January 25, 2014

Men's Basketball Game Central: Quinnipiac at Manhattan - Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (11-7, 6-3 MAAC) at
Manhattan College Jaspers (14-4, 7-2 MAAC)
Sunday, January 26, 2014 – 2:00 p.m.
Draddy Gymnasium – Bronx, N.Y.
All-Time Series vs. Manhattan (DI): 1-0 (1-0)
Last Meeting: January 9, 2014 • W, 81-76
QU Last five: 3-2
MC Last Five: 3-2 

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QU HEADS TO THE BRONX
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team (11-7, 6-3 MAAC) looks to improve to 6-2 following a loss as the Bobcats travel to preseason favorite Manhattan College (14-4, 7-2 MAAC) on Sunday afternoon. Quinnipiac handed the Jaspers their first loss back on Jan. 9, and will look for the series sweep in the Bronx. Tip-off is slated for 2 p.m. at Draddy Gymnasium. 

ALL-TIME AGAINST MANHATTAN
Quinnipiac and Manhattan squared off for the first time in program history on Jan. 9, 2014 in Hamden. The Bobcats prevailed with an 81-76 victory in front of 2,000-plus at the TD Bank Sports Center. Ike Azotam finished with 17 points, matched a career high with 18 rebounds and blocked three shots in the win. Zaid Hearst poured in 20 points and grabbed five rebounds. 

SCOUTING THE JASPERS
Manhattan became the first MAAC team to 14 wins on Friday night, as the Jaspers improved to 14-4 with a 67-51 victory over Rider. The Jaspers joined Canisius and Iona at the top of the league standings with all three teams carrying a 7-2 record in conference play. George Beamon, who suffered a shoulder injury in the opening minutes of the Manhattan-Quinnipiac game back on Jan. 9, returned to action for the first time on Friday night. A MAAC Preseason First Team selection, Beamon notched game highs of 21 points and nine rebounds against the Broncs. Michael Alvarado chipped in with 12 points and Ashton Pankey added 11 points and seven rebounds. Beamon is one of three MAAC players averaging more than 20 points per game (20.1), and is shooting better than 40 percent from the floor. Alvarado is also in double-figures for the year, bringing in 14.1 points per outing. 

LAST TIME OUT AGAINST IONA
Ike Azotam finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds on Friday night but it was the MAAC's top offense that stole the show at the Hynes Athletic Center in New Rochelle, N.Y. Iona College handed Quinnipiac a 95-73 loss and in turn snapped the Bobcats two-game winning streak. Umar Shannon scored 15 points, while Shaq Shannon and Evan Conti each had 10 points. It was a season high for Conti, who also grabbed six rebounds in the losing effort. 

DOUBLE TROUBLE
Quinnipiac is the only team in the country that has two players averaging at least 12.0 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Quinnipiac is one of just two teams (UNLV) that has two players averaging at least 10.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game. Ike Azotam is averaging 16.5 points and 11.7 rebounds per game, with Ousmane Drame bringing in 12.5 points and 9.8 rebounds per contest.  

IN ELITE COMPANY
Ike Azotam corralled his 900th career rebound against Niagara (1/18), and became the third player in Quinnipiac history, the second player during the Division I era, to record 1,300 points and 900 rebounds in a career. Furthermore, Azotam serves as the only player in QU history to have 1,300 points, 900 rebounds and 85 blocks. Azotam has 926 career rebounds which puts him in sixth place all-time in program history. He currently sits in second place among Division I players, only trailing Rutty's mark of 1,032.  

FEED THE BIG MAN
Ike Azotam had 18 points and 16 rebounds against Iona. Azotam has 1,382 career points and is closing in on Bill Romano '02 (1,450) for fourth place among Quinnipiac Division I scoring leaders. In the 2012-13 season, he was the 10th player to score 1,000 points in the Division I era and 26th all-time. Azotam also trails Romano for 14th on the all-time list. 

