Men’s basketball rolls over Lehigh
Drame, Harris each record double-doubles
After suffering three-straight losses, the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team needed to bounce back in a big way on its home court Thursday evening. The Bobcats did just that, defeating Lehigh by a final score of 80-65 at the TD Bank Sports Center.
The game marks the first time Quinnipiac defeated Lehigh in the team’s last four matches, as well.
“That’s a team that our seniors haven’t beat,” Quinnipiac head coach Tom Moore said. “It has been a great rivalry, but the last four years it has been one-sided in their favor.”
The Bobcats came out of the gates on fire, opening up action on a 9-2 run. Quinnipiac never looked back, even stretching its lead to 22 at one point.
“It was nice to play a complete game,” Moore said.
The Bobcats had five players finish in double figures in the scoring department. Senior Ousmane Drame finished with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocks, while fellow senior Justin Harris posted 11 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks.
The one thing that seemed to enthuse Moore was the fact that the team totaled 22 assists on 30 baskets. Senior captain Zaid Hearst finished with a career-high 8 assists.
“I was making reads. In practice we focused on the guards spacing out when I drive,” Hearst said. “I hit a lot of guys today and they were making shots.”
The Bobcats got a lot of production from players off the bench. Junior guard James Ford Jr. finished with 12 points in just 15 minutes of play. Freshman guard Ayron Hutton also pitched in with five points, five assists and four rebounds in 18 minutes of play.
“The kids who came off the bench were ready to play. They go hard in practice and come off the bench excited,” Moore said. “Ayron Hutton is emerging offensively and getting confidence. James Ford [Jr.] is getting some confidence in his shot too.”
“Guys are ready on the bench,” Hearst said. “We can get it (scoring) from anybody, we are a deep team.”
Moore played nine players for 10 or more minutes in the contest.
“We’re happy that we were able to sprinkle the minutes around a little bit more,” Moore said. “It’s a long season and I’m trying to develop trust in more guys.”
With the win, the Bobcats improve to 4-5 on the season. Quinnipiac is back in action on Sunday, when it takes on Oregon St at the TD Bank Sports Center. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. in Hamden.