Bobcats’ depth displayed in road win at Holy Cross


Daniel Passapera

Quinnipiac men’s basketball improved to 8-2 on the season with the win.

Ryan Maher, Contributing Writer

In a back-and-forth game that featured nine different lead changes, Quinnipiac head coach Baker Dunleavy’s Bobcats got the best of the Holy Cross Crusaders with a final score of 75-71. 

After a disappointing loss against Niagara to kick off MAAC play  on Dec. 4, the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team (7-2) looked to bounce back as they traveled north up I-95 to take on the Holy Cross Crusaders in Worcester, Massachusetts, on Wednesday. 

The Crusaders entered the contest with a 3-6 record but looked to build off a recent home win over CCSU.. 

Quinnipiac’s starting five featured some new names, as redshirt senior guard Savion Lewis, graduate student guard Tyrese Williams and junior guard Luis Kortright all got the starting nod for the first time this season.. 

 The Bobcats’ impressive team depth was on display as four players tallied at least 10 points on their way to their eighth win of the season. 

A back-and-forth early dozen minutes featured multiple lead changes and the Crusaders led by one with at the first media timeout.  

Down a point early in the game, the Bobcats came roaring back from beyond the arc as junior guard Dezi Jones and graduate student forward Ike Nweke both drilled triples from downtown to  propel the Bobcats run.   

Redshirt junior forward JJ Riggins came off the bench and added to the Bobcats lead, scoring a number of times inside the paint.   

Holy Cross head coach Brett Nelson called his first timeout to slow down the Bobcats’ onslaught, as the visitors mustered up an 8-0 run in just under a minute.  

The Bobcats flipped the switch to pull ahead 15-8 with 13:41 remaining in the first half. 

They would continue their fast pace play and aggressive scoring, reaching a 21-14 lead shortly thereafter. 

The Crusaders would not roll over as they responded with an 11-2 scoring run of their own that would tie the game at 25 with 6:22 to play in the first half. 

The two teams continued their  exchange of punches on the scoreboard and would head into half with Quinnipiac leading Holy Cross 36-35. 

To open up the second half, the back-and-forth on the scoreboard continued as neither team could separate themselves from the other.  

With 15:47 remaining in the game and the Crusaders trailing by a bucket, the Bobcats laid their foot down on the pedal. They rallied for a 15-0 run over the Crusaders, generating points from seven different Bobcats including a converted and-one from Savion Lewis. 

With the run, Quinnipiac pulled ahead of Holy Cross leading by a score of 57-40, the largest margin of the contest. 

Nelson gathered his Crusaders, who were facing a steep hill to climb, trailing the Bobcats by 17 points with just over 10 minutes to play.  

The Crusaders, who were led by junior guard Nolan Dorsey, countered with a 19-8 run of their own to cut the Bobcats’ lead to six with 5:05 to play. To follow that up,Sophomore forward Caleb Kenney tallied back-to-back buckets to get Holy Cross within a three-pointer away from a tie with 2:30 left. 

Leading by a slim three points, Quinnipiac redshirt senior guard Matt Balanc drilled a clutch jumper to extend the Bobcats’ lead to five. 

Down, but not out, Holy Cross junior guard Bo Montgomery went 4/4 from the line in a matter of a minute to pull the Crusaders to within one, keeping the game alive. 

With the Bobcats lead cut to one,  a layup from Nweke gave the Bobcats some security. Nweke finished the game with 15 points, which led the team. 

Riggins added a free throw to give the Bobcats a 72-68 lead with .38 seconds to go. 

Kortright added three more points for the Bobcats at the charity stripe, a place where they have struggled . 

The Bobcats locked it down defensively in the final seconds on their way to defeating the Crusaders 75-71. With the win, the Bobcats improved to 8-2 on the season. They will look to add another win to their record when the Lafayette Leopards come to Hamden to take on the Bobcats on Dec. 10 at 1 p.m.