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Men’s basketball wins in Moore’s debut
After waiting a whole year to play his first game with the Bobcats, Bryan Geffen made an unforgettable debut in Quinnipiac’s 85-79 double overtime victory over Hartford on Sunday at the TD Banknorth Sports Center.
Geffen, a transfer from Boston University, scored 19 points and dished out six assists and provided some late-game heroics to help new head coach Tom Moore win his debut.
“The first game of the season in front of the whole crowd, you always want to win that,” said Geffen of his team’s victory.
The Hawks had held Geffen scoreless in the first half, but the Bobcats’ sharpshooter would not be kept quiet for long.
“I knew eventually my shot was going to fall,” Geffen said.
With a shooter’s mentality, Geffen kept shooting and scored 14 of the team’s last 19 points in regulation to help erase a nine point deficit.
“Bryan Geffen has been in America East games,” Moore said. “You look at his recent bio in the media guide, he’s does some things in the America East.”
Quinnipiac looked to be in trouble when DeMario Anderson, who scored 16 points, fouled out with 2:34 remaining in regulation and the Bobcats trailing 56-55. However, Geffen and James Feldeine stepped in to pick up the slack for Anderson.
After the Hawks had extended their lead to four, Geffen knocked down his fourth 3-pointer to bring the Bobcats back within one. After a lay-up by the Hawks Warren McLendon, Feldeine sent the game to overtime with a 3-pointer from the corner which tied the game at 61.
“Last year I didn’t have the opportunities to step up,” said Feldeine who recorded his first career double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds. “By me stepping up this game, it shows that I am ready to play this year.”
In the first overtime, the Bobcats had a three point lead with under a minute remaining. Hartford’s Rich Baker, who scored 17 points, hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 70 and send it to overtime.
In the second overtime, the Bobcats pulled away right from the beginning and overcame a bad stretch of foul shooting to secure the 85-79 victory.
“I was happy we won, but I was even happier the game had ended,” Geffen said after playing over 40 minutes for the first time in his career.
Moore was pleased with the way his team played tough and was able to bounce back time after time.
“I was proud of their resiliency,” Moore said. “You don’t make shots early in the game and then you start losing guys that the team thinks are essential guys to us winning. Those things start happening and compounding and you look at the scoreboard at your down nine. I just liked the fact that the guys really came and showed some resiliency when things looked like we weren’t going to be able to pull this one out.”
Along with Feldeine and Geffen, the Bobcats received a big performance from freshman Evann Baker. In his first collegiate game, Baker scored 16 points and grabbed five rebounds while playing 44 minutes.
Also on the court for the Bobcats for both of the overtimes were Cosgrove and Zajac. Cosgrove, who got off to a slow start, was able to bounce back and finished with seven points and eight assists. Zajac contributed six points and 12 rebounds, most of them coming in key situations.
For Hartford, Warren McLendon scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. The Hawks feature McLendon in the low post after Louis Brookins and Justin Rutty had fouled out for the Bobcats near the end of regulation. Joe Zeglinski also had 20 points for Hartford.
Moore pointed to his team’s steady improvement on the defensive side of the ball as a key to their victory.
“We always try to preach defense,” Moore said. “We allow 44 percent field goal percentage defense in the first half, we allow 38 in the second half and we allow 32 percent in the two overtimes and that’s a stat I am very proud of.”
The Bobcats will return to action when they travel to take on Binghamton on Nov. 14. Their next home game is Nov. 20 against Maine. The game will be televised on NESN.