Quinnipiac men’s basketball suffers its third straight loss, Monmouth size advantage proves too big to overcome


Alex Bayer

The Bobcats couldn’t keep up with the Monmouth Hawks on Sunday, their third straight loss.

Keith Savage, Staff Writer

Quinnipiac men’s basketball struggled yet again on defense, losing by 13 points as the Bobcats continued their poor play on a three-game skid.

The Bobcats only led in the game for 38 seconds and had no answer for the Hawks. To start the game, Monmouth graduate student guard George Papas was virtually unstoppable. He scored 10 of the Hawks’ first 25 points, which was headlined by a four-point play he made from a corner 3-pointer. Even though Papas finished with only two assists, he received so much attention from the Bobcats which led to open shots.

Quinnipiac head coach Baker Dunleavy tried everything he could defensively to stop Monmouth on offense. After the majority of media timeouts, he would switch his defense from a man-man to a 3-2 zone defense and even a 2-3 zone in the second half. Dunleavy attempted to do certain zones and prevent the player at the free-throw line from receiving the ball.

In the first half, the Bobcats gave up 43 points, but with a more aggressive defense in the second half the team only gave up 33 points. With an aggressive defense, fouls come along with it, and Quinnipiac finished the game with three players having four fouls.

The hardest guy that Quinnipiac had to cover was a 6-foot 11-inch graduate student forward Walker Miller. The Greensboro, North Carolina native is a complete player that can score from all over the court. Dunleavy attempted to have graduate student forward Kevin Marfo and redshirt sophomore forward JJ Riggins guard him but neither had success. With both players being under 6 feet,9 inches, Miller was able to take over the game with 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting.

Another key move that Dunleavy made was benching starting guard Dezi Jones, who played a season-low 12 minutes.

“We started to play some zone, and we just wanted to be bigger defensively,” Dunleavy said.

Jones is the second smallest player on the team at only 5 feet, 10 inches.

Offensively for the Bobcats, they could not do much in either half. The Hawks stayed in a man-to-man defense the entire game and mixed in some press defense. They often dared Quinnipiac to have Marfo bring the ball up. Marfo tends to be a right-handed dominant dribbler and would drive to the hoop while putting his shoulder down. This usually led to an offensive foul or poor dribbling into a turnover. The reigning MAAC player of the week had four turnovers, he leads the team with 74 this season.

“We got to adjust his angles a bit as he’s driving to avoid some of the charges, but he is pretty nimble,” Dunleavy said.

Graduate student forward Jacob Rigoni and senior guard Tyrese Willaims were the only two Bobcats in double figures. Rigoni started off the second half with two straight 3-pointers to bring the deficit to only five, but Monmouth bounced back.

Every time the game got close, the Hawks would find a way to go on a small run. The Hawks were only up by five with 5:30 remaining but Monmouth closed out the game on a 13-5 run.

Quinnipiac has now fallen below .500 in MAAC play with a 6-7 record. The team will look to end the losing streak against Fairfield Wednesday.