Quinnipiac men’s basketball splits opening MAAC weekend after loss to Rider

By on January 6, 2019

The Quinnipiac men’s basketball team finished the two-game road series 1-1 in the MAAC (6-7 overall) after falling to the Rider Broncs 72-67 on Saturday, Jan. 5 in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

The Bobcats lost a close game to the Broncs after going back and forth with possession and leads for the entire second half. The first half was in favor mainly of Quinnipiac, leading the Broncs for 11 minutes of play, but even then, the largest margin of points between the teams stayed at five for the entire game.

Quinnipiac may have started the game down by five but, the game began to turn in the Bobcats’ favor after going on a 8-0 run to take the lead over Rider early on.

Morgan Tencza
Two of those eight points were enough to give senior forward Abdulai Bundu his 600th career point. He finished the game with four points and four rebounds.

The Bobcats got into foul trouble early on with freshman guard Tyrese Williams. Williams had three personal fouls within the first 10 minutes of the game, causing Quinnipiac head coach Baker Dunleavy to sit him after playing only five minutes.

“We would rather have (Williams) on the court,” Dunleavy said. “He is one of our better players. He’s young but he’s getting better every day.”

Williams played 33 minutes in the previous MAAC matchup against Manhattan, but only clocked in 17 minutes against Rider, 12 of them in the second half. Without a key starter in Williams, Dunleavy had to rely on the other starters, like graduate student guard Cameron Young, to step up.

Young continues to come up big for the Bobcats in many ways. He led all scorers with 24 points and had the most rebounds for Quinnipiac with nine. Before the game, Young was second in the MAAC for points per game with an average of 18.1 with his new average being 18.5.

The bench was also a key attribute to the game, specifically senior guard Aaron Robinson. Robinson played for a total of 28 minutes. Though he shot for 25 percent and tallied only three points, Dunleavy believes his defensive abilities kept the Bobcats in the game.

“I think the way (Robinson) played defense was a great effort out there and was inspiring. He helped us almost pull it (a win) off.”

The Bobcats were not able to pull off the win in the close game against Rider in the end. However, Dunleavy was optimistic about the way the game went.

“We did a lot better than the last time we played these guys (Rider),” Dunleavy said. “They are arguably the best team in the league so for us to [make] it all the way to the end, I was proud of our group. They were really good.”

Looking forward, Dunleavy believes that splitting the two games on the road in the beginning of MAAC play was a good learning lesson for the Bobcats.

“Whether you win both [games], lose both or split it, whatever you do, you got to find a way to learn from it and allow the road trip to improve you regardless of the record,” Dunleavy said.

The Bobcats will look to improve their MAAC record when they return to the People’s United Center on Thursday, Jan. 10 in their conference home opener to take on Monmouth University at 7 p.m.

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