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Rider outplays Quinnipiac in a blowout conference loss, 78-60

Photo Courtesy Quinnipiac Athletics

By: Chris Dacey

The state of New Jersey has not been kind to the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team as it lost 78-60 in a MAAC game at Rider on Friday night. The Bobcats lost by 26 points to Saint Peter’s last time they were in the Garden State. The loss to Rider brings Quinnipiac’s conference record to 3-3.

“There were some things that we really thought we needed to do to slow them down,” said head coach Baker Dunleavy. “[Rider] plays with great pace and all the plans and thoughts are good until you get punched in the mouth a bit.”

In a game where the Bobcats were beat in almost every statistical category, except for turnovers, Quinnipiac once again struggled to score and play effective defense.

“We turned the ball over 12 times in the first half and that was really just the game,” said Dunleavy. “Whether or not we ran good offense or had the right game plan we turned it over 12 times and they got 22 points off that.”

On top of the turnovers, the Bobcats did not share the ball that often. After the first half Quinnipiac only had one assist. The team finished the game with a total of seven.

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Because of the lopsided score somethings went unnoticed for the Bobcats. Cam Young continued his great play in the MAAC with 19 points on the game and Isaiah Washington added 13 points of his own.

Quinnipiac needed to slow down the fast-paced play of the Rider Broncs so it decided to switch some things up on the defensive end by coming out in a zone.

“We did it more based on trying to take away what they like to do as opposed to doing what we do best,” said Dunleavy.

The Bobcats came in with that goal, however, The Broncs converted 48 points in the paint while grabbing 16 offensive rebounds, 30 points off turnovers and 19 fast break points.

“Other than the turnovers we were able to control the pace of the game with that zone defense,” said Dunleavy.

Quinnipiac did succeed in only allowing Rider to convert on seven of its threes throughout the game. However, the Bobcats only made six threes of their own.

One player that saw extended minutes today was freshman Jacob Rigoni. He played 36 minutes coming off the bench almost right away for Dunleavy. Rigoni ended the game with 14 points. However, he knows there is always room for improvement.

“I gotta do a better job on the defensive end with rebounding and defending my man,” said Rigoni. “I missed some shots tonight but I gotta make better decisions for my team.”

Rigoni, who scored 9 of his points in the second half, was only 3-of-12 from the floor, but did make all his free throws. He came off the bench about three minutes into the game and then almost immediately in the second half raising the question if the Australian should start.

“I am just going to continue to play in my role and whatever coach asks of me I am going to bring my best when I’m on the court,” said Rigoni.

Quinnipiac has a little bit of a break until their next game at home on Jan. 18 against Niagara.

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