Quinnipiac men’s basketball outlasts UNH 75-67 on Saturday

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Quinnipiac men’s basketball outlasts UNH 75-67 on Saturday

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

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Quinnipiac men’s basketball (3-4, 0-0 MAAC) defeated the University of New Hampshire (5-5, 0-0 America East) 75-67. Junior guard Rich Kelly scored 36 points, and the team shot over 55% from the field. However, UNH stayed in the game because of 14 offensive rebounds.

Highlights – Bryan Schwartz

The Rebound – Chris Dacey and Bryan Schwartz talk about the game, Rich Kelly’s impact, teams rebounding and getting over a tough loss against Fairleigh Dickinson.

Beat reporter Jon Surratt goes over Rich Kelly’s impact with scoring a season high 36 points.

Three Things We Learned – Kevin Higgins

It was a successful Saturday evening for the Quinnipiac University men’s basketball team, as they put together a bounce-back performance in a 75-67 win over the University of New Hampshire Wildcats. Here are three takeaways from the big win:

1. Rich Kelly: Good at Basketball

The junior point guard put the team on his back in this contest, going off for 36 points on a marksman-like line of 13/18 from the field. Ever the team player, Kelly unsurprisingly credited his success to the other players wearing blue and gold.

“(I’m) continuing to build chemistry with my teammates every day in practice,” Kelly said. “It’s manifesting itself on the court… (they’re) putting me in a great position to succeed.”

Don’t let the humility fool you, though – Kelly was the fuel for Quinnipiac’s engine all day, and he consistently delivered for a team that needed a big individual scoring performance to win. Quinnipiac head coach Baker Dunleavy summed up his star’s performance both simply and accurately after the game:

“Well, I mean, he scored 36 points,” Dunleavy said. “You don’t see that a lot in a 40 minute game.”

2. Should QU Go “Shmedium”?

The benefits of having a small lineup are numerous. Most times, going small will make your team faster on the court and more efficient from the field. However, sometimes it can leave a gaping hole on the defensive and/or rebounding facets of the game.

Today, it was the latter.

Although UNH only finished with 37-30 rebounding edge, it was much more significant than the box score would indicate. The Wildcats dominated the offensive glass in particular, with 14 offensive rebounds to Quinnipiac’s one. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this led to UNH being gifted with 15 second chance points, while the Bobcats were shut out in that category. Dunleavy alluded to these lopsided numbers in his postgame comments.

“I haven’t seen the box score yet.. it’s eye-opening,” Dunleavy said. “I think we were very fortunate to win this game.”

While this large of a rebounding disparity is obviously an outlier, it begs the question of whether or not Quinnipiac should go for a bit of a larger lineup going forward.

3. Depth Perception

As previously mentioned, Rich Kelly scored 36 of his team’s 75 points against UNH. If you connect the dots, it leads to a pretty uninspiring day from the bench. Any Bobcat player not named Kelly combined for a 12/27 mark on field goals with only 39 points combined between the other seven players who took a shot.

Even though this was a wholly negative performance, there are two ways to look at it. On one end, Quinnipiac squeaked out a win against an average team despite a monster performance from one of its best players. From a different perspective, though, it shows how many talented

players the team has: even when almost everyone played poorly on the offensive end, the Bobcats still managed to win the game and put over 70 points on the board.

Through the multiple ways to view the production from the role/bench players, there is one certainty: they need a little more consistency. Quinnipiac’s bench has provided spark plugs and energy through most of this early season (looking at you, Matt Balanc), but there have also been days like today, when there seems to be a lid on the basket for a few too many good players.

Baker Dunleavy is a very intelligent coach, and it should be interesting to see what strings he pulls over the next few games to get the best out of his players, especially the ones who play less than 30 minutes a night.

Tonight was a good night for Quinnipiac. However, this game also served as a serious teaching moment for many players, and they’ll have to do a little bit more to ensure more of these good nights going forward.