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Despite late scare, men’s basketball wins season opener [Video, slideshow]
Quinnipiac defeats Yale at Mohegan Sun Arena, 84-75
A 20-point lead with eight minutes to go dwindled down to six with 1:16 to go, but the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team held on to defeat the Yale Bulldogs, 84-75, in their season opener on Saturday night at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
“We were too casual with the big lead,” Quinnipiac head coach Tom Moore said. “I wish we would have managed the game a little bit better than we did – a lot better than we did – on both ends of the court.”
The Bobcats opened each half with big runs. They scored the first nine points of the game, and went on a 6-0 run to start the second half to take a 50-33 lead.
Moore answers questions after the win:
The lead reached as many as 21 points with 12:37 remaining, and after trading baskets for the next four minutes, the Bobcats held a 20-point advantage with 8:01 to go.
“We really played like a very immature, poorly coached team down the stretch, on both ends of the court,” Moore said.
Senior forward Justin Rutty led the Bobcats in points and rebounds. The reigning NEC Player of the Year had 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Rutty left the game with 3:25 to go after catching the ball and coming to a quick stop. He limped off the court and rode a stationary bike for the rest of the game. After the game, Rutty said he “just caught a cramp” in his leg.
Photo credit: Joe Pelletier
Junior guard James Johnson added 16 points and five assists, while senior Deontay Twyman added 16 points of his own.
Freshman forward Mike Gabriel chipped in 10 points, going 3-for-4 from the field.
“We’re not going to be too successful if we spot teams leads, especially teams that are picked to win their conference,” Yale head coach James Jones said.
Yale junior forward Greg Mangano led all players in scoring with 20 points and added nine rebounds.
The win marks Moore’s fourth consecutive win on opening nights since his arrival at Quinnipiac in 2007.
“It’s been a little difficult managing expectations at Quinnipiac this year, because everyone’s anointed us to be this outstanding team,” Moore said. “We obviously have to get a whole lot better.”