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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Quinnipiac rallies to overcome Albany in thrilling 85-82 victory

Tripp Menhall
Sophomore forward Amarri Tice takes a free throw versus CCSU on November 10, 2023.

HAMDEN — In a game filled with intense back-and-forth action, the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team staged a remarkable comeback to defeat Albany 85-82 Sunday afternoon.

Senior forward Paul Otieno stood out for the Bobcats, scoring 21 points and grabbing 14 rebounds in his most dominant performance of the year.

“What an impressive performance from Paul Otieno,” Quinnipiac head coach Tom Pecora said. “I told him he’s got to rebound more and boom, he makes it look like you know what you’re doing … His left handed finishes around the basket were exceptional, he changed the tempo of the game.”

The game started with both teams trading baskets, but Quinnipiac managed to eke out an early 8-6 lead at the first media timeout. Graduate student guard Savion Lewis was instrumental in this early phase, being involved in every Bobcat bucket with four points and two assists.

However, Albany quickly turned the tide, taking a 16-12 lead with 12 minutes left to play in the first frame, while Quinnipiac went scoreless for over two minutes.

Responding to the challenge, the Bobcats rallied back with a 9-2 run to reclaim the lead at 21-18, powered by Lewis’s impressive performance. 

Albany, not to be outdone, surged ahead to a 38-30 advantage, forcing Quinnipiac to call a timeout. Junior guard Sebastian Thomas was a major thorn in the Bobcats’ side, amassing 16 points on 7-11 shooting. As halftime approached, Albany extended its lead to 47-40, with Thomas contributing three more points to bring his first half total to 19.

The game was shaping up as a battle of point guards, with Lewis also putting up notable first half numbers with 14 points and five assists.

“That’s what you need from your veterans,” Pecora said.

In the second half, Quinnipiac found itself trailing 51-45, but the Bobcats were able to successfully hold Albany scoreless for over three minutes, helping the hosts chip into the deficit. However, the visitors lead extended to 10 points in a blur, with Quinnipiac struggling to find answers to the Albany offense.

Thompson found himself in foul trouble and quickly the dynamic shifted as Quinnipiac clawed its way back into the game. With just over two minutes remaining, the Bobcats were within one point of the Great Danes. The two-man game between Lewis and Otieno continued to be nearly unstoppable for Albany’s defense.

“They were playing drop coverage,” Lewis said. “The only solution to the drop coverage is to attack the big or hit the roll … Me and Paul actually work on the pick-and-roll every day, so we were just on the same page.”

In a critical moment, sophomore forward Amarri Tice grabbed a huge rebound and was fouled, heading to the free-throw line. His calmness under pressure was evident as he hit both free throws, giving Quinnipiac an 85-82 lead with only 16.4 seconds left on the clock.

Albany graduate student guard Tyler Bertram’s missed three-pointer at the buzzer sealed Quinnipiac’s hard-fought comeback victory. 

“The turkey is certainly going to taste better,” Pecora said.

The win moves the Bobcats to 4-1 on the year. They’ll be back in action on Nov. 26 when they host Stonehill at 2 p.m.

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Tripp Menhall
Tripp Menhall, Creative Director

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