Men's Basketball Looks For Fifth Straight Win At Sacred Heart On Thursday Night

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (12-13, 8-5 NEC) at
Sacred Heart University Pioneers (9-15, 7-6 NEC)
Date:
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: William H. Pitt Center - Fairfield, Conn.
Series vs. SHU: 23-40
Division I Series vs. SHU: 14-14
Last Meeting: Jan. 12, 2013 (L, 80-74)
Quinnipiac Last Five: 4-1
SHU Last Five: 1-4
Live Online Stream: NEC Front Row
Audio: AM 1220 WQUN
Live Stats: SacredHeartPioneers.com    
Live Stats On Your Mobile Device:
ESPN.Com
Tickets:
QuinnipiacBobcats.com

Complete Game Notes as a PDF

Crucial Intrastate Showdown
With its recent hot streak in Northeast Conference play, the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team (12-13, 8-5 NEC) remains just one game out of first place in the standings. Winners in four straight and six of their last seven, the Bobcats return to the hardwood on Thursday night with a crucial instate match-up with Sacred Heart (9-15, 7-6 NEC). Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the William H. Pitt Center in Fairfield, Conn. 

On The Air / Multimedia Links
Thursday's game will be streamed online through NEC Front Row by clicking the appropriate links posted on www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com. Fans can also tune into AM 1220 WQUN Radio where the Voice of the Bobcat Bill Schweitzer will have the play-by-play call with Billy Mecca and Bob Tipson providing insight on color commentary. Live stats will also be available on www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com 

All-Time Against Sacred Heart
With their loss back in January, the Bobcats fell to 23-40 in the all-time series with the Pioneers, including a 14-14 mark in the Division I era. The Pioneers have claimed the last three encounters, which snapped five-game winning streak for the Bobcats. The Bobcats are 6-8 in Fairfield since joining Division I. 

Scouting The Pioneers
Sacred Heart raced into first place with a 6-2 record, but has since gone in the opposite direction with a difficult stretch of basketball. The Pioneers are just 1-4 in their last five games and currently losers of two straight after a loss to Robert Morris on Saturday. Sacred Heart put together a late 21-7 run to pull within a bucket with just over a minute left but the Colonials locked in defensively and hit 3-of-4 from the line in the closing seconds to come away with a 68-63 win at the William H. Pitt Center. Senior Shane Gibson scored 13 of his game-high 17 points in the final six minutes, hitting four-straight shots including three from downtown to fuel the Pioneers furious rally late. Gibson leads the team in scoring with 20.5 points per game, a figure that places him right behind CCSU's Kyle Vinales for second in the conference. Also in double-figures for the season are Louis Montes and Steve Glowiak, who bringing 14.1 and 10.6, respectively. Montes leads the Pioneers on the glass with 6.4 rebounds per outing. 

Last Time Out Against Robert Morris
Ike Azotam turned in 17 and Evan Conti flirted with a triple-double last Saturday, as the Bobcats cruised past Saint Francis University, 71-55, at the TD Bank Sports Center. Azotam was 7-of-10 from the floor and grabbed six rebounds in 22 minutes of action. Conti finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and seven assists - which included a monster second half with 10 points and five assists. Ousmane Drame was one point shy of a double-double with nine points and 15 rebounds, while Zaid Hearst added 16 points and seven rebounds. The Bobcats dominated the boards, 49-23, including 20 on the offensive end, while holding SFU to just four second chance points on six offensive rebounds. Quinnipiac also held the Red Flash under 40 percent from the field. 

1,000 For Ike
Ike Azotam recorded his 1,000th career point against Saint Francis University (2/16) to become Quinnipiac's 26th player to accomplish the feat. Azotam, now with 1,010 career points, was the 10th player to score 1,000 points in the Division I era and remains just 53 points behind DeMario Anderson '08 (1,063) for ninth on the list. 

Drame Impressive Again
Ousmane Drame corralled 15 rebounds against RMU (2/14) and then 15 more for a second straight game against Saint Francis University (2/16). He was the first Division I Quinnipiac player to record 15 or more rebounds in back-to-back games and first in the NEC since FDU's Alvin Mofunanya did it back in 2010. Drame has three games with 15 or more rebounds this year, trying to catch Justin Rutty's top-mark of five in a single season. 

