Archive for category: Men’s college basketball

By Jordan Novack, Staff Writer                 Link to Original

In its first nationally-televised game of the season, the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team looked to leave a strong impression on the fans watching across the country.

And led by big games from Zaid Hearst and Ousmane Drame, the Bobcats scored big in a conference win over Manhattan.

In front of a sold-out crowd at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Quinnipiac’s defeated Manhattan 73-59 Friday night on ESPNU.

“That was a big win against an opponent we have a lot of respect for,” Moore said. “We have got a lot of guys sacrificing right now, so to get wins over respected opponents is important.”

Drame recorded 12 points, 4 blocks and 19 rebounds in the win. Hearst, meanwhile, led Quinnipiac’s charge offensively by scoring 23 points in the victory.

Nick Solari|Quinnipiac Chronicle

Nick Solari|Quinnipiac Chronicle               Hearst goes up for the layup over the Manhattan defender

The double-double was Drame’s 14th of the season, which is tied for tops in the nation.

“[Ous] was great, he’s got everything,” Quinnipiac head coach Tom Moore said. “He is in a good place right now. He’s not perfect, but when he plays with that energy level it’s inspiring. If his energy level is like that, his numbers will always follow.”

Emmy Andujar recorded 25 points and 12 rebounds for Manhattan, while Ashton Pankey had 18 points on the night.

“Andujar is a tough match up,” Drame said, “He is a three, two, and he plays the four position, he’s like a point forward. Strong, big bodied, overall he was a tough match up for us.”

The Jaspers remained in a smothering press defense on Quinnipiac all night, keeping the game close until the final minutes.

“We made a few dumb turnovers early in the second half trying to beat the press,” Hearst said. “But we did a good job adjusting, and figuring out how to beat their press and put up some points.”

After the game, Moore also spoke of how important point guard Kasim Chandler was in beating the Jaspers’ press.

“I know Kaz had the five turnovers but I loved his demeanor. We don’t win tonight if we don’t have his confidence in the full court,” Moore said. “You come at that guy in the open court, and he’s getting by you.”

Freshman Chaise Daniels contributed for the Bobcats with 11 points and three big blocks. Senior Evan Conti also added 12 points of his own off of the bench.

“Evan was great, you talk about a confident kid who never loses his will,” Moore said. “He’s had a tough stretch. He lost his starting spot, his minutes have been reduced, and I have him on a short leash, but he was ready in big spots.”

The Bobcats, now 11-8 on the season, square off with MAAC rivals Canisus (11-7) on Friday at the Koessler Athletic Center in Buffalo N.Y.

By Jordan Novack, Staff Writer                 Link to Original

Those in attendance at the TD Bank Sports Center on Saturday night for the Connecticut 6 Classic game between Quinnipiac and Yale got just what was advertized: a classic.

Lead by a career-high 35 points and 11 rebounds from senior captain Zaid Hearst and 13 points, 15 rebounds and seven blocks from senior Ousmane Drame, the Bobcats defeated the Bulldogs 89-85 in double overtime at Lender Court.

“Actions speak louder than words, and I have named one captain in all seven of my years [at Quinnipiac],” Quinnipiac head coach Tom Moore said. “He played 49 minutes of a 50-minute game and still looks like the freshest guy out there. I hold him up on a pedestal. We have never had a kid who wants to win as much as Zaid Hearst, ever.”

For Hearst, performing in front of a crowd of more than 3,000 at The Bank had a huge effect on the outcome of the game.

“It was a great feeling having the student body and all of the fans out and supporting us,” Hearst said. “It was a big reason why we won tonight.”

Quinnipiac trailed 40-38 at halftime, despite 17 points from Hearst. Yale was led by point guard Javier Duren in the first 20 minutes, as he scored 18 points while Justin Sears added 10.

Following the break, Drame lead the way for Quinnipiac defensively, blocking five shots in the second half alone. Hearst scored 12 second-half points, while holding Sears to just two second-half points on the other end.

The Bulldogs, though, wouldn’t go down without a fight. Drame hit a shot to tie the game with 23 seconds left, and then blocked a shot with six seconds left to send things into overtime.

“[Drame is] at 75 percent of what he will be in two to three weeks coming off the meniscus,” Moore said. “He just needs to shake off a little bit more rust and learn to trust it a little bit more, which for some athletes, can be the toughest thing.”

Hearst missed a shot at the end of regulation, which sent things into overtime.

Nick Solari|Quinnipiac Chronicle

Nick Solari|Quinnipiac Chronicle                          Hearst drives towards the net with a defender in tow

During overtime, Moore elected to play senior Justin Harris.

“I had been sitting behind some of the best competition in Quinnipiac history in Ike Azotam and Ousmane Drame,” Harris said. “And after playing against that tough of competition day in and day out, when you finally get an opportunity it feels great to finally go out there and make a contribution.”

