Bobcats Overcome Sluggish Start, Down Blue Devils 76-65


Photos: QBSN

Owen Mitchell

The Quinnipiac Bobcats hosted the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils in non-conference action on Saturday, taking a 76-65 victory over their former conference rival. 

The big question coming into the game was whether CCSU’s offense could keep up with the Bobcats. The Blue Devils didn’t have anybody averaging over 9.8 points per game, while Quinnipiac had four players averaging double figures heading into the contest. 

The game started slowly, with both teams getting quality looks on offense but having trouble finding the bottom of the net. The Bobcats were able to gather several offensive boards but were unable to capitalize early. 

Coming out of a timeout, the Bobcats used two quick three pointers from Matt Balanc and Jacob Rigoni to take a 10-4 lead after starting the game 0-6 from deep. The Blue Devils battled back, tying the game 17-17 halfway through the first. The teams traded baskets for the remainder of the half, with neither side leading by more than three points. 

The game appeared to be heading into the half deadlocked at 29-29 before Savion Lewis broke through a double team to score at the rim with five seconds left, giving the Bobcats a 31-29 halftime lead. 

Quinnipiac jumped on its opponent immediately in the second, using a 13-2 to take a commanding 44-31 lead four minutes in. 

However, the Blue Devils didn’t go quietly into the night, cutting the lead to eight off Ian Krishnan’s four-point play and two free throws from Nigel Scanterbury. A Tyrese Williams three then sparked a 9-0 Quinnipiac run to balloon the lead to 17 with four minutes to go. CCSU didn’t threaten again. 

“These games are important for us,” said graduate forward Kevin Marfo. “They teach us valuable lessons so when we get to conference play, we’re ready to go.” 

Tymu Chenery led the way for the Bobcats, posting 17 points along with eight rebounds in the victory. He was followed closely by Marfo with a 14 point, 14 rebound double-double. Lewis’ presence was felt all over the court as he finished with 12 points, two rebounds, four assists and a steal.

“A good level of effort and energy from our guys,” said coach Baker Dunleavy. “Central is a team with a new coach that’s forming an identity, but they make it very tough on you. They’re organized and they play hard. We had to fight through that to get the win.” 

The Bobcats return to action Tuesday night against New Hampshire, their final game before the Thanksgiving break.