March 1, 2014

Men's Basketball Game Central: Quinnipiac at Marist - Sunday, March 1, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Quinnipiac (19-9, 14-5 MAAC) at
Marist (11-18, 8-11 MAAC)
McCann Field House • Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Sunday, March 2, 2014 • 2:00 PM
All-Time Series vs. Marist:
1-0
Last Meeting: February 10, 2014 • W, 83-78
QU Last Five: 4-1
Marist Last Five: 3-2

THE REGULAR SEASON FINALE
The 2013-14 regular season comes to a close for the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team (19-9, 14-5 MAAC) on Sunday afternoon. The Bobcats final tune-up game before the MAAC Tournament takes place at McCann Field House against Marist College (11-17, 8-10 MAAC) in Poughkeepsie. The two teams met for the first time a few weeks ago, where Quinnipiac earned bragging rights with an 83-78 victory. Tip-off for the backend of the series is slated for 2 p.m.  

ALL-TIME AGAINST MARIST
The first ever meeting between the two schools went in favor of the Bobcats on Feb. 10, 2014. Umar Shannon led all scorers with 26 points, while Ousmane Drame collected his ninth double-double of the season in the win. Quinnipiac held Marist to just 39.4 percent from the floor, a number that would have been even lower despite 54.5 percent shooting from long range. Quinnipiac blocked nine shots on the night and altered several others with their size underneath. Marist shot just 36.1 percent in the second half. 

SCOUTING THE RED FOXES
Marist enters the final weekend of the regular season in a tie for seventh place in the MAAC, and can finish anywhere from sixth to eighth. Marist is looking to get back in the win column following three straight losses, the most recent coming against Fairfield by a score of 78-74 on Friday night. Against the Stags, three Red Foxes scored in double digits, paced by Adam Kemp with 20 points. Chavaughn Lewis finished with 18 points and MAAC Rookie of the Year front-runner Khallid Hart had 13. Lewis leads the team in scoring at 17.2 points per game, and Hart has scored at least 15 points in six out of the last seven games. Prior to the game, the program will hold its Senior Day ceremony. 

LAST TIME OUT AGAINST SIENA
Quinnipiac's seven-game winning streak came to a close on Thursday night, as the Bobcats fell to Siena College in heartbreaking fashion, 72-70, at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden. The loss drops Quinnipiac to 19-9 overall and 14-5 in conference play, but still has the Bobcats in control of second place in the league standings.  

PLAYOFF IMPLICATIONS
With a win, the Bobcats would clinch the No. 2 seed in the upcoming MAAC Tournament. Quinnipiac has the No. 3 seed locked up, and has earned a first round bye and a quarterfinal matchup against an opponent on short rest.  

A LOOK INTO THE NUMBERS…
Over the past five seasons in the months of January and February, Quinnipiac is 60-27 (.690) overall and 59-25 (.702) in conference games. During that span, the Bobcats are 33-9 (.786) on their home court, and 32-9 (.780) on their home court against conference opponents.  

QUINNIPIAC IN FEBRUARY
Over course of the past five seasons in February, Quinnipiac is 34-6 (.850) overall and 17-2 (.895) in home games. All of these games have been against conference opposition. Quinnipiac is 14-2 over the last two seasons and 7-1 this year. 

COLLEGE INSIDER TOP 25
Quinnipiac's hot streak hasn't gone unnoticed around mid-major college basketball. In the most recent census, the Bobcats claimed the 25th slot in the College Insider Mid-Major Poll, which was released on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. 

DOUBLE TROUBLE
Quinnipiac is the only team in the country that has two players averaging a double-double for the 2013-14 season. Quinnipiac is also one of just two teams (UNLV) that has two players averaging at least 10.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, and that has two players with at least 10 double-doubles this year. Ike Azotam is averaging 16.9 points and 10.7 rebounds per game with 17 double-doubles, while Ousmane Drame is averaging 13.5 points and 10.3 rebounds per contest with 13 double-doubles.  

