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The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Tice double-double, third-straight 20-point game for Balanc propel Quinnipiac past Lafayette

Tripp Menhall
Graduate student guard Savion Lewis dribbles the ball against Navy on December 8, 2023.

A career-high 21 points and 15 rebounds from sophomore forward Amarri Tice, along with a third consecutive 20-point game from graduate student forward Matt Balanc, helped push the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team to a 78-60 win over Lafayette Thursday. 

“(Amarri) can impact the game on so many levels,” Quinnipiac head coach Tom Pecora said via Q30 Television. “He can knock down the threes, drive to the basket, he had some big time rebounds in traffic and I think that’s really how we wore them down in the second half.”

Both teams exchanged early blows to open the contest, however, Quinnipiac jumped out to an early 10-8 lead. Four different Bobcats scored those first 10 points. 

As the game progressed, the Quinnipiac defense came into its own, causing Lafayette to go scoreless for over two and a half minutes. The Bobcats surged ahead, taking a 20-13 lead.

Much like Monday’s game against Holy Cross, Pecora utilized his deep bench, allowing 10 different players to see the floor in the first half. 

A balanced scoring effort from Quinnipiac allowed the visitors to hold a 34-28 advantage at the break. Eight different Bobcats contributed points, with Balanc leading the team with eight points. Meanwhile, Lafayette struggled from beyond the arc, converting only one of their eight first-half three-point attempts.

As the game continued, Tice showcased just how good he can be for this Bobcat team, a tough bucket while drawing a foul extended Quinnipiac’s lead to 53-42 and gave the sophomore a career-high 17 points. 

“The points were just coming, the rebounds were just coming,” Tice said via Q30 Television.

The two teams went back-and-forth, with the Bobcats extending their lead to as much as 12, before the Leopards would respond with a run of their own to get it within six. 

The game took a chippy turn midway through the half as graduate guard Savion Lewis picked up his fourth foul in an unusual double-technical call. Lewis had forced a jump ball and subsequently got tangled up with junior forward Chris Rubayo, who also received a technical foul. Just minutes later, Balanc was slapped with a technical foul for arguing a foul call. 

With Quinnipiac leading by nine inside the four-minute mark, the Bobcats went on an impressive 9-0 run, capped off by a triple from Balanc, who had reached 22 points in the game. The run pushed Quinnipiac’s lead to a commanding 73-57 advantage.

“Balanc is a beast,” Pecora said. “When you need a shot, you know you got him.”

Quinnipiac’s defense was locked in during the second frame. The visitors held the Leopards to 2-13 from three and forced six turnovers, which turned into 12 fast break points on the other end. 

“We want to get stops and rebounds,” Pecora said. “When we get out on the break, we get buckets or we’ll go to the foul line.”

From there, the Bobcats finished strong to secure a convincing 78-60 victory. The only time Lafayette had a lead was in the first minute, when it scored the opening basket of the game.

“This was the ultimate trap game for us,” Pecora said. “Coming in at 8-3, Christmas, half of the guys are going home from here, there could be so many distractions. We just talked about becoming a more mature team and I think we did that in the second half.”

With the win, the Bobcats improved to 9-3. The biggest challenge of the season awaits after the Christmas break, when Quinnipiac heads to Florida to take on the Gators on Dec. 30.

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Tripp Menhall
Tripp Menhall, Creative Director

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