BANGOR, Maine – Quinnipiac men's basketball was firing on all cylinders on Monday night. Umar Shannon (Atlantic City, N.J.) scored his 1,000th career point and Quinnipiac set a new Division I margin of victory record, as the Bobcats cruised past Maine, 102-61, at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine. The win was Quinnipiac's third straight, and matches the team's best start (4-1) since the 2010-11 season.
The 41 point victory was the largest win against a Division I opponent in program history, which surpassed Quinnipiac's 33 point win against Saint Francis U in 2011-12. It was also the first time Quinnipiac hung 100 points in a game since scoring 102 against Fairleigh Dickinson in 2006.
Quinnipiac finished with five players in double figures, led by 19 points apiece from Umar Shannon and Zaid Hearst (Bethesda, Md.). Needing 11 points to surpass the 1,000 point plateau, Shannon collected his 11th and 12th points of the night on a runner from the baseline to reach the milestone. He was 7-of-14 from the floor and 3-of-8 from long range, but did most of his damage in the second half. He finished with 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting in the final 20 minutes.
Hearst picked up his third straight double-double with 12 rebounds to go along with his 19 points. It was the sixth of his career, as his 6-of-12 shooting display granted him double figures for the 10th time in his last 12 games dating back to last season. Kasim Chandler (Newark, N.J.) provided a spark off the bench with 12 points, three rebounds and three assists to aid the backcourt.
The front court was led by dominating performances from Ousmane Drame (Boston, Mass.) and Ike Azotam (Boston, Mass.). Drame finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Azotam dropped 14 points and grabbed 12 boards. Drame picked up his 11th career double-double, whereas it was the 29th for Azotam. He only trails Justin Rutty's mark of 41 for most in the Division I era.
On the other side of the ball, Quinnipiac was equally as efficient and effective. The Bobcats held Maine's high octane offense to just 35.8 percent from the floor. That was enhanced by Quinnipiac's dominance on the backboards, owning a 60-29 advantage on the glass. It was the most rebounds for the Bobcats since corralling 61 against LIU Brooklyn on Jan. 7, 2012. This included 24 offensive rebounds for 26 second chance points.
Behind its suffocating defense, Quinnipiac boasted a 16-4 run right out of the gate. The Bobcats carried the 12 point lead into the break at halftime, but really took control early on in the second half. Ahead by seven points, Quinnipiac put together a 15-2 run and blossomed the lead to 20 points. After that, the bench got involved and provided an additional spark to put the game out of reach.
James Ford (Hopewell, Va.) was perfect on the night, scoring eight points on two threes and a pair for free-throws in just three minutes of work. T'ziah Wood-Smith (Baldwin, N.Y.) added four points late, which was highlighted by a fast-break dunk to seal the deal. Evan Conti (Bayside, N.Y.) had four points and six rebounds, and AJ Sumbry (East Windsor, N.J.) added three.
Hearst, Azotam and Drame each collected double-doubles on the night, marking the first time since Feb. 2, 2012 that Quinnipiac had three players with 10 or more rebounds.
The Bobcats improved to 4-2 all-time against Maine, which includes a 3-0 mark when playing in the Pine Tree State. Maine fell to 1-4 on the season. The Black Bears were led by 18 points from Dimitry Coronel and Xavier Pollard.
Quinnipiac will enjoy a few days off for Thanksgiving before returning to action on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013. Quinnipiac hosts Boston University for a regional clash that will be televised live on NESN at 7 p.m. from the TD Bank Sports Center.
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