Men’s basketball defeats Iona in overtime at Paradise Jam

By on November 17, 2012

To Face No. 23 UConn on Sunday in semis

Lamont ‘Momo’ Jones will be a name the Bobcats soon won’t forget.

But for the Bobcats, they will remember it with a victory in Paradise.

The Quinnipiac men’s basketball team was able to hang on and defeat Iona, 98-92, in overtime on Friday evening in the opening round of the Paradise Jam in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Jones forced the game into overtime with his late heroics as he sped down the court and drained a 3-pointer with 4.5 seconds remaining in regulation to tie the game at 79. Jones shot capped what was an eight point lead the Gaels overcame during the final 2:52 of regulation. Jones finished the game with 40 points, 32 of which came in the second half or the overtime period.

In overtime, Quinnipiac (2-1) jumped out to an early lead as Zaid Hearst drained a 3-pointer on the first possession followed by Shaq Shannon banking in a deep shot from behind the arc to give the Bobcats a 85-79 lead. Junior Ike Azotam then added four straight points to extend their lead to 89-82 with 1:32 remaining. That would be all the Bobcats would need as they hit 7-of-10 free throws in the final 1:22 to seal the six point victory.

The Bobcats will now move on to face the winner of the first game of the night which was No. 23 UConn who beat Wake Forest 77-71 to advance to the winners side of the bracket. That game will be played on Sunday, Nov. 18, at 9 p.m.

Iona (1-1) will play Wake Forest in the losers side of the bracket. That game will be played on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 5 p.m.

After a rough first half in which he turned the ball over seven times, Azotam came to life down the stretch and finished the game with a double-double and season-high 21 points as well as 10 rebounds which was also a season-high. He also was 5-for-5 from the foul line.

Jamee Jackson provided a big game for Quinnipiac with a double-double of his own with 17 points and 10 rebounds, both of which are also season-highs for Jackson. He hit 6-of-7 from the floor.

Hearst, Dave Johnson and Ousmane Drame all finished in double figures as well scoring 17,12 and 10, respectively.

For Iona, Sean Armand has 18 points before fouling out in overtime. Tre Bowman added 15 but shot just 3-for-11 from the field.

Quinnipiac, who has been a poor free throw shooting team over the years, hit 26-of-31 from the foul line as a team. The Gaels however were right there with them sinking 24-of-31.

The Bobcats did hold Iona to just 39 percent from the floor however while shooting 57 percent themselves.

If Quinnipiac wants to keep up with UConn, they will have to do a better job of handling the ball as they turned the ball over a season-high 24 times tonight, resulting in 28 Iona points.

Since Quinnipiac head coach Tom Moore took the reigns for the 2007-2008 season, the Bobcats had hit the 90 point mark just three times before tonight. Tonights 98 points are the most points the Bobcats have scored under Moore and the most points overall since Nov. 22, 2005 when they put up 106 against Concordia under former head coach Joe DeSantis.

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About Joe Addonizio

Sports Editor
Email: < Twitter: @tenaciousjoe
Year: 2013
Major: Print journalism
Hometown: Southbury, Conn.
Dream Job: Front office position with a MLB, NBA or NHL team