DOUBLE-DOUBLE MACHINE
Ike Azotam collected his 38th career double-double against Iona. Azotam only sits behind Justin Rutty's Quinnipiac Division I leading record of 41 career double-doubles. He has double-doubles in 11 out of his last 15 games, including six out of his last seven. Azotam is the only player in the nation averaging 5.0 offensive rebounds per game (5.0), ranks third in rebounds per game (11.7) and is tied for third in double-doubles (12.0). All three of these figures lead the MAAC. 

NOT IN IKE'S HOUSE
Ike Azotam recorded a career high of five blocks against Iona (1/6). He has 88 for his career which has him ranked fourth during the Division I era and top 10 all-time. Azotam's five blocks in a game was the third most in DI history.  

15 OR MORE
Ike Azotam collected his 10th career game with 15 or more rebounds against Iona. With the 16 boards against Iona, Azotam matched Justin Rutty's record of five in one season. He is also chasing Rutty's mark of 12 career games with 15 or more rebounds. Azotam has 14 or more rebounds in six of his last seven games, and serves as the only QU Division I player record 15 or more rebounds in three straight games (1/4 – 1/9). 

SCORING THE BASKETBALL
Umar Shannon netted 15 points against Iona, marking the 14th time he has reached double-figures in a game for the Bobcats. Shannon has at least 12 points in his last eight games, with a high of 23 against Monmouth (1/4). Shannon has 1,178 career points between his brief career at Quinnipiac and his stay at Saint Francis University. Shannon is averaging 13.4 points per game at Quinnipiac which ranks him second among Bobcat players and tied for 17th in the MAAC. 

CALM, COOL AND COLLECTED
Umar Shannon ranks second in the MAAC in free-throw shooting percentage, averaging 88.7 percent from the charity stripe. He is tied for 30th in all of NCAA Division I basketball.  

HEARST CONTINUES TO IMPRESS
Zaid Hearst scored nine points and had three rebounds against Iona. Hearst has 10 or more points in 19 of his last 25 games dating back to last season and has 805 career points. He is 19th in the MAAC in scoring (13.3), tied for 11th in three-point shooting percentage (.393) and ranks 13th in free-throw percentage (.779). Hearst tallied a new career high with 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds against Iona (1/6). He was 9-of-11 (.818) from the floor, 2-of-2 from long range and 2-of-3 from the free-throw line. 

CRASHING THE BOARDS
Zaid Hearst collected his ninth career double-double against Iona (1/6). Hearst has six double-doubles on the season, which has him ranked fourth in the conference and tied for 50th in the nation. He ranks fourth in the league in rebounds per game (7.6) and is top 10 in both offensive and defensive rebounding. 

THE SHAQ ATTACK
Shaq Shannon finished with 10 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals against Iona, marking his second straight game with at least 10 points. In the previous game, he nabbed 12 points, four rebounds and one assist against Niagara (1/18). He was 4-of-4 from the field and 3-for-3 from long distance. Shannon had 18 points and seven assists against Rider (12/8) – both matching career highs. Shannon was 6-of-12 from the floor and added five more points from the charity stripe. He has eclipsed 10 points three times this year. 

BUILT FORD TOUGH
James Ford had nine points and four rebounds in 16 minutes of action against Monmouth (1/4). He was 3-of-7 from the field and 2-of-5 from behind the arc. Ford set a new career high with 10 points off the bench against Rider (12/8). He was 4-of-5 from the floor and 2-of-3 from long range helping the Quinnipiac comeback bid. Ford is averaging 5.5 points and 3.0 rebounds per game in 13.7 minutes per outing.  

CHANDLER GETTING COMFORTABLE
Kasim Chandler has scored 10 or more points in more than half of his collegiate games. He had 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and dished out three assists against Saint Peter's (1/12). Chandler is averaging 8.8 points per game this season, ranking him 33rd in the MAAC and fifth among rookies.  

A FORCE ON THE BLOCK
Ousmane Drame collected his 16th career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds against Niagara (1/18). Drame has reached double-digits in 19 of his last 23 games dating back to last season, which included the third 20-point game of his career against Fairfield (12/6). He has seven double-doubles on the season which has him ranked third in the conference and tied for 36th in the nation. He also ranks 17th in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (3.9) and ranks 21st in rebounds per game (9.8). 

