Emotional day for Men’s Basketball ends in Triumph

Emotional day for Men’s Basketball ends in Triumph
by Seth Rothman
February 24, 2007

HAMDEN — It’s been an emotional roller coaster for the Quinnipiac Bobcats Men’s Basketball team over the last couple of days. On Thursday, the Bobcats dropped a game to the last place Red Flash of St. Francis (PA). But on Saturday, on Senior Day, the Bobcats came ready to play.

“The urgency we had today was probably what fueled us to work hard on offense.” Bobcats head coach Joe DeSantis said after Quinnipiac defeated Robert Morris 81-75.

The win assures the Bobcats of finishing no lower than third in the Northeast Conference standings, assuring themselves of at least one home playoff game.

That urgency was evident from the time the Bobcats were introduced in front of a crowd of 1,782 at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. The team wanted this one. For themselves, for their coach, but most importantly, for its 5 graduating seniors.

“It was a lot more emotional,” DeMario Anderson said. “We wanted to win it for the seniors. Their last regular season game at home, so it was a big night.”

“It was all about the seniors today,” freshman Casey Cosgrove said. “Their last regular season home game, everyone was making sure they were going out on top, with a win. Those five, they work real hard. Without them, we aren’t going far.”

Leading the Bobcats attack was junior swingman DeMario Anderson. The CCSU transfer scored 28 points, 16 of them in the second half to lead the Bobcats attack against Robert Morris.

“With the ace going like that, I kind of let him go,” senior Adam Gonzalez said after scoring 15 points in the win. “I try to just get him the ball.”

“We felt bad for ourselves after that game [on Thursday],” Anderson said. “We knew we were missing some key players, and we had some players hurt, but we still felt we should have gutted it out and won. We knew this game was going to be more important, so we had to come in here and fight.”

Leading the Bobcats offense was freshman Casey Cosgrove. He had 9 points on 2-3 shooting from behind the arc, but more importantly got 9 assists to set up Anderson and Gonzalez.

“That’s my job,” Cosgrove said. “Get it to the scorers. It’s pretty easy, to tell you the truth. Get the ball to the scorers and let them do what they do.”

So now the Bobcats find themselves in an enviable position. Win on Monday night at the Pitt Center against Sacred Heart, and they will assure themselves of the number two seed in the NEC, and two home playoff games.

“It’s a relief to know you’re not going to be on the road the whole playoffs,” Anderson said. “It feels good.”

“We really wanted to secure a home spot by winning today. We wanted to beat Robert Morris who beat us by 18 the last time,” DeSantis said.

It’s a luxury DeSantis and his two seniors who have been here for all 4 years, Van Crafton and Dale Meinbresse, haven’t had alot of in recent memory.

“As high school seniors, they saw us winning 17 games, and they never got a taste of that. So I really felt bad these last few years for them,” DeSantis said. “For us to be in this position, I’m really happy for them because of the fact that they’re seniors, they’ve been here four years. But I’ve heard them, the whole year, egging the guys on; doing what captains do. Doing what you want your seniors to do.”

That’s a feeling DeSantis no longer has. It is this playoff atmosphere the players crave, and one they will now be assured of seeing on March 1st when the NEC quarterfinals are played at the TD Banknorth Sports Center.

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