It was the story of the night for Quinnipiac (8-13, 4-5 NEC). With a chance to tie the game with just 11.9 seconds remaining, Ike Azotam saw his first free throw attempt rim out, putting an end to the Bobcats only win-streak of the season with a 77-73 loss to Mount St. Mary’s (8-12, 3-6 NEC)
Quinnipiac made just half of their 32 attempts from the line and weren’t able to overcome a 13-point second half deficit in a tightly fought NEC battle at Knott Arena in Emmitsburg, Md.
Despite a monster game from Ousmane Drame, who poured in 19 points while pulling down 20 boards, both career-highs, Quinnipiac’s sloppy play throughout kept them out of the win column. The Bobcats outrebounded the Mountaineers 50-26, but turned the ball over an embarrassing 19 times.
Quinnipiac was plagued by mistakes in the first half, and went into the break trailing the Mountaineers by 37-29.
The Bobcats came out slow in the second period of play, and weren’t able to effectively dispel the pressure applied by Mount St. Mary’s full court press. Quinnipiac, whose only lead of the game came from Dave Johnson’s opening field goal, was almost able to claw back into the contest in the late stages.
The Bobcats ate away at the Mountaineers lead, eventually pulling within two with 17.9 seconds left. After forcing a turnover on the ensuing inbounds play, Quinnipiac had a chance to tie or win the game. Azotam was fouled underneath, but was only able to connect on the second leg from the line. The Mountaineers Shivaughn Wiggins, NEC Freshman of the Week, scored the most important of his 17 in the final seconds to ice the game and finally put down a resilient effort from the Bobcats.
Mount St. Mary’s was able to keep Azotam, Quinnipiac’s leading scorer, in check throughout the contest, frustrating the big man and limiting him to just five points on the night. After sinking just one three-pointer in the first 29 minutes, Quinnipiac turned up the tempo and drilled three more in the final 11 minutes. The Bobcats will try to recover from the loss on Saturday when they hit the road to take on Wagner (12-8, 6-3 NEC).