Anderson, Brookins lead Bobcats to conference-opener win
By Michael T. Lyle, Jr.
December 6, 2007
HAMDEN – Quinnipiac didn’t need an extra 10 minutes to get back on the winning side of things.
Despite playing in another close contest, the Bobcats broke free with a big second-half en route to their first Northeast Conference victory of this young season.
DeMario Anderson had a double-double with 25 points and 11 rebounds, but got key performances out of Louis Brookins and Bryan Geffen in the Bobcats’ 90-79 triumph against St. Francis of NY at TD Banknorth Sports Center.
“It seems like every game this year has been pivotal,” said Quinnipiac coach Tom Moore. “I thought we did a good job managing the valley. We looked like a more determined team in the second half.”
Quinnipiac (3-4, 1-0 NEC) picked up their first two victories in the “Tom Moore era” in double-overtime. But with DeMario playing his usual game, Brookins and Geffen helped the Bobcats put together perhaps their most productive second-half effort this season.
A three-point play by Brookins opened up a 46-42 lead for the hosts with 17:45 left. The game would stay close for most of the period, with each team not holding a lead bigger than three points.
It all changed once Geffen got the Bobcats’ offense going. He knocked down a three-pointer to extend Quinnipiac’s lead to 58-53 with under 11 minutes left. Evann Baker followed that up with a bucket to give the Bobcats some breathing room and a seven-point advantage.
A steal and layup by Geffen made it 68-61 at the 8:45 mark before DeMario converted on back-to-back buckets to put Quinnipiac up for good, 82-76, with 1:16 left.
“A big win and it felt good to get it,” said DeMario. “We tried to establish that we’re going to be a team to be reckoned with in the conference.”
It was a near flawless performance from the Bobcats. Despite being out rebounded 40-35, they shot 56 percent from the field, went 5-of-13 from beyond the arc and converted 17-of-21 attempts from the free throw line — stats good enough to satisfy Moore.
“We just have to trust what we do as a team on both ends of the court”, he said. “We have heart and shown that through our first seven games. When you win, you believe more.”
Brookins finished with 17 points and Geffen chipped in 16. Jamaal Womack led the Terriers (3-5, 0-1) with 18 points and Robert Hines contributed 14 more.
Quinnipiac jumped out to a 13-6 first half lead on consecutive buckets by Baker and Justin Rutty. A jumper by Geffen, followed by a three-point play by Brookins made it 21-11 with 10:47 remaining.
However, St. Francis fought back. Sami Pekkola keyed a big 19-0 run to help the Terriers erase the deficit and go ahead 29-21 with under four minutes to go. Robert Hines and Lateef Willis also connected on consecutive buckets for the visitors during that six-minute stretch.
The Bobcats responded on baskets by Brookins and DeMario to draw Quinnipiac even with the Terriers at the half, tied at 38.