Quinnipiac University Bobcats (13-13, 9-5 NEC) vs.
Bryant University Bulldogs (17-8, 10-4 NEC)
Date: Saturday, February 23, 2013
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: TD Bank Sports Center – Hamden, Conn.
Series vs. Bryant: 42-18
Division I Series vs. Bryant: 5-4
Last Meeting: Jan. 10, 2013 (L, 103-95)
Quinnipiac Last Five: 5-0
Bryant Last Five: 3-2
Live Online Video: NEC Front Row
Audio: AM 1220 WQUN
Live Stats: QuinnipiacBobcats.com
Live Stats On Your Mobile Device: ESPN.Com
Senior Day At The Bank
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team (13-13, 9-5 NEC) will look for its sixth straight win on Saturday afternoon, as the Bobcats welcome the second-place Bryant Bulldogs (17-8, 10-4 NEC) to the TD Bank Sports Center. Quinnipiac, now winners in seven of its last eight games and sitting in fourth place, will honor its senior class members prior to the 2 p.m. tip-off in Hamden. The Bobcats will look to avenge a defeat earlier in the season, and by doing so would move into a tie with Bryant in the standings.
The Senior Class
The careers of Dave Johnson, Garvey Young and Jamee Jackson will be celebrated before tip-off on Saturday afternoon. Over the last four seasons, Quinnipiac has compiled a 76-47 record – which includes a Northeast Conference Regular Season Title in 2009-10. Senior student-assistant coach Austin Alecxih and senior team manager Kevin Mahoney will be honored for their contributions to the program as well.
On The Air / Multimedia Links
Saturday'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 Bryant
The Bobcats are 42-18 all-time against the Bulldogs; a rivalry that dates all the way back to the 1966-67 campaign. However, in the DI era the series offers a better competitive balance between the two schools. Quinnipiac holds a 5-4 advantage since 2007, but is just 2-2 when playing at the TD Bank Sports Center. Last season in Hamden, the Bobcats defeated the Bulldogs, 83-72, behind 21 points and eight rebounds from Jamee Jackson.
Scouting The Bulldogs
Two wins shy of its first 20-win season since the 2006-07 campaign, Bryant serves as one of three teams with 10 wins in the Northeast Conference. The Bulldogs are 4-2 over their last six games, but just 1-2 in their last three. Most recently, five different Bulldogs registered double-digits in points, while junior forward Alex Francis picked up his seventh double-double of the year to lead Bryant over CCSU, 88-67 on Thursday night. The win completed the Bulldogs' first season sweep of the 2012-13 campaign and marked Bryant's 17th win of the season, tying the Black and Gold for the biggest season-to-season turnaround in NEC history (15 games) and bringing the Bulldogs just one league victory shy of tying the same mark in NEC play. Dyami Starks and Francis lead a potent offense for the Bulldogs, averaging 17.8 and 17.1 points, respectively, per game. Francis also brings in 8.5 rebounds per outing, sitting just in front of Ike Azotam among conference leaders.
Last Time Out Against Sacred Heart
Quinnipiac earned its fifth straight win on Thursday night, as the Bobcats outlasted Sacred Heart, 81-74, at the William H. Pitt Center. Ike Azotam led a quartet of Bobcats in double-figures, as the 6-7 forward powered his way to 14 points and six rebounds. He was 3-of-9 from the floor, but went 8-for-8 from the line – including 7-for-7 in the second half. Ousmane Drame finished with 13 points and eight rebounds; Shaq Shannon chipped in with 11 points and four rebounds; and Zaid Hearst knocked down three, threes and a free-throw for 10 points. James Ford, Jr. provided a huge lift in the second half with a perfect night from the floor (3-for-3) for nine points, while Jamee Jackson finished with eight points and seven rebounds and Dave Johnson added nine points and three assists. Quinnipiac controlled the glass, 40-34, and hauled in 19 offensive rebounds – which led to a 23-10 edge in second-chance points. The Bobcats had nine steals, one shy of a season-high, and forced 14 Pioneer turnovers. Quinnipiac totaled 15 points off of those turnovers and connected on 25-of-29 (86.2 percent) of its free-throw attempts.
Heating Up In February
Over course of the past five seasons, Tom Moore and the Bobcats have a 30-7 (.811) 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 25-4 (.862) and 13-1 when playing in Hamden. Quinnipiac is 5-0 in February this season.
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 (15.7), and tied for second in total rebounding (41.9) and tied for second in rebounding margin (10.2). 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.
Conti Cashes In
Evan Conti has been tremendous over the last six games for the Bobcats, reaching double-figures in five of the six games. He is averaging 12.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists during the stretch, which includes a career high 18 points in the win over Robert Morris on Valentine's Day (2/14). In 18 career starts for the Bobcats, Conti is averaging 9.6 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game. Last season, Conti earned his first career nod in the CBI Tournament and posted 14 points and four rebounds against Penn.
Ike Reaches Milestone
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 1,024 career points, was the 10th player to score 1,000 points in the Division I era and remains just 39 points behind DeMario Anderson '08 (1,063) for ninth on the list.
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.
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).
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 157 of his 184 games – including 27 straight dating back to last season. In 57 of the 184 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 .576 winning percentage is fourth best among Division I Coaches in New England, only trailing Vermont's John Becker (.661), Harvard's Tommy Amaker (.629) and Fairfield's Sydney Johnson (.606). (Winning percentage among coaches with at least one season at respective institution)
Hearst's Offensive Prowess
Zaid Hearst has reached double-figures in nine out of his last 12 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 381 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.
Quinnipiac hits the road for its final three games of the 2012-13 season. The Bobcats travel to CCSU (2/25), St. Francis Brooklyn (2/28) and LIU Brooklyn (3/2). Tip-off against the Blue Devils is set for 7 p.m. in New Britain.
Contact: Tony Distasio; firstname.lastname@example.org