Bobcats’ come up empty in Paradise Jam tournament, drop Sunday matinee to Liberty

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

By: Ryan Chichester

Despite an electric performance from Cameron Young, the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team heads back north after a winless weekend in Virginia, capped off by an 84-72 loss to Liberty on Sunday afternoon.

Young finished with a career-high 26 points but Liberty owned the offensive glass and scored in bunches to deny Quinnipiac a win in the Paradise Jam tournament.

Bobcats’ freshman Rich Kelly had the three-point stroke going and finished with a career-high 17 points as well, but the Flames hit their free throws down the stretch to finish 24-for-26 from the line and sealed the win. The Bobcats have now dropped four straight after winning the opening game of the season.

Young took the “Paradise” name to heart and made Lynchburg his personal playground for three games, highlighted by an electric first half against Liberty in which he dropped in four-of-six three-pointers for 16 points in 19 minutes to help the Bobcats climb out of the early shooting struggles that plagued them in the first two games of the tournament.

After shooting 24 percent as a team in the first half on Friday and Saturday, the Bobcats came alive on 14-of-21 shooting in the first half on Sunday, good for a 67 percent clip. They finished the game shooting an impressive 57 percent from the floor.

Despite starting slow in each of the Bobcats’ first four games, Chaise Daniels paced the Bobcats’ offense early with six points in the first 10 minutes on 3-of-3 shooting while grabbing five rebounds. He finished with nine points on 4-of-5 shooting before fouling out with just over three minutes remaining in the game.

Daniels and the Bobcat bigs struggled to assert themselves on the boards, particularly on the defensive end, as the Flames finished with 12 offensive boards compared to just one for the Bobcats. The second chances led to 58 total field goal attempts for the Flames.

Liberty matched the Bobcats shot for shot in the first half thanks to Scottie James, who scored 13 points in as many minutes to start the game. The versatile forward shot 6-for-10 from the floor and was 2-for-3 from beyond the arc before foul trouble kept him on the bench for the final 10 minutes of the first half. He would finish with a team high 21 points.

James helped the Flames hang around and eventually grab their first lead of the second half after a Ryan Kemrite three and a quick steal on the ensuing Bobcats’ possession resulted in another bucket by James to give Liberty a three-point lead and a five-point swing in just 15 seconds.

Liberty jumped out to its largest lead midway through the second half on back to back threes by Lovell Cabbil, who finished with 19 points. The Bobcats never recovered.

Quinnipiac was able to cut the Liberty lead to three on a Rich Kelly triple with just over five minutes remaining in the second half, but the Flames responded with a 9-0 run to seal a win on their home floor.

Quinnipiac has the rest of the holiday break off and is back in action next Sunday at 2 p.m. in Hamden against the University of Maine.


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