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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Paul Otieno’s ‘impressive’ night helps lead men’s basketball to all-around postseason victory against Canisius

Tyler Rinko
Senior forward Paul Otieno lays the ball up during Quinnipiac’s quarterfinals win over Canisius on March 13.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — With targets on its back, and the top seed in the MAAC Tournament, Quinnipiac men’s basketball took charge over Canisius in gritty fashion Wednesday night. The man of the night — senior forward Paul Otieno — made his mark early on in the first half and helped lead Quinnipiac to the semifinals with a win over the No. 9 Golden Griffins. 

As one of the leaders, Otieno came out on a mission and solidified the trust they have in the big man. In the first half, he scored 10 points, including a buzzer beater, to accompany six rebounds as the Bobcats headed into the locker room with a seven-point lead. 

“The big guy here, man, I was shocked he didn’t make an All-Conference team.  As a group we talked about that, and we said let’s dedicate this weekend to Paul,” head coach Tom Pecora said. “His ability, and what he’s done all season, I thought was so impressive and then tonight, he goes out and gets 19 (points) & 12 (rebounds), that’s a good night at the office.” 

The big man had a playoff game to remember, earning a double-double on the night, leaving Canisius with no answers for the Kenya native. He disrupted the Golden Griffins’ offense all game and factored in on defense, helping Quinnipiac allow the second-fewest points in a game this season.

“Paul’s a beast, whenever he’s dominating, it’s very contagious throughout the whole entire team, whenever Paul kills we’re all happy,” graduate student guard Savion Lewis said of his co-captain. 

Otieno shines from the field —- where he does his best work. He has contributed greatly to the Bobcats success all year, and has certainly aided in a big way to the team being a one seed and earning a first-round bye in Atlantic City. 

The team captain is shooting 62% from the field this season which is first among his teammates, averaging 10.6 points per game to go alongside his dominance on the defensive end, grabbing 6.6 rebounds per game and averaging both a steal and a block per game. 

The one-on-one matchup against Canisius junior forward Frank Mitchell went Otieno’s way, with Mitchell getting in early foul trouble (three personal fouls). 

“Give Otieno credit, we blocked eight shots, and he was able to get rebounds on a lot of those blocked shots.” Canisius head coach Reggie Witherspoon said. 

The team seemingly rallied around Otieno, and it’s clear the closeness of the group is a part of why they are so successful. That’s why they are two wins away from a conference championship victory, which would be a first for Quinnipiac. 

“I just want to play for my teammates (and) have fun out there,” Otieno said. “It can end in an instant so I just want to go out there and have fun.” 

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Tyler Rinko, Associate Photography Editor

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