January 29, 2014

Men's Basketball Game Central: Quinnipiac vs. Canisius - Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 at 7:30 PM Live on SNY

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (12-7, 7-3 MAAC) vs.
Canisius College Golden Griffins (14-7, 8-2 MAAC)
Thursday, January 30, 2014 – 7:30 PM
TD Bank Sports Center – Hamden, Conn.
All-Time Series vs. Canisius: First Meeting
QU Last five: 3-2
CAN Last Five: 4-1 

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BOBCATS HOST FIRST-PLACE GRIFFS
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team (12-7, 7-3 MAAC) looks to dethrone another MAAC team from the top slot in the standings when the Bobcats take on Canisius College (14-7, 8-2 MAAC) on Thursday night. Canisius and Iona are currently tied for first place with the Golden Griffins holding the head-to-head after defeating the Gaels two weeks ago. Quinnipiac and Manhattan are just one game behind, but Quinnipiac holds the tie-breaker after completing the series-sweep this past weekend. The game is set for 7:30 p.m. at the TD Bank Sports Center and will be televised on SNY.

 

ALL-TIME AGAINST CANISIUS
This will be the first meeting between the two programs.  

SCOUTING THE GRIFFINS
The Canisius men's basketball team, winners of two straight and eight of the last 11 games, moved into the CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Top-25 poll this week, claiming No. 22 in the census. Canisius is 14-7 overall and 8-2 in MAAC play after beating Niagara and Marist at home last week. The 8-2 start in league play has the Griffs tied atop the MAAC standings with Iona, and it marks the program's best 10-game MAAC start since 1996-97. Led by MAAC Preseason Player of the Year Billy Baron, the Golden Griffins have scored at least 80 points in five out of their last six games, and defeated each of their last two opponents by 13 points. Baron was tremendous last week, and was named the Lute Olson Award National Player of the Week, the MAAC Player of the Week and the ECAC Player of the Week. Baron is currently third in NCAA Division I in scoring, averaging 24.2 points per game. 

LAST TIME OUT AGAINST MANHATTAN
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team delivered its most impressive performance of the season last Sunday, and the Bobcats topped Manhattan College, 90-86, in overtime at Draddy Gymnasium. The victory completed a series sweep of the MAAC's preseason No. 1 pick, and currently has the Bobcats in third place at the midway point of the regular season.  

HOME COOKING
Quinnipiac is 13-1 in its last 14 home games at the TD Bank Sports Center. Since head coach Tom Moore took over in 2007, the Bobcats are 63-32 (.663) on Lender Court. Furthermore, Quinnipiac has won 11 straight at home against conference opposition (dating back to last season) and has won five straight at home overall. Moore is 43-16 (.729) in conference games at the Bank.  

ONE'S COMPANY, TWO'S A CROWD, THREE'S A PARTY
Zaid Hearst (25), Umar Shannon (25) and Ike Azotam (21) each eclipsed the 20-point plateau against Manhattan. It was the first time that three players recorded 20 or more points in a game since the 2001-02 campaign. Rob Monroe (25), Kason Mims (23) and Bill Romano (22) accomplished the feat at Sacred Heart on Feb. 14, 2002. 

DOUBLE TROUBLE
Quinnipiac is the only team in the country that has two players averaging at least 12.0 points and 9.6 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 16.7 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 scored his 1,400th career point against Manhattan. He became the third player in Quinnipiac history, the second player during the Division I era, to record 1,400 points and 900 rebounds in a career. Furthermore, Azotam serves as the only player in QU history to have 1,400 points, 900 rebounds and 85 blocks. Azotam has 939 career rebounds which puts him in fifth 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 21 points and 13 rebounds against Manhattan. Azotam has 1,403 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. Azotam's effort against the Jaspers marked his 15th career 20-point game.   

DOUBLE-DOUBLE MACHINE
Ike Azotam collected his 39th career double-double against Manhattan. Azotam only sits behind Justin Rutty's Quinnipiac Division I leading record of 41 career double-doubles. He has double-doubles in 12 out of his last 16 games, including seven out of his last eight. 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 second in double-doubles (13.0). 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 (1/24). 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 eight 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 a season high 25 points against Manhattan, marking the third time he has reached 20 points in a game for the Bobcats. Shannon has at least 12 points in each of his last nine games and has 15 or more points in 15 games this year. With his 25-point performance, Shannon (1,203) crossed the 1,200 career-point plateau between his time at Quinnipiac and his stay at Saint Francis University. Shannon is averaging 14.1 points per game this year which ranks him second among Bobcat players and 15th in the MAAC. Shannon's career high came back in 2011 when he poured in 30 points against Sacred Heart when playing for the Red Flash. 

CALM, COOL AND COLLECTED
Umar Shannon ranks fifth in the MAAC in free-throw shooting percentage, averaging 84.0 percent from the charity stripe. Shannon was 8-of-13 from the line against Manhattan, which included two clutch free-throws with 21 seconds left to tie the score and force overtime.  

HEARST CONTINUES TO IMPRESS
Zaid Hearst set a new career high with 25 points against Manhattan, eclipsing the 20-point mark for a team-leading fifth time this season. Hearst has 10 or more points in six of his last eight games and has 830 career points. He is tied for 16th in the MAAC in scoring (13.9), ranks 14th in three-point shooting percentage (.387), 11th in free-throw percentage (.798) and 15th in field goal percentage (.450). Hearst was 7-for-12 from the floor and 11-of-12 from the free-throw line against Manhattan.   

CRASHING THE BOARDS
In addition to his 25 points, Zaid Hearst chipped in with 10 rebounds to collect his 10th career double-double. Hearst has seven double-doubles on the season, which has him tied for third in the MAAC and tied for 44th in the nation. He ranks fourth in the league in rebounds per game (7.7) and is top 10 in both offensive and defensive rebounding. 

THE SHAQ ATTACK
Shaq Shannon is averaging 8.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.3 assists in his last three games. He has at least 10 points in two of those contests, while shooting 50 percent from the floor and 57.1 percent from long range. He has eclipsed 10 points three times this year. 

CHANDLER HOLDING HIS OWN
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 8.4 points per game this season, ranking him 41st in the MAAC and ninth 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 tied third in the conference and tied for 44th 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 .577 overall winning percentage is fourth best among active Division I Coaches in New England, only trailing UConn's Kevin Ollie (.720), Harvard's Tommy Amaker (.648) and Vermont's John Becker (.633). (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 (47.1). 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 179 of his 208 games (.861) – including 50 of its last 51 games without losing the battle on the glass. In 72 of the 208 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 62-10 (.861) 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 sixth time this year against Manhattan (51), marking the 23rd 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 (5.1) and tied for 44th in the nation. 

FREE-THROWS MAKE A DIFFERENCE
Over the last five seasons, Quinnipiac is 52-9 (.853) when making more free-throws than its opponent, including a 12-1 mark this year. Furthermore, the Bobcats are 13-0 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 is back in action on Saturday, Feb. 1 against Siena College. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y.