February 14, 2014

Men's Basketball Game Central: Quinnipiac vs. SPU - Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014 at 4:00 PM | Senior Day at the Bank

Quinnipiac (16-8, 11-4 MAAC) vs.
Saint Peter's (9-15, 5-10 MAAC)
TD Bank Sports Center • Hamden, Conn.
Sunday, February 16, 2014 • 4:00 PM
All-Time Series vs. SPU (DI): 0-3 (0-1)
Last Meeting:
January 12, 2014 • L, 74-67
QU Last five: 4-1
SPU Last Five: 2-3

QU HOSTS SPU FOR SENIOR DAY
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team (16-8, 11-4 MAAC) looks to continue its hot streak on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014 at the TD Bank Sports Center. Winners in four straight and five of their last six, the Bobcats host Saint Peter's University (9-15, 5-10 MAAC) for Senior Day on York Hill Campus. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m. on Lender Court.  

SENIOR DAY
Quinnipiac University Men's Basketball Head Coach Tom Moore and Director of Athletics and Recreation Jack McDonald will recognize the senior class members of the men's basketball program on Sunday. Ike Azotam, Shaq Shannon and Umar Shannon are heading down the final stretch of their careers, and will be honored prior to tip-off.  

SCOUTING THE PEACOCKS
Saint Peter's enters Sunday's matchup with a 9-15 record overall and a 5-10 mark in league play. While the Peacocks turned some heads early on in conference play, a five-game losing streak through the end of January and into February really hurt SPU in the standings. Saint Peter's bounced back with consecutive wins against Siena and Monmouth, but endured its 10th MAAC loss last time out against Iona. In the game, A.J. English spoiled a furious comeback attempt by Saint Peter's by hitting a 3-pointer with 0.7 seconds left to lift Iona to a 62-59 win on Wednesday. Desi Washington paced Saint Peter's with 18 points. Chris Burke stuffed the stat sheet with 14 points, five rebounds and five assists, while Marvin Dominique chipped in 13 points and seven rebounds in the loss. Dominique leads the team in scoring this season with 17.1 points per game.

ALL-TIME AGAINST SAINT PETER'S
Sunday's matchup will be the second meeting since Quinnipiac joined the MAAC last July. Still in search of its first win all-time against Saint Peter's, Quinnipiac looks to avenge its loss to the Peacocks earlier in the year when SPU held serve on its home court with a 74-67 victory. Quinnipiac and Saint Peter's squared off two other times with the two meetings occurring back in 1956 and 1957. 

LAST TIME OUT AGAINST FAIRFIELD
Relying on its depth hadn't really factored in until recent weeks, and never more so than on Thursday night for the Quinnipiac men's basketball team. Playing without six Bobcat players due to injury, Quinnipiac was unfazed in an 80-72 victory over Fairfield University at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. Ike Azotam finished with a game-high 23 points and nine rebounds, and Ousmane Drame added 17 points and eight rebounds to lead the Bobcats. Quinnipiac's backcourt was led by Zaid Hearst, Shaq Shannon and Evan Conti who each finished in double-figures. Hearst had 20 points and five rebounds; Shannon had 10 points and eight rebounds and Conti had 10 points and five rebounds. 

HEATING UP IN FEBRUARY
Over course of the past six seasons, Tom Moore and the Bobcats have posted a 36-8 (.818) record in the month of February, including a 19-3 (.864) mark at the TD Bank Sports Center. Furthermore, through the last five seasons, the Bobcats are 31-5 (.861) and 17-1 (.944) when playing in Hamden. Quinnipiac went 7-1 in February last season and is 4-0 this year.

HOME COOKING
Quinnipiac is 16-2 in its last 18 home games at the TD Bank Sports Center. In the last five seasons, Quinnipiac is 53-19 (.736) overall and 35-9 (.795) against conference opponents at the Bank, which serve as the second best winning percentages among MAAC teams during that stretch. 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. Since head coach Tom Moore took over in 2007, the Bobcats are 65-33 (.663) overall and 45-17 (.726) in conference games in Hamden.

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 17.0 points and 11.0 rebounds per game, with Ousmane Drame bringing in 12.6 points and 9.8 rebounds per contest.  

