Ike Azotam collected his 25th career double-double on Saturday afternoon to lift the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team to a 59-54 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson at the TD Bank Sports Center. With the win, the Bobcats improve to 8-12 overall and climb back to the .500 mark at 4-4 in NEC competition.
Junior Shaq Shannon was the only other Bobcat to finish in double figures, tallying 12 points off the bench as he knocked down three, threes in Quinnipiac's win. Zaid Hearst Evan Conti andJamee Jackson all chipped in with eight points while Hearst and Conti dished out four and five assists, respectively.
Leading 19-16 with 7:27 remaining in the first half, Quinnipiac opened up a double-digit lead with an 11-3 run. Azotam sparked the surge with a jumper from the elbow before Conti capped off the run with a pair of free-throws with under two minutes to play. Quinnipiac heading into halftime with a nine-point lead, 32-23, behind an eight-point, six-rebound first half from Azotam.
Coming out of the half, Fairleigh Dickinson took off on a 12-2 run to take a 37-36 lead with 15:02 to play in regulation. Matthias Seilund led Fairleigh Dickinson with five points in the run while Kinu Rochford had a pair of lay-ups. After an Ousmane Drame free-throw tied the game, 37-37, at the 13:29 mark, FDU's Melquan Bolding answered with a lay-up to give FDU a 39-37 lead. Shannon gave Quinnipiac the lead, 40-39, with the third of his three three-pointers in the game.
Both teams delivered blows back-and-forth down the stretch with Seilund tying the game, 48-48, with 6:43 to play. Drame's jump shot on the ensuing possession gave Quinnipiac a two-point lead, 50-48, which the Bobcats would not give back before the final buzzer.
For the game, Quinnipiac surrendered a 26-18 edge in the paint, but garnered a plus-12 margin on the glass, 44-32. The Bobcats amassed 12 second-chance points and held the Knights to just three in the category. FDU made 44.7 percent of its field goals compared to 32.8 percent from Quinnipiac.
Shannon followed his 18-point outing on Thursday night with his third double-digit performance in five games. Over the last two games, Shannon went 10-of-19 from behind the arc, nearly catching James Johnson's two-game total of 11 which he did in 2010-11.
The Knights were led by Kinu Rochford who scored 14 points and grabbed five rebounds. Sidney Sanders added double-figures with 11 points in 37 minutes of action.
The game also featured Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness weekend, a nationwide annual event to raise awareness about the fight against cancer. Both teams participated for the cause.
The Bobcats hit the road next week and travel to Mount St. Mary's (1/31) and Wagner (2/2) for a pair of NEC match-ups. Tip-off with the Mountaineers is set for 7 p.m., followed by a 4 p.m. tilt against the Seahawks.
Fans interested in purchasing season tickets for the 2012-13 campaign can call the QU Ticket Office at 203-582-3905, visit the official website of Quinnipiac athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com or make a trip to the TD Bank Sports Center Ticket Office.
Please refer to the Official Website of Quinnipiac Athletics, www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com, for any schedule changes as well as the latest news, scores and highlights. The 2012-13 Men's Basketball Schedule is also available for download at www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com for all mobile devices, including iPhones and iPads, as well as all desktop computers.