Men's Basketball Set For Crucial Showdown at St. Francis Brooklyn on Thursday Night
Quinnipiac University Bobcats (14-14, 10-6 NEC) at
St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers (11-16, 7-9 NEC)
Date: Thursday, February 28, 2013
Time: 7:00 PM
Location: Pope Physical Education Center – Brooklyn Heights, N.Y.
Series vs. SFBKN: 11-13
Last Meeting: January 3, 2013 (L, 63-61)
Quinnipiac Last Five: 4-1
SFBKN Last Five: 2-3
Live Online Video: NEC Front Row
Audio: AM 1220 WQUN
Live Stats: SFCAthletics.com
Live Stats On Your Mobile Device: ESPN.Com
All Comes Down To The Final Weekend
Every game within the Northeast Conference has meaning this weekend, especially for the third-placed Quinnipiac University men's basketball team (14-14, 10-6 NEC). The Bobcats hit the road for their final two games, traveling to New York to face two teams out of Brooklyn. On Thursday, Feb. 28, Quinnipiac takes on the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers (11-16, 7-9 NEC) at the Pope Physical Education Center, followed by a showdown with LIU Brooklyn on Saturday afternoon. Tip-off against the Terriers is set for 7 p.m.
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 Paul Pacelli will have the play-by-play call with Bob Tipson providing insight on color commentary. Live stats will also be available on www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.
All-Time Against St. Francis Brooklyn
Quinnipiac is 9-3 in the last 12 meetings between the two schools; however just 1-3 in the last four. The Bobcats lone win last year came in the Northeast Conference Tournament Quarterfinals, 80-72, and expunged a Terrier two-game sweep in the regular season. STBC snapped an eight-game slide against Quinnipiac with its first win on the 2011-12 season - a stretch that dated back to the 2005-06 campaign. In their most recent meeting, St. Francis Brooklyn outlasted Quinnipiac back in January, 63-61, at the TD Bank Sports Center.
Scouting The Terriers
Virtually in a must-win situation, St. Francis Brooklyn, at the moment, is on the outside looking in of the NEC Tournament. The Terriers are tied for eighth in the league standings, but do not control the tie-break with Sacred Heart – a team they will face in the final game of the regular season. Most recently, junior guard Ben Mockford poured in a career-high 29 points but it wasn't enough as the Terriers fell, 73-65, against the Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers last Saturday. Mockford, who was the lone Terrier in double-digits, kept the visitors in the contest by hitting 9-of-13 field goal attempts, including 6-of-9 from long range. He also went 5-for-5 from the free-throw line. Sophomore forward Jalen Cannon added a game-high 11 rebounds and eight points. Cannon leads the team in scoring with 14.8 points and 9.0 rebounds per game.
Last Time Out Against CCSU
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team saw its league-leading six game winning streak come to an end on Monday night, as Central Connecticut State University topped the Bobcats in thrilling fashion in New Britain. CCSU guard Kyle Vinales connected on a 28-footer with 5.4 seconds remaining, propelling the Blue Devils to a 67-65 victory in front of 2,014 people at Detrick Gymnasium. Zaid Hearst led the Bobcats with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting, which featured 14 in the second half. Ousmane Drame posted a double-double with 11 points, 13 rebounds, two blocks and two steals, while Jamee Jackson chipped in with 12 points and six rebounds. Evan Conti added nine points and a career-high 10 rebounds and Ike Azotam had six points and six rebounds. Defensively, Quinnipiac held CCSU's high-powered offense to just 67 points on 42.1 percent shooting. Vinales was five points below his season average and made just six field goals on 19 attempts. The Bobcats dominated the glass, 47-35, and allowed just six second-chance points in the game.
In Striking Distance; But Need Some Help
With two Quinnipiac wins, two Wagner wins, two Robert Morris losses and a Bryant loss to CCSU this weekend; there would be a four-way tie atop the Northeast Conference standings. Depending on the results, several tie-breakers would determine the seeding and host of the NEC Tournament.
Hearst's Offensive Prowess
Zaid Hearst has reached double-figures in 11 out of his last 14 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), three 16-point efforts against CCSU (1/24), Mount St. Mary's (1/31) and Saint Francis University (2/16), and another 17-point performance against CCSU (2/25).
During The Six-Game Winning Streak
- Quinnipiac's six-game winning streak was tied for 15th in the nation
- Ike Azotam averaged 15.0 points and 6.7 rebounds – shooting 52.6 percent from the floor
- Ousmane Drame averaged 11.7 points and 11.0 rebounds – shooting 55.1 percent from the floor
- Evan Conti averaged 11.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game
- Zaid Hearst averaged 10.5 points per game – shooting over 40 percent from long range
- Shaq Shannon averaged 9.8 points and 3.8 points per game
- Quinnipiac has a plus-13 average on the glass – averaging 15.5 offensive rebounds per game
- As a team, Quinnipiac shot 45 percent from the floor
Heating Up In February
Over course of the past five seasons, Tom Moore and the Bobcats have a 31-8 (.795) record in the month of February, including a 16-3 (.842) mark at the TD Bank Sports Center. Furthermore, through the last four seasons, the Bobcats are 26-5 (.839) and 14-1 (.933) when playing in Hamden. Quinnipiac is 6-1 in February this season.
Stacking Up In New England
Head Coach Tom Moore's .575 winning percentage is fourth best among Division I Coaches in New England, only trailing Vermont's John Becker (.667), Harvard's Tommy Amaker (.634) and Fairfield's Sydney Johnson (.597). (Winning percentage among coaches with at least one season at respective institution)
Cleaning The Glass
The Bobcats have continued their dominance on the glass, leading the Northeast Conference and ranking amongst the national leaders. Quinnipiac leads the nation in total rebounding (42.1), is second in the nation in offensive rebounding (15.8) 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.
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 49-13 (.790) 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 159 of his 186 games (.855) – including 29 straight dating back to last season. In 58 of the 186 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 51-7 mark when holding a plus-10 edge and a 13-3 record with plus-20.
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 1,046 career points, was the 10th player to score 1,000 points in the Division I era and remains just 17 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 and 31st in the nation.
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 (704) 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).
Conti Cashes In
Evan Conti has been tremendous over the last eight games for the Bobcats, reaching double-figures in five of them. He is averaging 12.1 points, 6.3 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 20 career starts for the Bobcats, Conti is averaging 9.7 points, 5.0 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.
Dimes For Dave
Dave Johnson moved into fifth place among Division I career assist leaders at Quinnipiac. Johnson's 386 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 98 blocks trail C.J. Vick '05 who finished his career with 106 blocked shots.
Contact: Tony Distasio; email@example.com