Harris played 20 important minutes, scoring 12 points and grabbing two rebounds.

Moore spoke of how Harris impressed him, and how it could impact his plans in the future.

“He earned a ton of trust from the head coach going into Tuesday‘s game against La Salle,” Moore said. “It was a really big night for him, and he really needed it.”

Following the game, NBA’s all-time three point field goal leader Ray Allen paid the Bobcats a special visit.

Quinnipiac hosts La Salle at the TD Bank Sports Center on Tuesday.

By Jordan Novack, Contributing Writer                 Link to Original

The Quinnipiac Athletics Hall of Fame held a ceremony to induct the Class of 2014 on Saturday afternoon at the TD Bank Sports Center, honoring six individual athletes and two tennis teams.

The newest members were enshrined in front of a gala of friends, family and peers.

The first inductee of the night was former men’s basketball bigman Bill Romano. Romano was a four-year starter during his time at Quinnipiac and rewrote the record books on the court. Upon his graduation, he was Quinnipiac’s all-time program leader in points, rebounding and points per game.

During his speech, Romano reflected on the growth of Quinnipiac athletics and the basketball program since his time on campus.

“My freshman year, in 1998, the locker room was so small we could barely fit an entire team in there,” Romano said. “I remember looking around and saying to myself, ‘wow this is similar to a middle school or high school locker room.’ Now look at this palace in which we play in today.”

Jared Grasso, Romano’s teammate and “best friend,” was the next to be inducted into the Quinnipiac Hall of Fame.

Grasso was a four-year member of the basketball team, who, upon his graduation, was the second player in school history to accumulate 1,000 points and 400 assists.

Grasso talked about his best memory at Quinnipiac, the NEC Championship game against Central Connecticut.
“[It was] the best basketball atmosphere I have been a part of in my entire life,” Grasso said. “I really felt proud to know how much work we put in when everyone said we weren’t any good, or we weren’t going to win any games. We were only two bounces away from being in the NCAA tournament in that last year.”

Former women’s basketball player Ashlee Kelly was inducted after Grasso. Kelly currently serves as an associate head coach for the Iona College women’s basketball squad, while Grasso is an associate head coach for the men’s basketball team.

While on campus, Kelly was one of the most decorated players in the history of program. She was named the Northeast Conference Player of the Year in 2002-03, becoming women’s basketball’s first student-athlete to win the honor. Kelly averaged 13.5 rebounds per game during that season, leading all of Division I basketball.

Kelly’s most glowing support came from Senior Associate Athletic Director Bill Mecca, who hosted the ceremony.

“I’ve never seen someone compete at a level that high day in and day out,” Meca said. “She is arguably the best women’s basketball player to ever wear a Quinnipiac jersey.”

The fourth inductee came in the form of Stephanie Petrycki. A four year member of the tennis team, Petrycki is currently Quinnipiac’s all-time leader in career wins (165), career singles victories (84) and career doubles victories (81). She was named the “Most Valuable Performer” of the tennis team in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

Petrycki spoke of how her time at Quinnipiac changed how she perceived tennis as a team sport.

“You grow up going to tennis tournaments, you always did it as an individual,” Petrycki said. “You meet people, and you make friends and stuff, but you are really by yourself. But coming here, you become part of a real team… It was probably one of my favorite parts of being [at Quinnipiac].”

The final individual inductee of the night was the voice of Quinnipiac, Bill Schweizer. Schweizer is a broadcast veteran of 44 years, and has worked on seven Olympic broadcasts and handled play-by-play for both the National Football League and Major League Baseball during his career. He is entering in his 20th year at Quinnipiac, serving as the play-by-play announcer for the Bobcats’ ice hockey and basketball teams.

In a conversation following the ceremony, Schweizer described the two fondest memories he’s had during his time at Quinnipiac.

“[Quinnipiac men’s ice hockey] went on the road to Cornell for a three-game series, and Cornell never loses at home,” Schweizer said, talking about the 2006-2007 season. “Quinnipiac swept them in two games, and both games the atmosphere was unbelievable. Two of my favorite games of all time were those games.”

And he has a special memory for basketball, too.

“[The 2002 Men’s Basketball Team] came out of nowhere and got to the NEC championship game against Central, only being four years into Division 1, playing on ESPN,” Schweizer said. “The atmosphere that night in the gym at Central was unbelievable. It was sold out and the whole house just shook.”

The first team to be inducted was the 1996-97 women’s tennis team. The team went 16-2 overall, and went undefeated in NE-10 play (10-0), winning the regular season and NE-10 tournament championship title. They were the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division II tournament that year.

The final inductee of the night was the 1996-97 men’s tennis team. The team went 18-1 and was undefeated in NE-10 matches (9-0). The team won two consecutive Northeast-10 regular season and tournament titles to close out the team’s Division II history.

The Quinnipiac Athletics Hall of Fame was established in 1971, and currently has 133 players and 10 teams