DOUBLE-DOUBLE KING
Quinnipiac's Division I leader in career double-doubles, Ike Azotam, collected the 43rd of his career with 15 points and 10 rebounds against Siena. Azotam ranks third in the country in offensive rebounds per game (4.5), is tied for second in double-doubles (17.0), and ranks seventh in rebounds per game (10.7). All three of these figures lead the MAAC. 

CHASING THE REBOUND RECORD
Ike Azotam (1,016) trails Justin Rutty's (1,032) QU Division I rebounding record by just 16 with at least two games left to play. Azotam grabbed his 1,000th career rebound against Niagara (2/22) and became the fourth player in Quinnipiac history to accomplish the feat. He was the third player in Quinnipiac history, and the second during the Division I era, to record 1,500 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career. Furthermore, Azotam serves as the only player in QU history to have 1,500 points, 1,000 rebounds and 95 blocks.  

CLIMBING THE LADDER
Ike Azotam surpassed Justin Rutty for 13th on the all-time scoring list, and for third place on the Division I scoring list at Quinnipiac. He was the 14th player in Quinnipiac history, and the third since QU joined Division I, to score 1,500 points in career. 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 (1,559) trails Carl Miazga '87 (1,601) for 12th on the all-time list and trails Rob Monroe '05 (1,685) for second on the Division I list. Azotam posted a season high of 26 points against Niagara (2/22). 

CLOSING IN ON JAMEE JACKSON
Ike Azotam recorded a career high of five blocks against Iona (1/6). He has 93 blocks for his career which has him ranked fourth during the Division I era and top 10 all-time. With five more blocks, Azotam would tie Jamee Jackson for third on the DI career blocks list. Azotam's five blocks against Iona were the third most in a game 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).  

EMERGING INTO A STAR
Ousmane Drame notched his 22nd career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds against Siena. Drame has a double-double in five out of his last six games, and has 13 this season which has him ranked second in the MAAC and tied for 13th in the nation. He also ranks seventh in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (4.0) and 11th in rebounds per game (10.3).  

MILESTONES IN REACH
Ousmane Drame has recorded double-digits offensively in seven of his last eight games. He has 859 career points and 728 career rebounds, which is on pace for 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. 

ALONE AT THE TOP
Ousmane Drame has 125 career blocks which has him atop the leaderboard for most blocks during a Division I career at Quinnipiac. Drame ranks third all-time and only trails Brian Dawson '95 (135) for second place in program history. He matched his QU Division I program record of seven blocks against Marist (2/10), which he had also done earlier this year against Monmouth (1/16). He became the fourth player ever at Quinnipiac to have 60 blocks in a season, which also set the Division I record for most blocks in a single season. His 60 blocks this year is the fourth most in a single season at Quinnipiac.  

MAAC AND ECAC PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ousmane Drame was named MAAC Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the second time this year, announced by the league office on Monday, February 24, 2014. Drame averaged 20.0 points and 15.5 rebounds for the week while collecting his 20th and 21st career double-doubles. 

1,000 POINTS IN REACH
Zaid Hearst has 998 career points, leaving him two shy of 1,000 at Quinnipiac. Hearst has double-digits offensively in nine of his last 10 games, which includes six 20-point games and one with 30. He is averaging 11.0 points per game during his career. 

VERY PROFICIENT
Zaid Hearst ranks 10th in the MAAC in scoring (15.5), seventh in free-throw percentage (.829), and top 20 in both three-point shooting percentage (.374) and in field goal percentage (.436). Hearst went 17-of-18 from the free-throw line against Canisius (2/20) which marked Koessler Athletic Center records for both made free-throws and attempted free-throws in a game by a visiting player. 

CRASHING THE BOARDS
Zaid Hearst was two rebounds shy of his 11th career double-double against Siena (12 points, 8 rebounds). Hearst has seven double-doubles on the season, which has him ranked fourth in the MAAC and tied for 82nd in the nation. He is sixth in the league in rebounds per game (7.0) and is among the MAAC leaders in both offensive and defensive rebounding. 

THE SPARK
Evan Conti had 10 points, five assists and two rebounds against Siena. He is averaging 9.1 points, 4.4 rebounds and 4.1 assists in his last seven games, while shooting 47.6 from the floor and 42.3 from long range. He has 10 points and/or five assists in four out of the seven games, including a season-high of 15 points against Niagara (2/22).  

