Sloppy Guard Play Results in Overtime Loss for Bobcats against Brown

Sloppy Guard Play Results in Overtime Loss for Bobcats against Brown
By Peter D’Alauro

HAMDEN– In what was the final tune-up before conference play begins, the Quinnipiac Men’s Basketball team fell to the Brown Bears, 86-79, in overtime. The Bobcats had won there two previous overtime affairs, the season opener against Hartford, and their last game against Lehigh. However, both of those victories came in double overtime fashion. “They’ve had so much success in double overtime, if we would have went there, we would have lost right?,” joked Brown head coach Craig Robinson.

Senior guard Mark McAndrew led Brown’s attack with 21 points and eight rebounds, and Damon Huffman added 18 points in the Brown victory. A total of five players were in double figures for Brown. DeMario Anderson led the Bobcats with 22 points and seven assists, but was held scoreless in the overtime session. Three other Bobcats were in double figures, as Evann Baker, Justin Rutty and James Feldeine all finished with 10 points.

Brown came into Monday’s contest versus the Bobcats with a 3-3 record, recording victories over Eastern Michigan, Northwestern, and UC Davis. Led by a senior guard tandem of Mark McAndrew and Damon Huffman, the Bears presented Quinnipiac with a formidable offensive attack based upon success from behind the three point arc, as they came into Monday night’s match up shooting 38 percent from three.

From the game’s outset, the Bobcats struggled with Brown’s trapping 2-3 zone. That and the later implemented 1-3-1 zone gave the Bobcat’s fits all night, and it had a lot to do with the Bears’ scoring 25 points off Quinnipiac’s 20 turnovers in the contest. The Bobcat’s freshman guard, Evann Baker was the major culprit, with eight giveaways in the game to go along with 10 points and three assists.

Despite the turnover difficulties and the inability of the Bobcats to defend the three point shot, allowing Brown to shoot 7-10 from behind the arc in the first half, Quinnipiac found itself trailing by only two, 38-36 at halftime. Head coach Tom Moore addressed the poor defense by his team. “It’s hard for these guys, making the transition from an offensive program to a more defense minded program.”

Brown came out strong in the second half, charging out to a 10 point lead, 51-41, with 16:56 remaining in the game. However, the Bobcats showed their toughness and resiliency and retook the lead 57-55 with 11:27 remaining in the game, thanks to a three point field goal from junior guard Brian Geffen. However, Brown fought back, going on a 17-9 run to tie the score at 72-72 at the end of regulation.

The overtime session was a bad one for Quinnipiac, as they were held to just five points. Their last chance for victory slipped away when Karl Anderson, who pulled down many tough offensive rebounds during the game, missed two free throws in the final thirty seconds, then managed to grab the rebound off the second miss, but couldn’t convert an easy lay-up which would have cut the lead to three points. This was only Anderson’s second game back, so his failures at the end of the game could easily be attributed to tired legs, as he recorded 24 minutes of playing time.

Despite winning the rebound battle 40 to 31, the Bobcats gave up 34 points in the paint, while scoring only 24 themselves. It seemed that the guard’s for Brown got into the paint rather effortlessly all game long, and their big guys, including Scott Friske and Mark MacDonald, were having their way offensively down low. “They stayed true to what they do, they’re a very hard team to guard” said a dejected Tom Moore, regarding the Brown Bears.

Quinnipiac showed some guts in this game, but guts wasn’t enough, as their terrible guard play and lack of defensive intensity in the second half and overtime led to their overall demise.

Quinnipiac hopes to fair better in their next contest, as they open up their NEC conference schedule this Thursday, December 6th, against St. Francis, (N.Y.) at 7 p.m. at the T.D. Banknorth Sports Center.

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