By Jordan Katz, QBSN Staff Writer
“He’s just a strong consistent player at the basket. He’s evolved as a player as well, he’s really been a great tribute to our program.” Head Coach Tom Moore had nothing but the highest of compliments for Ike Azotam (Boston, Mass.) after the junior Forward scored his 1,000th point of his career amidst his 17 points in the Bobcats 71-55 victory over the Saint Francis Red Flash (3-22, 3-11) on Sunday.
“I wasn’t really thinking about it, but my teammates kept egging me on. I really didn’t notice it but it shows the hard work and dedication my teammates and I put in,” said Azotam after the accomplishment.
“He looked like a 1,000 point scorer tonight,” Coach Moore added. “He made some face up moves on the low block that you don’t see freshmen and sophomores making.”
Quinnipiac (12-13, 8-5) had two crucial runs that helped the lead balloon in the first half. The Bobcats opened the game on a 14-2 run led by stellar defense and three 3-pointers from Zaid Hearst (Bethesda, Md.) who had 16 points and seven rebounds on the game. After the Red Flash cut the lead to 17-10 midway through the first half, Azotam scored the next six points for the Bobcats that helped them go on an astounding 17-1 run to stretch the lead to 34-11 and from that point on it was clear sailing for Quinnipiac.
Evan Conti (Bayside, N.Y.) followed up his brilliant performance against Robert Morris with another stellar game against the Red Flash, scoring 13 points and adding eight rebounds and seven assists as he commanded the offense from start to finish.
“He thinks he’s a lot better than he is which is awesome and I love that. That allows him to succeed in spots where (he) normally shouldn’t try,” said Coach Moore.
“I don’t want this to just be a onetime thing,” Conti added. “I just got to stay consistent and help this team the best I can.”
The Bobcats have now won five of their last six games and have moved to 5th in the Northeast Conference standings and are just 1.5 games back of first place Robert Morris and LIU-Brooklyn. When asked on the key to the turnaround Ike Azotam, Evan Conti and Head Coach Tom Moore all gave the exact same response, confidence.
“The one thing I’ve learned the most as a college basketball player is how important confidence is,” Conti said. “When a team has confidence, they’re scary and right now we have confidence, which is helping us out a lot.”
Not only do the Bobcats have confidence, but they have momentum as the NEC regular season winds down.
Quinnipiac will hit the road for an intra-state clash versus rival Sacred Heart on Thursday. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00pm.