Quinnipiac men’s basketball falls short against Siena

Kriby Paulson and Jake Ziegler

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Photo: Samantha Bashaw

Photo: Samantha Bashaw

Quinnipiac men’s basketball (9-14, 6-6 MAAC) was coming into this contest against the Siena Saints (9-13, 6-6 MAAC) not only on a two-game losing streak, but the Bobcats were also trying to avoid a regular season series sweep by the Saints. To their dismay, neither concern was addressed successfully as the Bobcats’ 84-75 loss drops them to .500 in MAAC play. Meanwhile, Siena came into this game with four consecutive wins against Quinnipiac along with a 7-2 all-time record against the Bobcats; that success continued on the road.

The first half was a back and forth, competitive game with the Bobcats edging the Saints with a 2-point halftime lead, though some of the numbers don’t indicate such. One of the most glaring facts was 12 offensive rebounds to four in favor of the Saints. In addition, Siena was leading the total rebounds category by a tally of 27 to 15, with junior forward Chase Daniels accounting for five of them. Little did the Bobcats know that they were only going to accumulate nine more rebounds the rest of the game, and the fact that the Saints were going to run away with 57 total rebounds. Although Quinnipiac head coach Tom Moore wasn’t pleased whatsoever with the rebound inefficiencies, he did have an explanation for it.

“As a team, we’re smaller and weaker, and it’s been hurting us all season long inside the paint when I see the other team just outwork our guys for the 50/50 balls,” Moore said.

The Siena Saints progressively gained momentum during the second half and the tone of that half may have been set at the 13:58 mark when senior forward Javion Ogunyemi was assisted by 161-pound guard Marquis Wright on a highlight reel alley-oop play. Ogunyemi was all over the court as he tallied 25 points, 4 rebounds and went 12/14 in field goals. Other notable performers for Siena include guard/forward Lavon Long who finished the night with 26 points, six assists and 16 rebounds, and senior Brett Bisping with 17 points, 14 rebounds (five of them being offensive) and he went 5/6 at the free throw line.

Recently-named MAAC Rookie of the Week Mikey Dixon had a nice performance on the floor registering 19 points, going 7/12 on field goals and forcing three turnovers. Additional top performers on the Bobcats include Daniels with an eye-catching seven blocks, 18 points and nine of Quinnipiac’s 27 rebounds (33.3%), and freshman guard Peter Kiss putting up 19 points, going a perfect 4/4 with free throws and tallying seven assists.

At the end of the night Moore said that it was clear the team didn’t live up to their expectations, nor his.

“I thought Siena was hungry, relentless and tough throughout the game and we weren’t,” Moore said. “I’m very disappointed in tonight’s efforts collectively, so I’m hoping that we can just move by this and prepare for Niagara.”

Daniels echoed very similar thoughts that Moore articulated about the team’s effort and performance in this loss.

“We just didn’t have enough energy tonight; not everyone was always on the same page,” Daniels said. “There’s no way we can play like this against Niagara if we’re going to have any chance.”

Quinnipiac plans to put this loss in the rear-view mirror as it looks to break this three-game losing streak in another MAAC matchup on Saturday against the Niagara Purple Eagles.