For the second consecutive season, Quinnipiac men’s basketball earned the chance to play in a national postseason tournament. For the second time in a row, they bowed out early.
The Buffalo Bulls played the role of season-ender this time, defeating the Bobcats 75-68 in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament at the TD Bank Sports Center on Monday night.
Zach Filzen led the Bulls (19-13) with 17 points (11 in the second half) on 3-for-8 shooting from beyond the arc.
“I didn’t feel comfortable going into the game about our defensive game plan against them, because I didn’t feel like we had any familiarity with them,” Quinnipiac head coach Tom Moore said. “It showed in the second half. I sensed the uncertainty from us.”
A four-point game at the half, Buffalo opened up a 12-point lead just over six minutes into the second half on a Filzen 3-pointer. The Bulls shot a blistering 52 percent (15-29) in the second half.
“Defensively we weren’t locked in,” Moore said. “In the second half they did a very good job of passing the ball and spacing the court.”
Senior Deontay Twyman nearly had a triple-double for the Bobcats (22-10), finishing with 14 points, and career-highs of 10 assists and 8 rebounds.
“The way that Buffalo played defensively kind of helped me a little bit,” Twyman said. “I was able to cut through screens and go under everything so I got a couple good shot where I faded a couple screens and got some open looks.”
First Team All-NEC performers James Johnson and Justin Rutty added 17 and 13 points, respectively. Sophomore Raheem May-Thompson finished with a career-high 14 points.
Michell Watt (16 points) and Dave Barnett (15) were the only other Bulls who scored in double figures.
Quinnipiac finished the game shooting 36.8 percent from the field. They held the Bulls to 30 percent in the first half (before allowing Buffalo to shoot 52 percent in the latter half).
Quinnipiac fell in the NEC Championship game to Robert Morris last season and earned their first-ever national postseason tournament berth. They lost to Virginia Tech in the first round of the NIT.
This year they hosted their first-ever national postseason tournament game.
The team will lose Justin Rutty, Deontay Twyman and Sean Light to graduation.