The Quinnipiac Bobcats (11-11 overall, 6-6 MAAC) fought long and hard but fell short to the Manhattan Jaspers (11-10 overall, 7-5 MAAC) as they dropped their third consecutive MAAC contest on Sunday, Feb. 9, at the People’s United Center.
It was evident early on that this was going to be a typical MAAC basketball game: competitive and physical. Both teams came out firing as Quinnipiac held a slight lead for the opening minutes of the game, but it would be the last time the Bobcats would lead from that point on.
The Bobcat offense was centered around sophomore guard Tyrese Williams, who recorded 21 points on 6-of-15 shooting and , 4-of-8 from long range. He accounted for exactly one-third of the offense. Williams has been an efficient and reliable scorer for the Bobcats all season as Sunday’s contest was the fifth time this season that he recorded at least 20 points.
“It’s frustrating because we know how good we are, and we know that if we execute everything as a team we’ll blow them out or just come away with the win,” Williams said. “We know how tough it is in this league to be solid and we just gotta get the job done.”
Quinnipiac junior forward Kevin Marfo continued his success, posting another double-double performance with 11 points and 13 rebounds. He has posted double-digit rebounds in all but one game this year in addition to double-doubles in seven of his last eight games.
One glaring weakness for Quinnipiac that may have cost it the game was the amount of turnovers that it committed. The Bobcats committed 25 total — 18 of them came in the first half.
The Manhattan defense stepped up and helped the Jaspers win their third-straight game as they recorded 15 steals and blocked four Quinnipiac shot attempts.
“We needed the ball to get inside for everybody to get a good shot, whether it was inside or outside, and they were aggressive on the perimeter,” Quinnipiac head coach Baker Dunleavy said. “So we felt like if we could hand it back we could get a guard down and cut to the middle, and we thought no matter what, we wanted the ball to go inside and have shooters spaced out, so we could either get it to the rim or kick to an open shooter.”
In the second half, Quinnipiac graduate student forward Aaron Falzon stepped up for the Bobcats as he hit two clutch 3-point shots. This included a game-tying shot off a pass from junior guard Rich Kelly with 13.9 seconds remaining. Falzon’s 14-point game is his third-highest scoring performance of the season.
The Bobcats look to shake off their losing streak and work back toward the top of the MAAC standings as they hit the road to face Saint Peter’s (11-11 overall, 8-5 MAAC) and Rider (14-9 overall, 8-5 MAAC) next weekend.