Men’s basketball splits two-game road trip in Pennsylvania

Jason Levy

The Quinnipiac men’s basketball team has had some disappointing years recently. Ever since being the top preseason pick in the NEC in 2004, the Bobcats have been chronic underachievers.
But this year looks to be a big turnaround for Joe DeSantis’ squad, as the Bobcats enter the home stretch in the race to the Northeast Conference Tournament. Last weekend, they took a road trip to Pennsylvania, defeating St. Francis (Pa.) on Friday night 65-62, but could not continue the winning streak against Robert Morris, losing 89-77 on Sunday afternoon. The split brings Quinnipiac’s record to 6-8 in the NEC, 11-12 overall.
The Bobcats were once again led by junior guard Adam Gonzalez with 18 points, including a perfect 5-5 from the free throw line. Senior forward Kevin Jolley contributed 13 points and junior guard John Winchester was also in double figures with 12 points.
Despite being mired in the NEC cellar, St. Francis (Pa.) hung tough throughout the game, even taking a 30-29 lead to end the first half. The Red Flash even built a lead as high as nine with twelve minutes left to play. But the Bobcats clawed away at the lead, tying the game with 3:41 to play. Jolley converted a 3-point play with 2:26 left to give the Bobcats a 57-55 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Sunday’s game did not fare as well for the Bobcats. Colonials forward A.J. Jackson could not be contained, leading the way with 39 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks. Guard Tony Lee also gave Quinnipiac all it could handle, netting 11 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists, two assists shy of a triple-double.
The Bobcats had five players in double figures, led by Winchester with 14 points. The other Bobcats in double figures were Dale Meinbresse (13), Craig Benson (12), Victor Akinyanju (10) and Karl Anderson (10).
The Colonials controlled the game for most of the first half, building the lead as high as 10 points, ultimately taking a 47-40 lead into the break.
But the Bobcats started the second on a 13-5 run to take a one-point lead. It went back and forth with Quinnipiac leading by one point at 66-65 with just under seven minutes to play.
But the Colonials would not be denied, ending the game on a 13-3 run to shut the door on the Bobcats. The loss ended the Bobcats’ three-game winning streak.
Quinnipiac takes the court next against Wagner at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Burt Kahn Court. It will be Senior Day, when seniors Craig Benson, Kevin Jolley and Nicholas Tipson will be honored.