BREAKING HIS OWN RECORDS
Ousmane Drame set a new QU Division I program record with seven blocks against Monmouth (1/16), breaking his own record of six which he had done twice before. Drame became the seventh player in Quinnipiac history to record 100 blocks in a career and became the third player during the Division I era.  Drame has 106 career blocks and is chasing CJ Vick's '05 mark of 107 for the DI category lead. Drame has 41 blocks this season which ranks him eighth all-time and second among DI players for most blocks in a single season.  

NOT ONCE, BUT TWICE
Ousmane Drame corralled 20 rebounds in a game for the second time in his career against Monmouth (1/16). He became the 15th player in MAAC history, and the ninth since 2000, to record 20 rebounds in a game. Drame was the ninth player in MAAC history to grab 21 rebounds in a game and on top of that, he matched QU's Division I program record for most rebounds in a game (Victor Akinyanju, 2/3/07).  

STACKING UP IN NEW ENGLAND
Head Coach Tom Moore's .575 overall winning percentage is fourth best among active Division I Coaches in New England, only trailing UConn's Kevin Ollie (.714), Harvard's Tommy Amaker (.646) and Vermont's John Becker (.629). (Winning percentage among coaches with at least one season at respective institution)  

REBOUNDING DOMINANCE
The Bobcats lead the nation in rebounding margin (12.8), offensive rebounds per game (17.7) and rebounds per game (46.9). Last year, Quinnipiac led the nation in total rebounding (42.1) and offensive rebounding (15.9) and was 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 team in the nation to finish first or second in each category over the last two seasons.  

REBOUNDING MARGIN
With Tom Moore at the helm, Quinnipiac has out-rebounded its opponent in 178 of his 207 games (.860) – including 49 of its last 50 games straight without losing the battle on the glass. In 71 of the 207 games, QU has posted a plus-10 or better rebounding margin, including 21 with plus-20 or better and a rebounding-margin high of 31 against Maine on Monday, Nov. 25, 2013. The Bobcats hold a remarkable 61-10 (.859) mark when holding a plus-10 edge and a 17-4 (.810) record with plus-20. 

ANOTHER REBOUNDING STAT…
Quinnipiac posted 50 rebounds for the fifth time this year against Niagara (56) (1/18), marking the 22nd time during the Division I era. In nine years prior to Tom Moore's arrival, QU had just five 50-rebound games, with only two coming against teams classified at Division I at the time of competition. The Bobcats have eclipsed 60 rebounds twice. 

BLOCK PARTY
Quinnipiac has had eight or more blocks in five games this year and had a season-high of 10 against Manhattan (1/9). QU ranks second in the MAAC in blocks per game (5.3) and tied for 37th in the nation. 

FREE-THROWS MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Over the last five seasons, Quinnipiac is 51-9 (.850) when making more free-throws than its opponent, including a 11-1 mark this year. Furthermore, the Bobcats are 12-0 in the last two seasons when making 25 or more free-throws. Quinnipiac ranks third in the MAAC in free-throw percentage (.723).  

LESS FOULS, MORE WINS
The Bobcats are 11-4 over the last two seasons when their opponent makes fewer than 12 free-throws in a game. On the contrary, when the opposition has recorded 25 or more free throws made over the last two seasons, Quinnipiac is 0-7. 

DEFENSE WINS
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 55-15 (.786) when keeping its opponent to below 40 percent from the field. This also includes a perfect 12-0 mark in the 2009-10 season.

TOUGH TO LOSE IF YOU DON'T MISS
Quinnipiac shot 50 percent from the floor for the second time this season against Monmouth (1/4). The Bobcats connected on season-best 58.6 percent of its field goals against Monmouth last year (2/7/13), nearly eclipsing 60 percent for the first time since 2010. The Bobcats made at least 50 percent of their shots in 29 games over the last five seasons, posting a 24-5 (.828) mark when accomplishing that feat.

LOOKING AHEAD
Quinnipiac returns to action on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 with a crucial home game against Canisius. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. at the TD Bank Sports Center. The game will be televised on SNY.