Bobcats’ consistency struggles continue as they fall to Lafayette on the road

Photo Credit: Quinnipiac Athletics

By: Ryan Chichester

 

The Bobcats shot 36 percent from the floor while the Leopards made 27 of their 29 free throws to pull away late and beat Quinnipiac 79-58 in Easton, Pennsylvania on Saturday afternoon.

For the second time in a week, a winless team takes down the Bobcats, who were outscored 50-28 in the second half. The Bobcats were able to keep the game close and lead 30-29 at halftime with another solid defensive performance, until the Leopards exploded with a 16-1 run in the final four minutes to seal their first win of the season.

Both teams struggled to find offense in the first half, battling through a choppy 20 minutes that saw 23 fouls called. The disruptions in rhythm could have played a part in both teams shooting under 35 percent from the field, and combining to shoot 7-for-31 from beyond the arc.

Freshman Jacob Rigoni was one of the few to enjoy a solid first half, scoring eight points off the bench while knocking down a pair of threes to lead the Bobcats on a 10-0 run late in the first half to build a five-point lead.

Lafayette responded with a 14-0 run that lasted through the halftime break and into the first three minutes of the second half, capped off by a straightaway three from Matt Klinewski, prompting a timeout from Quinnipiac head coach Baker Dunleavy.

Despite the erratic shooting from the Leopards, the team knocked down their first 15 foul shots to make up for their lack of offense, until Klinewski woke up and scored 14 points in the first seven minutes of the second half to help Lafayette build a 14-point lead. Klinewski led all players with 26 points and was a perfect 13-for-13 at the charity stripe.

The Bobcats went to a zone press after the Lafayette run and forced three straight turnovers to cut the lead to 11, when Chaise Daniels was forced to the bench after picking up his fourth foul. The senior finished with 12 points, with only he and Cameron Young finishing in double figures for Quinnipiac.

Today was the first game of the season that Daniels was not in the starting lineup.

Before Daniels even took a seat, the Bobcats’ press forced another turnover, resulting in a four-point play from Andrew Robinson, who drilled a corner three while getting fouled on the follow-through. Robinson would sink the free throw to finish the four-point play and cut the lead to seven.

Despite asserting themselves on the offensive glass and earning second chances at the rim, the Bobcats were unable to push past the Leopard’s seven-point lead, which held until the final four minutes of the second half, when Lafayette’s offense that had been dormant for most of the game finally erupted.

The Bobcats fall to 2-6 on the season after missing an opportunity to begin their first winning streak of the year.

 

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