Men’s basketball falls to Hartford

Tyrell Walden-Martin

The Quinnipiac men’s basketball team suffered its second loss of the season at the hands of the Hartford Hawks at the TD Bank Sports Center on Tuesday evening in Hamden.

The Bobcats lost by the final score of 54-50. It was the first time they had lost to the Hawks in the last seven meetings.

“Hartford had some really good intensity on the defensive side and maintained it throughout the whole game,” Quinnipiac head coach Tom Moore said. “Their defensive intensity was really good, really strong, and really consistent. They smothered us early and I felt that we gave in to it a little bit.”

Hartford’s smothering defense forced the Bobcats to shoot approximately 33 percent from the field.

Zaid Hearst paced the Bobcats with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while big man Ousmane Drame finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds and 5 blocks.

“We have a lot of things that we have to get better at,” Moore said. “But we have to get better on offense that’s for sure.”

Quinnipiac played strong defense in the first half, forcing Hartford to shoot 27 percent from the field.

“We were playing really good defense in the first half,” Moore said.

Still, the Bobcats trailed 24-18 at halftime.

“It felt there was a cover on the basket in the first half. It had the feeling that it would open up eventually,” Moore said. “Even when we were missing shots, we weren’t getting off running.”

In the second half, Quinnipiac battled back and shot better from the field but just couldn’t get it done. The biggest issue was that the Bobcats shot 0-for-15 from beyond the 3-point line.

“We felt sorry for ourselves offensively,” Moore said. “You have to be really tough minded to shoot 0-for-15 from three.”

Quinnipiac kept it close the entire second half, as Hartford never led by double digits. The Bobcats just couldn’t tie the game.

“I think we were playing too fast on offense, we were shooting too fast,” Moore said. “I was telling the guys in timeouts it’s a one possession game.”

Moore believes that his team has to do better offensively, but knows it isn’t their strength.
“We are a defensive and rebounding team and at times we neglect our offensive flow,” Moore said. “I feel as though our defense is ahead of our offense right now. But we can use more schemes, different looks, and more time committed to offense in practice.”

Towards the end of the game, senior captain Zaid Hearst went down with an apparent leg injury and limped to the bench.

“We will have our trainer look at him,” Moore said. He felt like he banged knees.”

Quinnipiac has already lost sophomore forward A.J. Sumbry for the remainder of the season and Samuel Dingba for another 3-6 weeks.

Quinnipiac aims to bounce back when it take on the University of Vermont at home on Sunday, November 30th at the TD Bank Sports Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.