Men’s Basketball wins home opener against Western New England, 103-52


Photos: QBSN

Christian Beane

Game two for the Quinnipiac men’s basketball season took place on Friday. For Quinnipiac, this was its first game back in front of fans since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

On Tuesday, Quinnipiac played its opening game, losing to No. 21 Maryland, 83-69. On Friday, Quinnipiac faced the Western New England Golden Bears.

The Bobcats were only behind in this game early in the first when the score was 17-15. After that point, the team went on a six-minute run where Quinnipiac held the Golden Bears to no points. In that same six-minute run, the Bobcats scored 24 points, giving them a comfortable 39-17 lead. 

After that point, the Bobcats never looked back, constantly building their lead. At the half, they were leading the Golden Bears 47-28.

The second half was all Quinnipiac as the Bobcats outscored Western New England by a score of 56-24. In the end, the final score was 103-52, a 51-point margin. 

Guard Matt Balanc continued his hot start to the season, scoring 17 points on 7-15 shooting. Balanc, who averaged just 3.9 points per game last season, is leading the team in scoring early on this season averaging 21.0 points per game. 

“It’s more confidence to me,” Balanc said. “Last year I wasn’t at my best, I didn’t have as much confidence as I do now. I come in every game confident and knowing what I’m gonna do.” 

In addition to Balanc’s 17 points, the Bobcats had four other players reach double digits. The other players were sophomores Tymu Chenery and Dezi Jones who had 13 and 14, respectively, redshirt junior Savion Lewis who had 12, and senior Tyrese Williams who tied Balanc for the game-high with 17 points. 

A name typically seen in the scoring column was missing from it tonight. Graduate forward Kevin Marfo was held without a bucket tonight, not attempting a single shot.

“He’s an unselfish, facilitating player. I don’t want that to happen, to be quite honest,” coach Baker Dunleavy said. “I know he had seven assists and I think he was trying to make the right play.”

Despite not scoring, Marfo did leave his mark on the game. As Dunleavy mentioned, Marfo did have seven assists. And in addition to those seven dimes, Marfo grabbed six total rebounds and a big block early in the first half. 

Chenery left his mark on the game both offensively and defensively. Late in the first half, Western New England’s forward Gavin Greene was attempting a tough lay-in. Chenery came flying from underneath the basket to send Greene’s shot attempt into the stands. 

Only five minutes later, Jones intercepted a pass from the Golden Bear’s Thomas Arrigal. Jones took a few dribbles before sending a pass towards the rim. Chenery was there to catch Jones’ pass and finish the alley-oop. 

Halfway through the second half, Jones took a shot from deep. The shot bounced off the front of the rim perfectly into the air. Who else besides Chenery was there to catch the ball and throw down the perfectly timed put-back dunk. 

At the tail end of the game, Dunleavy took out his starters and primary role players. That means the fans got to see freshman Quinn Guth and senior Brendan Martin. They only had four minutes of playing time, but they both made the most of it. Guth took a pass from Martin and hit his only shot attempt from deep. On the previous possession, Martin showed off his ball-handling skills and drove to the basket. On that play, Martin was fouled and nailed both of his free throw attempts. 

“B-Mar comes every day ready to work, ready to do his role and I think he stayed humble for it,” Balanc said about Martin. “Seeing him do that out there was something that a lot of us want to see. We love the guy, so when he does good, it’s something happy for us.”

The Bobcats will look to start a winning streak as they take on Holy Cross at the People’s United Center on Monday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m.