Men’s Basketball Falls To American In Home-Opener, 61-55

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HAMDEN, Conn. – The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team was defeated by American University, 61-55, in a defensive battle at the TD Bank Sports Center in their home-opener on Monday night. Senior Dave Johnson (Jackson, N.J.) and junior Ike Azotam (Boston, Mass.) led the way for the Bobcats with 11 points each, but the team suffered its second loss to the Eagles in as many seasons.

"I was very disappointed with our effort tonight," said head coach Tom Moore. "I thought American was disciplined, when we were not disciplined, offensively or defensively tonight."

Quinnipiac, now 1-1 on the young season, received offensive bursts from Johnson, Azotam and junior transfer Shaq Shannon (Philadelphia, Pa.) throughout the game. Johnson went 5-of-11 from the floor, dished out a game-high seven assists and hauled in four rebounds, while Azotam went 5-of-12 from the field and led all players with nine rebounds. Shannon sparked the Bobcats with nine points on 3-of-5 shooting from behind the arc in his QU debut. Zaid Hearst (Bethesda, Md.) and Garvey Young (Washington, D.C.) added nine and eight points, respectively.

The Eagles garnered a quick lead just three minutes into the first half, an advantage they would never relinquish. Quinnipiac managed to tie the score early on in the second half and cut it to one point several times, but could not find the big shot or defensive stand it needed. The Bobcats best chance came with 1:25 left in regulation after Johnson knocked down a jumper from 15 feet out. Unfortunately, the Eagles answered with six straight points and sealed the game with five free-throws in the waning seconds.

American was extremely efficient on the offensive end, connecting on 52.5 percent of its shots compared to 43.9 percent of the Bobcats. American also attempted 13 more field goal attempts and made 10 more free-throws behind a stellar 81.3 percent night from the charity stripe.

Quinnipiac edged the Eagles on the glass, 28-27, but was 14 boards below their average of 42 per game last season, which was good enough for second in the nation. The Bobcats also forced 20 Eagle turnovers en route to 19 points on the other end.

On Thursday, November 15, the Bobcats travel to the 2012 Paradise Jam - the first in-season, invitational tournament in Bobcats history. Quinnipiac will take on Iona College in the opening round on Friday, November 16 at the Sports and Fitness Center at University of Virgin Islands. Depending on the result, the Bobcats face its second opponent - either Connecticut or Wake Forest - Saturday (Nov. 17) or Sunday (Nov. 18). 2011 National Champion and Big East powerhouse UConn won the Paradise Jam back in 2008, while the ACC's Wake Forest will make its first-ever appearance in the invitational. The other side of the bracket features first round matchups: New Mexico vs. Illinois-Chicago and Mercer vs. George Mason.

Fans interested in purchasing tickets for the Quinnipiac Basketball Season can call the QU Ticket Office at 203-582-3905, visit the official website of Quinnipiac athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com or make a trip to the TD Bank Sports Center Ticket Office.

Please refer to the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com, for any schedule changes as well as the latest news, scores and highlights. The 2012-13 Men's Basketball Schedule is also available for download at www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com for all mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads, as well as all desktop computers.

Contact: Tony Distasio; ardistasio@quinnipiac.edu