Men’s basketball falls to Siena 72-70 in final home game of the season

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Updated: February 28, 2014

The Quinnipiac Bobcats men’s basketball team (19-9, 14-5 MAAC) saw its seven-game winning streak come to an end Thursday night, when the Siena College Saints (14-16, 10-9 MAAC) defeated the Bobcats by a final score of 72-70 at the TD Bank Sports Center. Even with the loss, the Bobcats are still in control of the No. 2 seed in the conference.

Photo courtesy of quinnipiacbobcats.com

Photo courtesy of quinnipiacbobcats.com

The Bobcats outplayed the Saints for much of the first half, and had as much as a ten point lead about halfway through the first half. The Saints stayed within striking distance, however, and went in to the locker room at the half only down one, 34-33. The Saints took their first lead of the game minutes in to the second half, going up 37-36. From this point on, in a very physical battle, the two teams would battle back and forth until the final buzzer sounded and the Saints emerged victorious.

Quinnipiac head coach Tom Moore was a man of few words after the game, but he was not very pleased with the way his team played in the loss on Thursday.

“We got outplayed tonight,” Moore said. “We weren’t sharp, and made too many mistakes.”

This game came down to turnovers and free throws, two categories in which the Bobcats did not win tonight. The Bobcats turned the ball over 16 times, opposed to the Saints’ eight. The Saints also had a much better shooting percentage from the charity stripe, as they shot just under 91 percent  going 19 of 21, to the Bobcats’ 15 of 22 showing for only 68 percent.

“They went 19 for 21 from the line so they did a nice job down the stretch,” Moore said. “We didn’t hit enough free throws in the second half of the game.”

Despite the Bobcat loss two players were still able to tally double-doubles and three other players scored in double figures. Senior Ike Azotam led Quinnipiac with 15 points and 10 rebounds in his final home game in a Bobcat uniform. Despite being in foul trouble and only being able to play 18 minutes, Ousmane Drame was still able to collect 12 points and 10 rebounds. On a rather off night shooting wise for Zaid Hearst, he still scored 12 points.

The Bobcats had a chance in waning seconds of this game as a Zaid Hearst three put the Bobcats up 69-66 with 43 seconds remaining.  On the ensuing Siena possession, Lavon Long was fouled on a drive to the basket, after making the first free throw, he missed the second but Rob Poole was there to get the rebound and put it back while drawing a foul. Poole made the free throw which put the Saints up 70-69. Poole finished with 13 points for the Saints.  The Bobcats had one final chance with three seconds left to draw up a play for Zaid Hearst, but great defense by Poole broke up the play and the Bobcats were unable to get a clean shot off.

The Bobcats look to finish the regular season on a high note when they travel to Poughkeepsie, N.Y. on Sunday, March 2 to take on the Red Foxes of Marist in their final regular season game of the season.

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