Kyle Vinales’ 32 points for Central Connecticut was not enough to top the dominating Bobcats effort, as Quinnipiac cruised past the Blue Devils Thursday, 85-78. The win gave Quinnipiac head coach Tom Moore his 100th career victory, and Shaq Shannon led the team with 18 points off the bench. Shannon also shot 6-of-10 from beyond the arc.
Starting guard Evan Conti, finding himself on the bad end of the whistle early, only played four minutes in first half. Shannon proved to be the difference maker for the Bobcats, playing 26 minutes and totaling five boards with four assists.
When asked how Shannon felt his contribution led to the win, he confidently replied “100 percent.”
On the season, Quinnipiac has shot 30.1 percent from beyond the arc, but against Central Connecticut State they shot 42.9 percent, hitting 8-of-19.
“It was really nice for us to make eight three-pointers,” Moore said. “It felt like about 20.”
Kyle Vinales kept Central Connecticut in the game, but a serious blow came in the first six minutes when Brandon Peel hurt his left ankle and was out for the remainder of the contest.
“If you ask me how much of a factor was Brandon Peel not in the game, it was a factor, but it wasn’t a reason why we lost,” Central Connecticut head coach Howie Dickenman said about the injury.
Dickenman also alluded to the fatigue of Vinales, as the sophomore has averaged 38.8 minutes-per-game, while also leading the team with 22.4 points-per-game. The Blue Devils prevented a streaking Quinnipiac team from making a run for most of the game, but failure to convert in the second half and sequences of poor defense opened the game up for the Bobcats.
“It was a struggle in the beginning with the injuries,” Shannon said. “If we just keep fighting and working together, I think we will be fine.”
Quinnipiac hosts Fairleigh Dickinson on Jan. 26 at 12 p.m.