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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, February 16, 4 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: TD Bank Sports Center (3,300) -- Hamden, Connecticut. Television: None. Home Record: Saint Peter's 5-5, Quinnipiac 9-2. Away Record: Saint Peter's 4-10, Quinnipiac 6-6. Neutral Record: Saint Peter's 0-0, Quinnipiac 1-0. Conference Record: Saint Peter's 5-10, Quinnipiac 11-4. Series Record: Saint Peter's leads, 3-0.
GAME NOTES: Holding up quite well in their first season as a member of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, the Quinnipiac Bobcats shoot for a fifth straight win this afternoon as they clash with the Saint Peter's Peacocks at TD Bank Sports Center.
Winners of five of their last six outings, the Bobcats entered the weekend tied for second place in the MAAC standings with Manhattan and Canisius, as all three sported a record of 11-4. Three nights ago, Quinnipiac traveled the short distance to Fairfield and came away with an 80-72 victory over the Stags.
Meanwhile, the Peacocks find themselves in the bottom half of the standings with only five wins in 15 attempts. The team had managed to put together back- to-back victories against Siena and Monmouth, but then took a tumble versus Iona on the road earlier this week, 62-59.
The Peacocks won the first meeting of the season between the programs by a score of 74-67 at home last month, which means Quinnipiac has lost all three battles with Saint Peter's over the years.
Getting to the free-throw line just nine times was bad enough, but converting only four of those opportunities did the Peacocks in as they suffered the three-point loss to Iona on Wednesday at the Hynes Center. Desi Washington led the offense with 18 points, followed by Chris Burke and Marvin Dominique with 14 and 13 points, respectively, as the latter pair combined to make 4-of-6 at the charity stripe.
The Peacocks have struggled quite a bit in conference play this season, shooting only 38.8 percent from the field and 30.4 percent behind the 3-point line as they produce 61.1 ppg. Dominique is the top scorer in those 15 decisions with 15.9 ppg, not to mention clearing 8.1 rpg, but as good as those efforts are, even by accident he should be averaging better than 0.5 apg. Washington checks in with another 13.2 ppg, but his 36.8 percent from the floor seems to be dragging everyone else down.
All five starters not only scored in double figures for the Bobcats at Fairfield, they were in fact the only players to score for the visitors. Ike Azotam led the way with 23 points and nine rebounds, although he did shoot just 7-of-18 at the free-throw line, followed by Zaid Hearst with 20 points and Ousmane Drame with 17 and eight boards. Guards Shaq Shannon and Evan Conti pitched in with 10 points apiece and a combined 13 rebounds. The Bobcats outscored Fairfield at the free-throw line, 31-18, but the team also missed 20 attempts.
Thanks to Azotam and his 17.0 ppg and 11.0 rpg, the Bobcats can be one of the more devastating teams in the MAAC this season. As a group, they are generating 79.2 ppg and are among the best in the nation in terms of rebounding margin at +11.8. Drame (12.6 ppg) paces the Bobcats with 56 blocked shots and is always on the verge of generating a double-double thanks to his 9.8 rpg as he forms one of the most powerful rebounding duos in the country with Azotam.
Put together a healthy offense with one of the most aggressive rebounding efforts and the Bobcats are going to be tough to beat today, particularly as they play at home in Hamden.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Quinnipiac 84, Saint Peter's 66
02/16 10:35:51 ET
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