Shannon is averaging 8.0 points and 4.5 rebounds during the seven-game stretch, shooting 40.0 percent from the floor and 45 percent from long distance. 

STACKING UP IN NEW ENGLAND
Head Coach Tom Moore's .580 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 (.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 (12.0) and offensive rebounds per game (17.3), and rebounds per game (46.3). 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 182 of his 212 games (.859) – including 54 of its last 55 games without losing the battle on the glass. In 74 of the 212 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 six games this year and had a season-high of 10 against Manhattan (1/9). QU ranks second in the MAAC and ranks 44th in the nation in blocks per game (4.8).

FREE-THROWS MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Over the last five seasons, Quinnipiac is 55-9 (.859) when making more free-throws than its opponent, including a 15-1 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 (.727).

LESS FOULS, MORE WINS
The Bobcats are 13-4 (.765) 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 56-15 (.789) 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. Quinnipiac is 6-0 this year when making 45.0 percent of its field goals.

HOME COOKING
Quinnipiac is 15-2 in its last 17 home games at the TD Bank Sports Center. Since head coach Tom Moore took over in 2007, the Bobcats are 65-33 (.663) on Lender Court. Furthermore, Quinnipiac has won 13 of its last 14 games at home against conference opposition (dating back to last season), and has won seven out of its last eight overall on Lender Court. Moore is 45-17 (.726) in conference games at the Bank.

LOOKING AHEAD
Quinnipiac returns to action on Sunday, Feb. 16 for a special day at the TD Bank Sports Center. The Bobcats will celebrate Senior Day prior to their 4 p.m. tip-off against Saint Peter's University. The Peacocks defeated Quinnipiac in their first meeting back in January.