FEED THE BIG MAN
Ike Azotam had 23 points and nine rebounds against Fairfield. He has 1,493 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 23-point effort against the Stags marked his 17th career 20-point game.  

IN ELITE COMPANY
Ike Azotam has 979 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 13 games, and has reached double-digits offensively in 21 straight games. Azotam ranks second in the country in offensive rebounds per game (4.6), is tied for third in double-doubles (14.0), and ranks seventh 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 to record 15 or more rebounds in three straight games (1/4 – 1/9).

A FORCE ON THE BLOCK
Ousmane Drame finished with 17 points and eight rebounds against Fairfield. He has reached double-digits in five of his last seven games, averaging 13.4 points, 11.6 rebounds and 3.6 blocks during the stretch. He has nine double-doubles on the season which has him tied for second in the conference and tied for 30th in the nation. He also ranks 15th in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (3.7) and 19th in rebounds per game (9.8). Drame collected his 18th career double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds against Marist (2/10). 

ALONE AT THE TOP
Ousmane Drame has 121 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 (56).  

CRUISE CONTROL
Zaid Hearst had 20 points and five rebounds against Fairfield, now recording double-digits offensively in 11 of his last 13 games. Hearst has scored at least 20 points in four of his last six games, including a career high of 33 against Canisius (1/30). He is averaging 21.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in his last six games, while shooting 50 percent from the floor, 38.9 percent from long range and 86.2 percent from the free-throw line.  

VERY PROFICIENT
Zaid Hearst is 10th in the MAAC in scoring (15.5), eighth in free-throw percentage (.817), and 14th in both field goal percentage (.457) and in three-point shooting percentage (.392). Hearst has eight 20-point 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 fifth in the league in rebounds per game (7.4) and is top 10 in both offensive and defensive rebounding. 

THE SPARK
Evan Conti has provided a spark off the bench over the last seven games. He is averaging 8.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game, while recording a season high of 11 points in two of those games. Conti totaled double-digits offensively in five of those seven games, had a career high of eight assists against Canisius (1/30) and had eight rebounds against Manhattan (1/26). He had 10 points and five rebounds against Fairfield.  

THE SHAQ ATTACK
Shaq Shannon finished with 10 points and eight rebounds against Fairfield. He totaled double-digits offensively for the sixth time this year, and has double-figures in five of his last eight games. Shannon is averaging 7.4 points and 5.1 rebounds during the eight-game stretch, shooting 45.9 percent from the floor and 55.6 percent from long distance. 

SCORING THE BASKETBALL
Umar Shannon was spectacular against Marist (2/10), 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). 

STACKING UP IN NEW ENGLAND
Head Coach Tom Moore's .582 overall winning percentage is fourth best among active Division I Coaches in New England, only trailing UConn's Kevin Ollie (.722), Harvard's Tommy Amaker (.650) and Vermont's John Becker (.649). (Winning percentage among coaches with at least one season at respective institution)  

REBOUNDING DOMINANCE
The Bobcats lead the nation in rebounding margin (11.8) and offensive rebounds per game (17.0), and rebounds per game (46.0). 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 183 of his 213 games (.859) – including 55 of its last 56 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 52nd in the nation in blocks per game (4.9). 

FREE-THROWS MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Over the last five seasons, Quinnipiac is 56-9 (.862) when making more free-throws than its opponent, including a 16-1 mark this year. Furthermore, the Bobcats are 15-0 in the last two seasons when making 25 or more free-throws. Quinnipiac ranks third in the MAAC in free-throw percentage (.719). 

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 57-15 (.792) 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 third time this season against Fairfield. 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 30 games over the last five seasons, posting a 25-5 (.833) mark when accomplishing that feat. Quinnipiac is 7-0 this year when making 45.0 percent of its field goals.

LOOKING AHEAD
Quinnipiac hits the road for a pair of games up in Buffalo, N.Y. next weekend. The Bobcats take on Canisius College on Thursday, Feb. 20 (7 p.m.) at the Koessler Athletic Center and then head a few miles down the road to Niagara on Saturday, Feb. 22 (3 p.m.).