Men’s Basketball Looks to Book Semifinal Ticket Against Monmouth

Will Fowler

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Photo: Liz Flynn

In the quarterfinals of the MAAC Tournament in Albany, New York, the No. 3 Quinnipiac Bobcats will face off against the No. 6 Monmouth Hawks. These two MAAC opponents faced off twice during the regular season, with Quinnipiac sweeping the season series.  The Bobcats won the first meeting, a home win in double overtime 89-83, while the second meeting at Monmouth, Quinnipiac won 68-56.

 

Player to Watch

 

Quinnipiac: Cameron Young

 

MAAC Player of the Year Cameron Young leads Quinnipiac with 23 points per game, 32 steals and 93 three-pointers. Everyone is still talking about Young’s 55-point game against Siena on Feb. 17 that set a MAAC record and was the most any player in the NCAA scored in a game this season.  However, since that game he’s averaged 24.3 points a game.

 

Monmouth: Ray Salnave

 

As a redshirt sophomore, Salnave leads the Hawks averaging 12.2 points per game and 2.8 assists per game.  When Monmouth went on a three-game losing streak from Feb. 17-24, Salnave averaged seven points in those three losses.  However, when Monmouth finished the season on a two-game winning streak, Salnave had 20 and 17 points.  When Salnave steps up, he makes the Hawks a much more dangerous team.

 

Keys to the Game

 

Quinnipiac:  Offensive Depth

 

The Bobcats outscore their opponents, averaging 73.1 PPG to their opponents’ 71.2, and part of that is the wide number of scoring options, such as Cameron Young, Rich Kelly, Tyrese Williams and Jacob Rigoni. Besides the top four scorers, Quinnipiac has streaky depth on the offensive side of the ball as nine different Bobcats have reached double-digit scoring numbers this season, though the bench has given limited contributions in recent weeks.

 

Monmouth:  Defense

 

Monmouth’s offense is not the strong point of the team.  In the MAAC, Monmouth ranks eight in PPG (64.2), second to last in field goals and last in three-pointers made.  The Hawks defense is sixth in the conference allowing 70.6 points per game.  If Monmouth can shut down Quinnipiac’s many different scoring options, the Hawks can advance to the MAAC semifinals.

 

The Game

 

Be sure to catch all the action from the Times Union Center in Albany, NY, as the Bobcats look to book their spot in the conference semifinal for the second straight year on Sunday at 7 p.m. Max Schreiber and Kevin Higgins will have the call on mixlr.com/qbsn, and for live updates, be sure to follow @QBSN on Twitter!