Quinnipiac University Bobcats (15-14, 11-6 NEC) at
LIU Brooklyn Blackbirds (16-13, 11-6 NEC)
Date: Saturday, March 2, 2013
Time: 4:30 PM
Location: Wellness, Recreation and Athletic Center – Brooklyn, N.Y.
Series vs. LIU: 16-14
Last Meeting: January 5, 2013 (W, 82-74)
Quinnipiac Last Five: 4-1
LIU Last Five: 3-2
Live Online Video: NEC Front Row
Audio: AM 1220 WQUN
Live Stats: LIUAthletics.com
Live Stats On Your Mobile Device: ESPN.Com
NEC Playoff Implications
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team (15-14, 11-6 NEC) went 7-1 in the month of February and now stands just one win away from a No. 2 seed in the upcoming Northeast Conference Tournament. Winners in nine of their last 11, the Bobcats return to Brooklyn, N.Y. for a crucial showdown against LIU Brooklyn (16-13, 11-6 NEC) on Saturday afternoon. Four NEC teams share a record of 11-6 in conference play, leaving plenty of meaning in the final game of the 2012-13 regular season.
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 Paul Pacelli will have the play-by-play call with Bob Tipson and Bill Mecca providing insight on color commentary. Live stats will also be available on www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.
All-Time Against LIU Brooklyn
The Bobcats hold a 16-14 record all-time against the Blackbirds; a series that saw a Bobcats' 10-game winning streak snapped two years ago. With its win back in January, Quinnipiac snapped a four-game losing streak to the Blackbirds – which included a three-point loss in the 2012 NEC Semifinals. Quinnipiac is 3-3 at the Wellness Center since head coach Tom Moore took over in 2007.
Scouting The Blackbirds
Deadlocked in the NEC standings, the league's top offense, LIU Brooklyn, will square off against QU's tenacious defense on Saturday. Winners in five of their last seven games, the Blackbirds recently improved to 11-6 with a win over Sacred Heart on Thursday night. Senior forward Jamal Olasewere struggled through a tough shooting night but came up big down the stretch, scoring five straight points including a go-ahead bucket with 10.8 seconds remaining, to lift the LIU Brooklyn men's basketball team to a 70-68 win over Sacred Heart at the Wellness Center. Olasewere registered his ninth double-double of the year with 16 points and 13 rebounds, while junior point guard Jason Brickman closed with 12 assists and just one turnover in 36 minutes of action. Freshman E.J. Reed came off the bench to score 18 points including a big three-pointer with the Blackbirds trailing by four and under two minutes to go. Olasewere leads LIU in scoring (18.7 ppg) and rebounding (8.4 ppg) – good enough for third and fourth, respectively, in the conference.
Last Time Out Against St. Francis Brooklyn
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team took care of business at St. Francis Brooklyn on Thursday night, as the Bobcats topped the Terriers, 78-67, at the Pope Physical Education Center. Ike Azotam led all scorers with 19 points, serving as one of four Bobcats in double-figures. Zaid Hearst had 17 points and a career-high three blocks; Dave Johnson finished with 14 points, a game-high eight assists and five rebounds, and Evan Conti sparked the Bobcats in the second half with 13 points. The Bobcats controlled a 43-33 edge on the glass, converting 13 offensive rebounds into 14 second-chance points. Shaq Shannon matched a career-high with nine rebounds and Jamee Jackson snagged seven. Quinnipiac also added five blocked shots.
Free-Throws Make A Difference
Quinnipiac made more free-throws than their opponent for the 13th time against St. Francis Brooklyn (2/28) and improved to 11-2 when doing so. In addition, the Bobcats have won every game this season (5-0) after recording 25 or more free-throws made and are 9-2 when opponents record 12 or fewer free-throws made.
A Perfect 10
Dave Johnson went a perfect 10-for-10 at the free-throw line against St. Francis Brooklyn (2/28) – marking the second time for a QU player this season. Garvey Young went 10-for-10 at the free-throw line earlier in the season against Lehigh (11/27). Young was the first player to make 10 free-throws without a miss since Justin Rutty accomplished the feat with an 11-for-11 effort against Lehigh back in 2010.
Hearst's Offensive Prowess
Zaid Hearst has reached double-figures in 12 out of his last 15 games, including five straight 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 features three 17-point efforts against RMU (1/19), CCSU (2/25) and SFC (2/28); and three 16-point efforts against CCSU (1/24), Mount St. Mary's (1/31) and Saint Francis University (2/16).
Heating Up In February
Over course of the past five seasons, Tom Moore and the Bobcats have posted a 32-8 (.800) 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 27-5 (.843) and 14-1 (.933) when playing in Hamden. Quinnipiac went 7-1 in February this season.
Stacking Up In New England
Head Coach Tom Moore's .578 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 (15.7) and second in rebounding margin (10.3). 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 50-13 (.794) 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 160 of his 187 games (.856) – including 30 straight dating back to last season. In 59 of the 187 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 52-7 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 1,065 career points, was the 10th player to score 1,000 points in the Division I era and recently passed DeMario Anderson '08 (1,063) for ninth on the list. Next on the list is Jared Grasso '02, who had 1,134 career points which ranks 25th all-time and eighth in Division I.
Ike Azotam collected his 26th career double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds against Robert Morris (2/14) – placing him in a two-way tie for second 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 (709) 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 nine games for the Bobcats, reaching double-figures in six of them. He is averaging 12.1 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 21 career starts for the Bobcats, Conti is averaging 9.8 points, 5.1 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 394 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.
The 2013 Northeast Conference Tournament will once again feature the league's top eight teams in a single-elimination playoff. The tourney opens on Wednesday, March 6 with the quarterfinals, followed by the semifinals on Saturday, March 9 and the finals on Tuesday, March 12. The finals will be televised on ESPN with the winner earning a trip to the 2013 NCAA Tournament.
Contact: Tony Distasio; email@example.com