December 15, 2013

Men's Basketball Collects Comfortable Road Victory at Vermont, 80-67

BURLINGTON, Vt. – Quinnipiac flashed its potential again, earning another impressive victory on Sunday afternoon.

The Bobcats played the defense that head coach Tom Moore wanted to see, while Umar Shannon (Atlantic City, N.J.) and Ike Azotam (Boston, Mass.) turned in solid all-around performances to help Quinnipiac to a comfortable 80-67 win at Vermont.

It marked the second straight Bobcat victory when playing at Patrick Gymnasium, as Quinnipiac defeated Vermont in Burlington two years ago. With the win, Quinnipiac improved to 6-3 overall on the season, while leaving the Catamounts on the wrong end for the sixth time in their last eight games.

Azotam led all scorers with 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting and nabbed his 32nd career double-double with 13 rebounds. Umar Shannon finished with 16 points - which included 10 in the first half – and went 6-for-6 from the free-throw line. Zaid Hearst (Bethesda, Md.) had his eighth career double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while Ousmane Drame (Boston, Mass.) and Kasim Chandler (Newark, N.J.) had 14 points each.

Quinnipiac posted a season-high by making 50 percent of its attempts from the field, a number that was inflated due to its efficiency in the paint. The Bobcats scored half of the team's total points underneath (40), and improved to 23-5 over the past six seasons when shooting at least 50 percent from the floor.

The Bobcats did the majority of the damage in the final five minutes of the first half. Ahead by four, 25-21, Quinnipiac closed the half on a 16-5 run to take a 15-point edge into halftime. Umar Shannon was the catalyst to the surge, scoring eight points during the stretch.

Vermont managed to clip the QU lead to eight around the midway point of the second half, but it was Quinnipiac's proficiency from the free-throw line that helped sustain the lead. The Bobcats sank 25-of-27 from the stripe with five players' not missing one attempt from the line. Azotam and Hearst each went 4-fo-4 on the afternoon.

Quinnipiac, who entered the game ranked top-three in the nation in total rebounding, offensive rebounding and rebounding margin, dominated the boards to disallow any Vermont comeback. The Bobcats held a 41-26 advantage, which included 14 second chance points on 12 offensive rebounds.

James Ford (Hopewell, Va.) provided a spark off the bench with four points in six minutes, and Shaq Shannon (Philadelphia, Pa.) added three points, four rebounds and two assists.

Vermont, now 3-7 on the season, was led by Sandro Carissimo's 13 points. Clancy Rugg and Brian Voelkel each had 12 points and Luke Apfeld added 11. They combined to go 17-39 from the field.

The Bobcats are back in action against Lehigh on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2013. The game will take place at Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, Pa. with tip-off slated for 7 p.m.

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