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Bobcats dump Dartmouth
Throughout the past year, there has been much hype and hearsay about Quinnipiac emerging into a “junior Ivy League.” Whatever the case may be, DeMario Anderson and the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team certainly showed the Ivy’s Dartmouth College a thing or two on the hardwood Wednesday night.
Anderson, using a compilation of mid-range jumpers and quick slashes to the basket, scored 27 points in 27 minutes as the Bobcats blasted the Big Green, 85-63 before 725 at the TD Banknorth Sports Complex.
The Bobcats shot a scintillating 64 percent from the floor in what was easily their best game of the young season. Sophomore point guard Casey Cosgrove dropped 12 points, draining all four of his three-pointers and handing out a game-high nine assists. The nine dimes tied a career-high for Cosgrove.
Off guard James Feldeine, inserted in the starting lineup for the injured Evann Baker, who was out with an injured hip, scored 11 points, all in the second half, including an extravagant two-handed slam on a fast break.
“I was obviously happy with the way we played offense,” said Bobcats coach Tom Moore. “I was most pleased with how efficient our perimeter guys were.”
The basket must have looked wider than the Quinnipiac River for the Bobcat guards, who hit 10-of-17 from beyond the arc.
Combo guard Bryan Geffen was a spark off the bench, scoring 12 points and kicking in a season-high eight assists as the Bobcats improved to 5-5 overall.
The story in the first half, however, was the Bobcats’ relentless defensive pressure. After being blitzed by UConn, Quinnipiac bounced back in a major way on the defensive side.
“What we showed tonight was some residual effects of the UConn preparation,” explained Moore, adding that the coaching staff placed strong emphasis on defense in the previous two practices.
“We, in essence, blew four practice days preparing to play a style totally different than we typically play (while preparing for UConn). I liked the fact that we had some hunger, defensively (tonight).”
It showed in the first half, as Feldeine locked up Dartmouth’s Alex Barnett, who entered the contest shooting 53 percent on the season.
Barnett, who hung 25 points on Vermont earlier in the season, was neutralized. Feldeine and the Bobcats forced him to take off-balance shots, and the guard/forward hit just two of his first eight shots in the first half.
“We gave him (Feldeine) Barnett as an assignment, he did a great job,” said Moore. “Obviously we knew who Barnett was (coming into the game).”
In the first half, Anderson was virtually uncontainable. The standout senior swingman scored 10 points in the first six minutes and ran off a personal 5-0 run that swelled Quinnipiac’s lead to 17 with 8:55 remaining.
“He was efficient,” said Moore. “When he gets somebody off-balance, he can just cut guys off.”
That he did, penetrating the teeth of the Big Green defense to the tune of 19 first-half points.
Quinnipiac came out firing. The Bobcats reeled off a 10-0 run that was capped off by a transition trey by Geffen. Dartmouth’s DeVon Mosley thwarted the run with a three of his own.
In the second half, the Bobcats were ignited by a thunderous dunk from 6-foot-9 center Ed Zajac. The momentum pendelum continued to swing the Bobcats’ way after Feldeine scored seven points in the span of a minute.
Wedged in between Feldeine’s aforementioned dunk was a trey from the right corner and a jumper from the other side of the floor.
“His identity is as a jump shooter,” said Moore of Feldeine, who had more space to get his shot off after being hounded by an ultra-long UConn team on Sunday.
Dartmouth couldn’t stop the bleeding from there. Senior Andrew Cashin got free for a layup that made it 58-39 with 13:51 remaining. At that point, Dartmouth had dug itself too deep a hole.
Karl Anderson, who finished with nine points off the bench, completed a three-point play before a Geffen three bumped the lead up to 29 points.
The Bobcats came out clicking on all cylinders, jumping out to a 13-7 lead they wouldn’t squander.
“This was big,” said Cosgrove. “We had to get this. We had to be on a little bit of a roll heading into Vermont (Saturday). We shot it well, I think we got each other open looks, which was good.”
The Bobcats will enter a hostile environment at UVM, where a marquee matchup that will be televised on NESN awaits. The Catamounts have established a go-to-guy in blossoming forward Marqus Blakely (18.9 PPG) and are led by a high-horsepower point guard in Mike Trimboli, who’s averaging 18 points and 4.3 assists.