HAMILTON, N.Y. - Four members of the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team registered double-figures in the scoring column on Wednesday evening, as the Bobcats handed Colgate University an 80-70 defeat at Cotterell Court in Hamilton, N.Y. The Bobcats shot 57 percent from the floor in the second half and connected on 28-of-31 from the free-throw line, two statistics that proved to be difference-makers in the final result.
With the win, Quinnipiac improved to 7-5 on the season, and have completed their regular-season non-conference road schedule. The Raiders suffered their second consecutive loss, dropping to 5-7 on the campaign.
Ike Azotam (Boston, Mass.) recorded game-highs in points (20) and rebounds (14) for his 10th career double-double, and number eight on the year. James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.) poured in 18 points on 4-of-9 shooting, including 9-of-10 from the free-throw line. He scored 11 in the second half and dished out a game-high six assists. Zaid Hearst (Bethesda, Md.) posted a new career-high with 16 points, as the freshman guard went 4-of-7 from the floor and 7-of-8 from the stripe. Dave Johnson (Jackson, N.J.) added 10 points and four rebounds.
The majority of the first half featured a back-and-forth battle, where neither team could gain a significant advantage. However, after the fourth and final media timeout, the Bobcats rallied off a 7-0 run to close the half en route to a 31-24 lead at the break. Dave Johnson and Nate Gause (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) accounted for the seven points on offense.
Azotam nearly collected his double-double in the first half, posting 10 points and nine boards. The backcourt duo of Dave Johnson and James Johnson combined for 15 points as well.
Upon resuming play after the intermission, Quinnipiac picked up right where it left off in the first half. Garvey Young (Washington, D.C.) knocked down a three-point field goal from the wing to cap off a 26-18 run at the 10:19 mark. The bucket forced first-year head coach Matt Langel into a timeout, as QU had created its largest lead of the game (15 points).
The Raiders wouldn't go away and began to chip away at the deficit behind stellar long-range shooting. Colgate reduced its deficit to just five points at two different points, but terrific shooting from the free-throw line and key baskets disallowed a complete comeback. The Bobcats made their last six shots from the line down the stretch, with Azotam putting the game away after converting on a three-point play in the waning seconds.
QU outshot Colgate 42 percent to 40 percent from the field, 90 percent (28-31) to 82 percent (14-17) from the free-throw line and controlled the glass with a plus-20 rebounding margin (45-25). 18 of the 45 rebounds came on the offensive end, which led to 19 second-chance points.
Forward Ousmane Drame, in his second-career start, posted six points and seven rebounds. Young and Gause combined for 10 points off the bench.
Mike Venezia had 15 points to lead all Raiders, who head to New Hampshire on Saturday. Sterling Melville finished with 14 and Mitch Rolls added 10.
QU returns to action on Saturday, December 31 when the team plays host to Boston University at the TD Bank Sports Center. Tip-off is set for noon with a live broadcast featured on NESN and SNY. For all information pertaining to the men's basketball program, please visit www.quinnipiacbobcats.com.
Contact: Tony Distasio; Ardistasio@quinnipiac.edu