Conti Cashes In
Evan Conti has been tremendous over the last five games for the Bobcats, reaching double-figures in each outing. He is averaging 12.8 points, 6.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists during the stretch, which includes a career high 18 points in the win over Robert Morris on Valentine's Day (2/14). In 17 career starts for the Bobcats, Conti is averaging 9.7 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game. Last season, Conti earned his first career nod in the CBI Tournament and posted 14 points and four rebounds against Penn. 

Heating Up In February
Over course of the past five seasons, Tom Moore and the Bobcats have a 29-7 (.806) record in the month of February, including a 15-3 (.833) mark at the TD Bank Sports Center. Furthermore, through the last four seasons, the Bobcats are 24-4 (.857) and 13-1 when playing in Hamden. Quinnipiac is 4-0 in February this season. 

Double-Double
Ike Azotam collected his 26th career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds against Robert Morris (2/14) – now placing him in second place among active NEC players. In addition, Azotam only sits behind Justin Rutty's '11 mark of 41 for second in Quinnipiac's Division I history. Azotam has 10 of them this season – tied for first in the conference. 

Cleaning The Glass
The Bobcats have continued their dominance on the glass, leading the Northeast Conference and ranking amongst the national leaders. Quinnipiac is second in the nation in offensive rebounding (15.6), fourth in total rebounding (42.0) and second in rebounding margin (10.4). In 2011-12, Quinnipiac led the nation in offensive rebounds per game (16.7), and finished second in total rebounds per game (43.2) and rebounding margin (10.2). Quinnipiac is the only NEC team nationally-ranked within the top five for a statistical category. 

Defense Wins
Head coach Tom Moore has repeatedly stressed the importance of keeping opposition to below 40 percent from the floor, and with good reason. Over the past five years, Quinnipiac is 48-13 when keeping its opponent to below 40 percent from the field. This also includes a perfect 12-0 mark in the 2009-10 season.  

Rebounding Margin Factors In
Rebounding has become the identity of the Bobcats under the direction of Head Coach Tom Moore. With Moore at the helm, Quinnipiac has out-rebounded its opponent in 156 of his 183 games – including 26 straight dating back to last season. In 57 of the 183 games, QU has posted a plus-10 or better rebounding margin, including 16 with plus-20 or better and a rebounding-margin high of 28 against FDU on February 27, 2011. The Bobcats hold a remarkable 50-6 mark when holding a plus-10 edge and a 13-3 record with plus-20.   

Stacking Up In New England
Head Coach Tom Moore's .574 winning percentage is fourth best among Division I Coaches in New England, only trailing Vermont's John Becker (.656), Harvard's Tommy Amaker (.629) and Fairfield's Sydney Johnson (.606). (Winning percentage among coaches with at least one season at respective institution) 

Climbing The Ladder
Ike Azotam surpassed Bill Romano '02 (580) on Quinnipiac's Division I career rebounding list when he grabbed five rebounds against LIU Brooklyn (1/5). The junior power forward currently sits in second place since Quinnipiac joined the NCAA's top division, only trailing Justin Rutty '11 (1,032). Azotam nearly matched his career-high of 18 rebounds when he hauled in 17 against CCSU (1/24) – only four shy of the Division I program record for rebounds in a game (Victor Akinyanju - 21 vs. Mount St. Mary's). 

Hearst's Offensive Prowess
Zaid Hearst has reached double-figures in eight out of his last 11 games for the Bobcats. Hearst's streak started against Sacred Heart (1/12) and includes a 13-point, 11-rebound outing against Saint Francis (Pa.) (1/17) – accounting for third double-double of his career. It also featured a 17-point effort against RMU (1/19) and three 16-point efforts against CCSU (1/24), Mount St. Mary's (1/31) and Saint Francis University (2/16). 

Dimes For Dave
Dave Johnson moved into fifth place among Division I career assist leaders at Quinnipiac. Johnson's 378 career assists trail Jared Grasso '02 who finished his career with 404 assists.

Rejection Is Key
Jamee Jackson recorded his 81st career block against Lehigh (11/27) and moved ahead of Justin Rutty '11 into second among Division I career block leaders at Quinnipiac. Jackson's 95 blocks trail C.J. Vick '05 who finished his career with 106 blocked shots.

On Deck
Quinnipiac returns to the hardwood on Saturday, Feb. 23rd against Bryant University. The Bobcats will recognize their senior class members prior to the 2 p.m. tip-off with the Bulldogs.

Contact: Tony Distasio; ardistasio@quinnipiac.edu