Photos by Erin Kane
The Quinnipiac men’s basketball team dropped its first game of the season on Monday night with a 79-72 loss to Brown.
The Bears improve to 2-0 on the young season, while the Bobcats fall to 1-1.
Despite a valiant late second-half comeback, the Bobcats couldn’t overcome their turnover-prone first half.
“It was a really good job by Brown tonight in terms of just being ready to play from the start,” Quinnipiac head coach Baker Dunleavy said. “They jumped on us a little bit. They were really well-prepared. I was proud of the way our guys fought back at the end.”
[media-credit id=2148 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]Quinnipiac tied the game at six on a layup by senior guard Cam Young, but that was the closest the Bobcats got, as Brown led the rest of the way after that.
Young had 15 points, nine boards and four assists. This was the highest-scoring game of Young’s career and it came after his 1-for-9 shooting performance against Dartmouth on Saturday.
“I was being more aggressive today,” Young said. “I felt like I was struggling last game just shooting a lot of jump shots, so I tried to just ease my way into the game using my athleticism.”
The story of the first half for the Bobcats was turnovers. Freshman point guard Rich Kelly, who had just three turnovers against Dartmouth to go along with nine assists, gave the ball up four times in the first half. As a team, Quinnipiac turned the ball over 12 times in the half.
Quinnipiac actually shot the ball well from the field in the first half at 52.2 percent, but the turnovers, along with missed free throws (8-for-15 as a team), put them in a 44-34 hole going into the break.
“We have good shooters that work hard (at free throws),” Dunleavy said. “I never want to leave a game saying, ‘Hey, if you guys made some more shots we would’ve won the game.’ That can’t be our mentality.”
The Bobcats came out strong offensively in the second half, but continued to struggle at the line. Despite the rough night at the charity stripe (13-for-27 total), Dunleavy believes rebounding and turnovers are what did the team in.
“It’s probably more on the rebounding and turnover front, because when you miss free throws and threes, you can still win games,” Dunleavy said. “You can do it, as long as you take care of the things you can control.”
[media-credit id=2148 align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]The Bobcats were much more disciplined in the second half, turning the ball over just twice. Kelly finished with five turnovers for the game, but had 14 points and eight assists.
Quinnipiac was able to cut the Brown lead to six at 76-70 with 1:48 to play after Daniels made a layup and got fouled. He missed the free throw, and that was as close as the Bobcats would get, falling by a final of 79-72.
After struggling in the first half with just seven points, Daniels finished with 18 for the game on 7-for-10 shooting.
“(I had a) change in mentality (in the second half),” Daniels said. “In the first half, I was pumped up for the game, but I wasn’t me. In the second half, I felt like I was more alive, making more plays. My presence was more felt.”
Looking ahead, Quinnipiac won’t play again until Friday, when they travel to Lynchburg, Virginia to face Colorado in the Paradise Jam Tournament. The Bobcats will play three games in three days in Virginia from Friday through Sunday.