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Men’s basketball cruises past Niagara
Bobcats use 20-0 second-half run to win 13th game
The Quinnipiac men’s basketball team put on an offensive display on Sunday afternoon at the TD Bank Sports Center, defeating conference rival Niagara by the final score of 91-69.
The win avenges the loss that the Bobcats took at Niagara last Sunday, as they lost to the Purple Eagles 105-100 in double overtime.
Senior Evan Conti led the way for Quinnipiac, scoring 21 points off the bench. Quinnipiac had four players in total score in double figures.
“I was feeling it,” Conti said. “Once you see one go in, you start getting confidence and lately I’ve been more aggressive which helped to give our team momentum tonight.”
Quinnipiac came out of the gate hot, grabbing a 10-0 lead early on in the first half and showed no signs of slowing down.
The Bobcats defense was swarming the opposition, only allowing Niagara to make one jump shot in the entire half.
Quinnipiac took a 36-17 lead into halftime, then came out firing on all cylinders again in the second half.
Conti and James Ford Jr. found success beyond the arc, as the Bobcats went on 20-0 run that included a string of four consecutive possessions with a 3-point field goal.
“The defensive stops and sharing the ball especially in transition are the most contagious for our basketball team,” Quinnipiac head coach Tom Moore said. “Our guys really pulled for each other and made great offensive plays during that 20-0 run.”
The Bobcats then held off Niagara’s late run, which was led by Emile Blackman’s 20 points in the last 10 minutes. Blackman had 32 points overall.
Quinnipiac had season-high 28 assists on 37 made field goals.
The Bobcats made 14 3-point field goals as a team, which is the most they have had in a game since December of 2004 against Robert Morris.
Zaid Hearst only played 19 minutes due to the big lead and the major contributions from role players like Justin Harris, who added a career-high 15 points.
“We passed the ball great today,” Harris said. “I just tried to put myself in the right positions to score when the defense attracted Zaid, I would slide off of screens which made it easy to put the ball in the basket.”
With the win, the Bobcats improve to 13-10 overall on the season, and 7-7 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play.
Quinnipiac looks to continue its recent winning ways in its next game against Fairfield on Friday.