Quinnipiac Men’s Basketball Blows Past D-III Western New England in Home Opener


Jon Surratt

Highlights by Ross Meglin

The Rebound with Eric Kerr and Jack Main

Game Wrap by Jack Main

Story by Jon Surratt

After a 14-point loss to the No. 21 Maryland Terrapins on Tuesday, the Quinnipiac Bobcats men’s basketball team came back to People’s United Center and broke the largest margin of victory in program history against the Western New England Golden Bears on Friday, winning 103-52.

“A lot of positives to take away from tonight,” Quinnipiac head coach Baker Dunleavy said. “Obviously, the scoreboard isn’t the number one. The number one thing is the talent and how we play. I think Western New England really set the tone in this game, that if you don’t go 100% and you’re not bringing it every possession, they’re really hard to guard.”

Dunleavy was speaking on the fact that although the game ended in a rout, the Golden Bears held a 17-15 lead about eight minutes into the first half. Then, the Bobcats kicked it into high gear, going on a 24-0 run to lead 37-17 only five minutes later.

“Defensive activity,” said Dunleavy on what got the team going. “Trying to put some pressure on them, wear them down a bit. I thought we were able to do that with that activity and also our depth. Bringing guys off the bench, have fresh bodies. Over the course of 40 minutes, that’s what is going to have to be what our identity is. And we are going to need multiple people to step up.”

It had been 621 days since the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team had played with fans in the stands at People’s United Center. Although there were fans in Maryland at the Xfinity Center, the team really appreciated coming back and seeing everyone after such a long time.

“It was incredible,” Dunleavy said. “Just the fact that you got to see our students at 4 o’clock on a Friday, get out of their rooms, and experience something. We were glad they got to see a good game and a win. But our player’s families, it was really nice to see our player’s families in the building… it was like a breath of fresh air, it was incredible.”

Five players scored in double-digits for Quinnipiac in Tymu Chenery with 13, Dezi Jones with 14, Savion Lewis with 12, Tyrese Williams with 17, and Matt Balanc with 17. The team mentality is what Dunleavy and the squad have been harping on since their opening night loss to Maryland.

“Coach is big on there’s always going to be a different leading scorer each night,” Williams said. “He said this team is the most versatile he’s had to coach in his past couple of years, so I feel like it is just a testament to all of us. The way we play as a team, the way we move the ball, the way we just flow off of each other.”

Coming off of his career-high performance against Maryland with 25 points, Balanc scored 17 off of seven for 15 shooting. After his SportsCenter top-ten play, the redshirt-junior guard has gained some national recognition with his past performances.

“One game at a time,” Balanc said. “I come into every game with the same mindset. That’s what I am going to try to do for the rest of the season. I am not going to say I don’t listen to it, but I just try and keep that stuff out and stick with my team and do what I do best.”

Quinnipiac will take on Holy Cross on Tuesday at 7 p.m., and despite such a massive victory, Western New England was a Division III program, and the Bobcats know they need to keep a level head going into their game against the Crusaders.

“I think it comes down to the maturity of the players,” Dunleavy said. “We aren’t going to all of a sudden grow up in the next 24 hours. We either have to be mature enough to handle it or we’re not. I think we are. I think our players understand what’s at stake”