Bobcats storm back from slow start to take down Marist, 72-66


Photo: Bevan Gebhardt

Gage Kilborne

The Quinnipiac men’s basketball team (15-6, 6-4) hosted the Marist Red Foxes (7-13, 3-8) on Tuesday night at Lender Court.

The Bobcats came into the game following a devastating loss to the hands of Iona on Sunday. However, they were able to pull off an amazing come-from-behind victory to take down the Red Foxes 72-66.

In the beginning of the game it seemed pretty clear that Marist had the size advantage over Quinnipiac, its tallest player being 6’11” Patrick Gardner from Merrick, New York.

The Red Foxes used their size to their advantage as their shots came so effortless against a short Quinnipiac defense. This massive advantage gave the Red Foxes an early 22-9 lead. Coming fresh out of the media timeout, Baker Dunleavy’s squad came out firing on all cylinders to cut the deficit to eight.

Another Marist run followed, but it was Quinnipiac who got the last laugh, or in fact Dezi Jones, who hit back-to-back three pointers to cut the deficit to four entering halftime. One of those three pointers he actually shot on one foot as the shot clock was winding down.

Coming out of the half it was evident that the Bobcats had a whole new game plan as they were able to hold their own defensively. The biggest stop had to be minimizing the offensive attack by Gardner. In the second half they held him to eight points and it really slowed down the offense.

This stalemate on the backcourt allowed the offense to get hot as Jones and Matt Balanc got hot at the right time to provide the clutch win.  

Head coach Baker Dunleavy talked about playing against a tall team like Marist.

“It was a tricky game, we have some good size by playing Ike (Nweke) and Paul (Otieno) together but Gardner presents an interesting matchup.”

The nearly seven-foot center really made his presence felt on the court as the Bobcats struggled to get points while he was guarding them.

Meanwhile on the court, Jones was an assist away from a double-double, but what makes it more impressive is that he has reached double-figures in points in four consecutive games.

“Just going out there playing with confidence, I just get a good warm up,” Jones said. “So, I feel good and just going out not rushing anything, so I feel good. And getting my teammates involved.”

With Jones being in the rhythm during his warmups, this means dangerous things to come if you are on the opposite bench.

Dunleavy, Jones and the rest of the basketball Bobcats are hoping to keep the rhythm going as they host in-state rival Fairfield this Friday at Lender Court on national television.