Quinnipiac men’s basketball gets revenge on Fairfield

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Quinnipiac men’s basketball gets revenge on Fairfield

Josh Silverman, Basketball Beat Reporter

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Revenge is a dish best served cold. So a Quinnipiac Bobcats 80-78 win over the Fairfield Stags was perfect for a 28-degree afternoon in January.

Why was Quinnipiac looking for revenge? Because Fairfield beat Quinnipiac twice last season. Once in double-overtime during the regular season, while the second time ended Quinnipiac’s season in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament.

“To be honest with you I personally just saw it as another game,” Quinnipiac senior forward Abdulai Bundu said about whether or not this game meant more to him. “Another day for us to get better.”

Like most of the Bobcats’ games, this one went back and forth until the bitter end. The Bobcats, playing at home with an enthusiastic crowd, were looking for a spark. Enter Quinnipiac guard Aaron Robinson.

“I just try to make shots when I get them,” Robinson said about his three-pointer which put Quinnipiac up 70-68 with 3:44 to play. “I think Rich (Kelly) does a great job of finding my teammates and does a great job of finding me when I’m open. We all put in the work and we all shoot so whether it’s me one game, Rich one game, Cam (Young) one game, Tyrese (Williams) one game, whoever it is we all shoot enough to be able to be confident in whatever moment to make big shots.”

Last year’s Bobcats were prone to losing games in the final minutes, including the 102-98 loss in double-overtime against the Stags. This year, Quinnipiac has flipped the script.

“Like anything the more experience you have the more comfortable you’re going to be and you’re going to be able to withstand a little bit of pressure in uncomfortable situations,” Quinnipiac head coach Baker Dunleavy said. “When you look on the court at our starting lineup tonight, we have four guys that played in the MAAC tournament together last year. That started in that game against Fairfield. That’s an advantage for us and we need to use it.”

While Dunleavy mentioned the four players that started for Quinnipiac last year, Bundu, Jacob Rigoni, Rich Kelly and Cameron Young, it was some of the players that weren’t on last year’s roster that contributed this time around against Fairfield.

“I think we needed every single contribution we got,” Dunleavy said of the plays made by Travis Atson, Tyree Pickron and Tyrese Williams. “Obviously last game we didn’t have any bench scoring, we did today. That was great. Everybody doing their part in a game where you win by two points. Making their free throws at the end, executing press offense.”

Quinnipiac entered the game at a slight disadvantage to Fairfield. While both teams played on Thursday night, Quinnipiac’s game against Monmouth went into double-overtime. On a quick turnaround, the Bobcats had to get ready for today’s game.

“The day after that Monmouth game we made sure we came in and guys that played a lot of minutes did some yoga, cold tub, stuff like that just trying to make sure we’re taking care of our bodies,” Robinson said. “That’s the main thing. Just trying to find time to do that when you can.”

With the win, Quinnipiac is now 3-1 in conference play and will look to extend a two-game winning streak when Canisius comes to Hamden on Thursday.

Baker Dunleavy Press Conference

Aaron Robinson, Abdulai Bundu and Rich Kelly Press Conference