The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Sports

January 18, 2013

Quinnipiac scores overtime victory over St. Francis men

LORETTO — The Quinnipiac University men’s basketball team boasted a 14-4 run in the overtime period and escaped with a 75-66 victory over Saint Francis University at DeGol Arena on Thursday night.

Ike Azotam led all scorers with 22 points and picked up his 23rd career double-double with 10 rebounds as Quinnipiac improved to 6-11 overall and 2-3 in Northeast Conference competition.

Azotam went 9-of-19 from the floor in 35 minutes of action and moved ahead of LIU’s Jamal Olasewere in career double-doubles among active NEC players. Zaid Hearst finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for his third career double-double and two others chipped in with double figures on the offensive end.

Jamee Jackson had 12 points and four rebounds and Ousmane Drame added 10 points and four rebounds.

St. Francis forced the overtime period with a 6-0 run in the final two minutes of regulation; but Quinnipiac was quick to answer in the extra frame.

Hearst collected the first two points and the Bobcats went on a 14-4 run over the next four minutes of play.

Quinnipiac’s defense was terrific, holding SFU to just one field goal (1-6) in the added five minutes.

Quinnipiac’s success was due in large part to its formidable front court, which provided a big lift in the triumph.

The Bobcats controlled a

46-22 edge in the paint and a 47-40 advantage on the backboards – making it six out of the last seven with 40 or more rebounds.

Quinnipiac also grabbed 19 offensive rebounds and poured in 22 second chance points.

Defensively, the Bobcats held the Red Flash to 35 percent from the floor – which included a 2-of-8 performance from SFU’s leading scorer, Umar Shannon. Earl Brown led the way with 14 points and 18 rebounds.

The first half of action belonged to the Quinnipiac Bobcats.

Trailing 21-19 with seven minutes remaining in the first half, Hearst sparked a 10-0 Bobcat run over the next four minutes.

Quinnipiac followed with six of the game’s next 10 points, including an Azotam layup with three ticks left for a 35-25 lead at halftime.

Azotam led all scorers with 11 points and seven points at the break.

The Bobcats improved to 19-8 all-time against the Red Flash and 10-3 over the last 13 games.

The Bobcats have claimed seven of the last nine meetings.

The Bobcats wrap up their three-game road trip on Saturday night in a 7 p.m. game at Robert Morris.

St. Francis hosts Sacred Heart at 2 p.m. on Saturday at DeGol Arena.

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