February 2, 2012

Strong Defensive Effort Lifts Men's Basketball Past Fairleigh Dickinson, 65-48

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HACKENSACK, N.J. - Sophomore Ike Azotam (Boston, Mass.) completed another double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds on Thursday night, as the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team topped Fairleigh Dickinson, 65-48, at Stratis Arena. The Bobcats held the hosting Knights to 32 percent shooting from the floor and 7.7 percent from behind the arc en route to their 12th win of the season. QU, now winners in three of its last four games, improves to 12-10 overall and 5-6 in league play.

Azotam was stellar for the Bobcats, as the 6-foot-7 power forward went 9-of-17 from the field, 4-of-4 from the line and snatched two steals in the triumph. Garvey Young (Washington, D.C.) also fared well from the floor, notching a new season-high with 13 points on 3-of-5 shooting, 5-of-5 from the stripe and 2-of-2 from long distance. James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.) added double-digits with 10 points, while fellow guard Dave Johnson (Jackson, N.J.) finished with a career-high 11 rebounds, five points and four dimes.

Stifling defense propelled the Q to an early lead in this one, as the Bobcats held the Knights to just 25.9 percent shooting in the first half. FDU only recorded seven field goals in the stanza, which included a 1-for-6 (16.7 percent) display from behind the arc and a 4-for-8 performance from the charity stripe.

On the offensive end, the Bobcats used a balanced attack that featured seven players in the scoring column. Azotam led the way with eight points and eight rebounds in the frame, as the visitors carried a 10-point, 29-19 advantage into the locker rooms at the break.

FDU responded nicely after the intermission though and closed the gap to five points just as the clock crossed the 15-minute mark. However, the Bobcats boasted a quick, 5-0, spurt over the next minute, which was then followed by a 13-8 run over the next eight minutes. Azotam capped off the second surge with an easy deuce underneath, allowing QU to cruise to a comfortable victory.

For the game, Quinnipiac outshot FDU, 40 percent (23-58) to 32 percent (17-53), from the floor, 50 percent (4-8) to 7.7 percent (1-13), from long range, and 88 percent (15-17) to 61.9 percent (13-21), from the free-throw line.

The Bobcats hauled in 45 rebounds and limited the Knights to just 30 for a plus-15 edge. QU collected 15 of them on the offensive end, which resulted in 12 second-chance points, and held FDU to three points on an extended possession. The Bobcats also owned the paint, 30-22.

Zaid Hearst (Bethesda, Md.) chimed in with seven points, which contained three crucial points in the late second-half rally. Ousmane Drame (Boston, Mass.) was tremendous on the boards, grabbing 10 of them to go along with five points. Drame remains nine boards shy of the rookie record for rebounds in a season. Azotam set the mark last year with 166. Freshman Nate Gause (Poughkeepsie, N.Y.) knocked down a three in the first half, providing the Bobcats a helpful spark off-the-bench.

FDU, now 2-20 overall, 1-10 in the conference, will welcome Sacred Heart on Saturday afternoon. George Goode registered a team-high 16 points in the losing effort.  

Quinnipiac remains in New Jersey for its next NEC match-up on Saturday. The Bobcats take on Monmouth University in West Long Branch at the MAC. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. For all the latest news, scores and highlights pertaining to the men's basketball program, visit www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.

Contact: Tony Distasio; Ardistasio@quinnipiac.edu