Quinnipiac men’s basketball falls to Saint Peter’s on Senior Day

By on February 23, 2018

Morgan Tencza | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
The Quinnipiac men’s basketball team was unable to pick up a win on Senior Day, falling to Saint Peter’s (11-17, 5-12 MAAC) 52-43 on Friday night in Hamden.

Quinnipiac (10-19, 7-10 MAAC) simply couldn’t get anything to fall in this one. The Bobcats shot 15-for-54 from the field (27.8 percent), 5-for-26 from 3-point range and just 8-for-17 from the free throw line.  

“I thought our guys played really hard,” Quinnipiac head coach Baker Dunleavy said. “I thought it was one of our better defensive games this year. But obviously offensively when you go [15-for-54] from the field, and that’s not just us missing wide open shots, it’s [Saint Peter’s] doing a great job of contesting and being all over the place, so a combination of it just not being our night shooting the ball but also just not being able to execute and get what we want done, and a big part of that is just how hard [Saint Peter’s] played and how well they played.”

Saint Peter’s wasn’t much better shooting the ball in this one, as it shot just 37.8 percent from the field, but connected on 9-of-16 3-pointers, which helped the Peacocks control the game.  

Despite holding the Peacocks leading scorer Nick Griffin to just 1-of-7 shooting and three points, Quinnipiac was unable to ever grab the lead in this one.

“It’s a tough situation to be in,” Dunleavy said of his team struggling on the offensive end. “They’re actually fun ones to win. If you can just find a way in a game like that and take pride defensively, rebounding, just find a way to gut it out and win one, it’s a great way to win.  We’ve got to be a team that can win those type of games.”

Senior guard Cam Young and freshman forward Jacob Rigoni led the way scoring for the Bobcats, as Rigoni helped them climb back into the game at the end of the first half. Rigoni had 11 points, all before the break, but rattled off eight straight to help get Quinnipiac within nine at the half.

“I think [moving] off the ball,” Rigoni said of what got him going. “I think that is something that I have been trying to improve on as the seasons gone by.”

Young added 16 for the Bobcats, including a thunderous dunk as time expired, but he shot just 5-for-18 from the field and 1-for-7 from deep.

Morgan Tencza | The Quinnipiac Chronicle
“I felt like they really pressured me a lot,” Young said. “[Saint Peter’s] showed on a lot of ball-screens. I was just trying to stay aggressive. I still took shots that I normally take but they just weren’t falling tonight.”

The Bobcats struggled from beyond the arc in their 26 attempts, but Dunleavy doesn’t want them to stop being aggressive from deep.

“I do believe we took some threes that were a bit too early in the shot clock,” Dunleavy said.  “We could have gotten better ones. I don’t mind 26 3-point attempts, I’m confident in our shooters, but at the same time it’s about the type of three that [we] take and if we look at the film we will probably see that we could have driven the ball against closely guarded situations.”

The loss has Quinnipiac on the outside looking in for a first round bye in next week’s MAAC tournament in Albany.  Still, Dunleavy expects his team to get back to work and prepare for their next game.

“We don’t like to lose,” Dunleavy said.  “But that’s not going to distract us from getting better tomorrow.”

Quinnipiac will travel to Manhattan to take on the Jaspers (13-15, 8-8 MAAC) on Sunday in its regular season finale.

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