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How sweep it is: Quinnipiac claims another season sweep with win over Marist

Photo Courtesy Quinnipiac Athletics

By: Ryan Chichester

Forget breaking out the books for the first week of spring semester. The Quinnipiac men’s basketball team is breaking out the brooms instead.

After completing a season sweep of the Siena Saints at home on Sunday, the Bobcats claimed another victim on Thursday night with an 85-77 win over Marist in Poughkeepsie, taking both regular season games from the Red Foxes this year.

The Bobcats are back above .500 in MAAC play with the win, improving their conference record to 5-4. Not too shabby for a team picked to finish last in the conference.

The ever-evolving freshman Rich Kelly led the way with 20 points, while Cam Young got back to his scoring ways after a quiet offensive game on Sunday. He finished with 18 and shot 9-for-10 from the free throw line to help ice the victory.

Marist controlled most of the first half, leading from the first basket of the game to the halftime whistle. Ryan Funk, who scored a career-high 23 points against the Bobcats last season, shot 4-for-7 from downtown to finish with 17 points in the first half. He once again finished with 23 after seemingly giving his hot hand to the Bobcats at halftime.

The Bobcats came out firing from downtown to open the second half, as Isaiah Washington drilled a pair of threes to tie the game and Kelly nailed a straightaway three minutes later to give Quinnipiac its first lead. When the smoke cleared from their flaming start, the Bobcats had a seven-point lead thanks to a 15-2 run to start the half. It would be the only lead change of the game.

Marist responded with seven-straight of their own to tie the game, but it wasn’t enough to extinguish the Bobcats, who had officially caught fire from long range. Washington continued to lead the three-point barrage with a shot from 35-feet out to give Quinnipiac a nine-point lead with 10 minutes to go. The Bobcats finished the second half with nine threes, with Kelly and Washington combining for five of them.

The Red Foxes tried to claw their way back in, but couldn’t cash in at the free throw line. The Bobcats, who have been haunted by poor free throw shooting themselves earlier in the season, watched Marist misfire on five of its first eight free throws of the second half, while Quinnipiac hit its first 10 foul shots of the second half.

Marist would settle down at the free throw line and hit seven of their next eight to cut the Quinnipiac lead to two with 20 seconds left, while the Bobcats began to struggle, missing three of their next four at the line.

Once again locked in a tight finish, Young hit a pair of free throws to stretch the lead back to four. The Red Foxes pushed up the court for a quick shot, but Brian Parker was stripped from behind by Jacob Rigoni. An infuriated Parker wanted a foul called and instead was issued a technical foul himself.

Rigoni would hit all four free throws to seal the Bobcats’ second-straight win, and remind everyone that the team’s free throw shooting troubles in crunch time were a thing of the past.

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