Quinnipiac Unable to Recover from Early Deficit, Lose MAAC Opener to Saint Peter’s


Photos: Mike Singer

Matt Szczypiorski

The Saint Peter’s Peacocks took down the Quinnipiac Bobcats by a final score of 69-59 on Friday night in the MAAC opening game for each team.

Saint Peter’s scored the opening basket of the game 34 seconds into the contest and never relinquished that lead. The Peacocks used an 11-0 run in the first three and a half minutes of the game to propel them to a wire-to-wire victory.

For head coach Baker Dunleavy and the Bobcats, this is now back-to-back games in which they have started out the game trailing 11-0. Dunleavy believes the solution to avoiding the slow starts will come on the defensive end of the court.

“Obviously, it’s both ends, but the focus is probably going to be on the defensive end in those situations,” said Dunleavy. “Limiting easy opportunities, whether you get a good defensive possession and you allow a second chance opportunity, it’s happened a lot.”

Redshirt junior guard Matt Balanc, who led the way for the Bobcats offensively with 20 points off the bench, believes the slow starts can be fixed through better responses.

“Coming in saying we’re going to out tough the other team, you’re not going to out tough us,” said Balanc. “A lot of times, we get punched in the face first, we need to be the ones that do that. Honestly, until that changes, I don’t know.”

Despite the slow start, Quinnipiac was able to scratch and claw its way back into the game late in the second half. Behind a tenacious effort on the glass by graduate student Kevin Marfo, who had 20 rebounds in the game, one short of his career high, the Bobcats found themselves down just two with 2:16 remaining in regulation.

Peacocks junior guard Daryl Banks III was having none of that, though. Banks went on to score seven of the final nine points for Saint Peter’s, including a clutch three-pointer out of a timeout with 1:57 left to propel the Peacocks to victory.

In what was the third straight loss for the Bobcats, Dunleavy didn’t rule out a potential change in the starting lineup going forward, as Balanc and redshirt junior guard Savion Lewis combined for 32 points off the bench.

“We started him (Lewis) in the second half, and I think we’re still early enough in the season that we would evaluate what our starting lineups would be going forward,” said Dunleavy. “We’re just getting a lot of guys back healthy as well…so we’ll see.”

The Bobcats (3-4, 0-1) are back in action on Sunday afternoon for another MAAC contest as they go on the road to take on Manhattan. 

Saint Peter’s (2-3, 1-0) will return home for a MAAC game of their own against Siena on Sunday afternoon. 

The two teams will meet again on Feb. 4 at Saint Peter’s.