Quinnipiac (9-5) at Saint Peter's (5-9)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, January 12, 2:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Yanitelli Center (3,200) -- Jersey City, New Jersey. Television: None. Home Record: Quinnipiac 5-1, Saint Peter's 2-3. Away Record: Quinnipiac 3-4, Saint Peter's 3-6. Neutral Record: Quinnipiac 1-0, Saint Peter's 0-0. Conference Record: Quinnipiac 4-1, Saint Peter's 1-4. Series Record: Saint Peter's leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: Matching up for the first time as NCAA Division I opponents, the Saint Peter's Peacocks and the Quinnipiac Bobcats clash in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action at the Yanitelli Center this afternoon.
Making the transition over from the Northeast Conference to the MAAC, the Bobcats find themselves tied with three other programs atop the league standings heading into play on Sunday. Since losing to Oregon State on the road near the end of December, the squad has rattled off three straight victories, all against MAAC opponents, the latest of which was an 81-76 triumph over Manhattan on Thursday at home.
As for the Peacocks, they are at the other end of the spectrum in terms of their conference success so far in 2013-14. The squad has just a single win in five opportunities, that lone victory coming against a winless Fairfield group earlier this week by a single point, 56-55. The decision snapped a minor two- game slide for Saint Peter's.
This is just the third meeting all-time between the two programs, and the first since 1957 when the Peacocks posted an 87-51 win for their second victory in as many tries versus the Bobcats. The teams will meet in the middle of next month to complete their regular-season series.
Against Manhattan, the Bobcats shot only 39.3 percent from the floor and 6- of-16 behind the 3-point line, but they saved themselves by outscoring the visitors by a whopping 31-14 at the free-throw line. Zaid Hearst was the top scorer for the hosts with 20 points, but it was Ike Azotam who made the biggest impact with his 17 points, game-high 18 rebounds and three blocked shots. Umar Shannon pitched in with 15 points, and Ousmane Drame came up a point shy of his own double-double as he cleared 14 boards and rejected four shots.
Rebounding has been a hallmark of the Bobcats all season long, producing a staggering 46.7 boards per contest, compared to just 33.3 rpg for the competition. Not once has the team failed to bring down at least 41 rebounds in a game, with their high being an incredible 60 boards versus Maine. Azotam (17.1 ppg) does the bulk of the work on the inside with 11.5 rpg, followed by Drame (11.9 ppg) and Hearst (14.3 ppg) with 8.6 and 8.2 rpg, respectively.
A 3-pointer by Desi Washington as time expired lifted the Saint Peter's Peacocks to a thrilling 56-55 win over the Fairfield Stags in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference battle at Webster Bank Arena earlier this week. Washington finished with just seven points for the Peacocks on 2-of-8 shooting from the floor, while Jamel Fields came off the bench to register a team-best 13 points and Trevis Wyche added 12 for the visitors. The Peacocks survived despite shooting a woeful 29.0 percent from the field in the second half.
Although he did not score in double figures the last time out, the top scorer overall for the Peacocks in conference play thus far has been Marvin Dominique who is pouring in 16.4 ppg in 35.0 minutes per game. Dominique is also hitting the glass to the tune of 9.6 rpg to give the program a slight edge in that department (2.6 rpg). Washington is the only other double-digit scorer during MAAC action with his 11.2 ppg as the team generates just 60.8 ppg, compared to 67.8 ppg for the opposition.
With as poorly as the offense has performed for the Peacocks lately, the team could be in for a messy defeat today if they don't figure out a way to at least somewhat curtail Quinnipiac's dominance on the glass.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Quinnipiac 84, Saint Peter's 62
01/12 10:23:54 ET