Quinnipiac men’s basketball edges Saint Peter’s
To say that the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team was shorthanded Sunday would be an understatement.
The Bobcats were without starting point guard Umar Shannon, Kasim Chandler and Justin Harris against Saint Peter’s, a team whom they had lost against earlier this season.
For the second straight game only seven players saw more than a minute on the floor, but Quinnipiac found a way to win its fifth-straight game, beating Saint Peter’s 74-64.
Big men Ousmane Drame and Ike Azotam were once again the story for the Bobcats, as both recorded a double-double in the win. Drame finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds, while Azotam registered 16 points and 11 rebounds.
“It just puts stress on your defense, because you’ve got to do something to try and stop them,” Quinnipiac head coach Tom Moore said. “They’re two experienced kids with a lot of talent and a lot of muscle. They’re a load. One of them would be a load, but to have to face two of them just strains a defense.”
Drame finished 10-of-14 from the floor, while Azotam went 7-of-16.
“I challenged them to play better and tougher than they did down in Saint Peter’s, and they did,” Moore said. “I thought they were the best two players on the floor.”
Azotam’s double-double was his 41st at Quinnipiac, which puts him in a tie for first place in program history.
“We just wanted to come out with the same toughness that we’ve had the last few games,” Azotam said. “It was a good team win.”
“He’s a great player, one of the best to come to Quinnipiac,” Drame said of Azotam. “I’ve looked up to him since I was a freshman.”
Saint Peter’s opened the game up on a 12-1 run, making four of its first five shots from the field. Quinnipiac did not make a shot from the floor until Drame put in a layup from the left side of the basket 4:48 in.
“I was more upset with our defense during that stretch than our offense,” Moore said. “[Saint peter’s] was really sharp early, and we were just a split-second late on a few things. We just looked a little stuck in cement on defense early.”
The Bobcats would bounce back, however. James Ford sunk a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 9:24 left in the half, giving Quinnipiac its first lead of the day, 17-16.
The Bobcats headed into the locker room with a 31-27 lead, then broke things open in the second half. Their largest lead came with 7:02 left, when they were up by 20 points over the Peacocks.
“I was just happy with our toughness,” Moore said. “We are on the last day of a long stretch, so it was great to see the guys respond the way they did.”
Zaid Hearst added 20 points for the Bobcats. Hearst, Drame and Azotam accounted for 59 of Quinnipiac’s 74 total points.
Three players scored in double figures for Saint Peter’s. Trevis Wyche had 16 points, Dominique Marvin had 15 and Chris Burke had 12.
With the win, Quinnipiac improves to 17-8 on the season and 12-4 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. The Bobcats are 17-2 in their last 19 home games.
Quinnipiac is back in action Thursday, when it travels to Canisius.