CAREER HIGH FOR JUSTIN
Justin Harris notched career highs in points (11) and blocks (3) against Siena. He added five rebounds and was 7-of-8 from the free-throw line. Two games prior, he had a career high of nine rebounds against Canisius (2/20).   

CLUTCH IN CRUNCH TIME
Umar Shannon has been Quinnipiac's go-to player in crunch time, and has excelled at the opportunity. Shannon continued the trend at Niagara (2/22), hitting the game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer to defeat the Purple Eagles. He finished with nine points, four rebounds and three assists in the game, which followed a season-high of 26 points against Canisius in the team's previous game. He has at least 12 points in 13 out of his last 16 games, and has six 20-point games this year. Shannon has 1,307 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 14.3 points per game this year which ranks him third among Bobcat players and 15th in the MAAC.  

LOU HENSON NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Umar Shannon was tabbed Lou Henson National Player of the Week, announced by College Insider on Monday, February 24, 2014. Shannon averaged 17.5 points, 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists during the 2-0 week for the Bobcats.  

CALM, COOL AND COLLECTED
Umar Shannon ranks sixth in the MAAC in free-throw shooting percentage, averaging 83.2 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 .585 overall winning percentage is fourth best among active Division I Coaches in New England, only trailing UConn's Kevin Ollie (.724), Vermont's John Becker (.663) and Harvard's Tommy Amaker (.659). (Winning percentage among coaches with at least one season at respective institution)  

REBOUNDING DOMINANCE
The Bobcats lead the nation in rebounding margin (12.5) and offensive rebounds per game (17.4), and rebounds per game (46.1). 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 187 of his 217 games (.862) – including 59 of its last 60 games without losing the battle on the glass. In 77 of the 216 games, QU has posted a plus-10 or better rebounding margin, including 23 with plus-20 or better and a rebounding-margin high of 31 against Maine on Nov. 25, 2013. The Bobcats hold a remarkable 67-10 (.870) mark when holding a plus-10 edge and a 19-4 (.826) record with plus-20. 

ANOTHER REBOUNDING STAT…
Quinnipiac posted 50 rebounds for the seventh time this year against Niagara (51), marking the 24th 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 seven games this year and had a season-high of 10 against Manhattan (1/9). QU ranks second in the MAAC and is tied for 45th in the nation in blocks per game (4.9). 

FREE-THROWS MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Over the last five seasons, Quinnipiac is 57-9 (.864) when making more free-throws than its opponent, including a 17-1 mark this year. Furthermore, the Bobcats are 16-0 in the last two seasons when making 25 or more free-throws. Quinnipiac ranks third in the MAAC in free-throw percentage (.720).  

LESS FOULS, MORE WINS
The Bobcats are 14-4 (.778) 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 57-16 (.781) 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 fourth time this season against Saint Peter's (2/16). 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 31 games over the last five seasons, posting a 26-5 (.839) mark when accomplishing that feat. Quinnipiac is 9-0 this year when making 45.0 percent of its field goals. 

HOME SUCCESS FOR MOORE
Head coach Tom Moore coached his 100th career game at the TD Bank Sports Center against Saint Peter's back on Feb. 16. Since he took over in 2007, the Bobcats are 67-34 (.663) overall and 47-18 (.723) in conference games in Hamden. Quinnipiac is 18-3 in its last 21 home games at the TD Bank Sports Center. In the last five seasons, Quinnipiac is 53-19 (.736) overall and 36-10 (.783) against conference opponents at the Bank, which serve as the second best winning percentages among MAAC teams during that stretch. Furthermore, Quinnipiac has won 15 of its last 17 games at home against conference opposition (dating back to last season), and has won nine out of its last 11 overall on Lender Court.

LOOKING AHEAD
Quinnipiac's quest for the NCAA Tournament begins on Saturday, March 8, 2014 in the quarterfinals of the MAAC Tournament. The time and opponent have yet to be determined, and the game will be played at the MassMutual Center in Springfield.