Quinnipiac men’s basketball pounces on Albany in Bobcats Invitational opener

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Quinnipiac men’s basketball pounces on Albany in Bobcats Invitational opener

Bryan Schwartz, Chris Dacey, and Jon Surratt

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Highlights – Bryan Schwartz

Postgame reaction – Chris Dacey

The Rebound – Bryan Schwartz and Jon Surratt

Game story – Jon Surratt

Coming into the game against the University of Albany (2-3, 0-0 America East) on Friday, the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team (1-2, 0-0 MAAC) was shooting 20.8% from three-point land.

What a difference coming back home can do. Quinnipiac would win 86-69 in their first game back home and the first game of the Bobcats Invitational.

In the first half, the team shot 50% from behind the arc, making eight total three-pointers. To top that, they ended up hitting nine threes in the second half and finished 51.5% on the night and made 17 total threes.

“Good game one for us,” head coach Baker Dunleavy said. “I really loved the way we played unselfishly. The ball really moved. We had the ability to make some shots. When you hit 17 threes you should win.”

Win, the Bobcats did. With this big turn around the team now has some confidence restored after starting their season off with losses against Brown and Miami.

“We hadn’t made a shot,” Dunleavy said. “We needed some of those at Brown when we gave up 21 offensive rebounds. I knew it was a matter of time we’d be shooters, I was just hoping it would be tonight. Part of the reason we made shots was because we executed. I think that was hanging over our heads, just the idea that we are 0-2 and we hadn’t made any shots.”

On the flip side, Albany shot 24.1% from behind the arc and only made seven total three-pointers. However, if Quinnipiac hadn’t shot as well as they did tonight, they were ready to keep fighting and play to their strengths to keep it a tight game.

“Obviously we didn’t hit shots our first two games,” junior guard Rich Kelly said. “I think we had great energy and excitement to us in practice this week especially in the weight room and stretching before the game. I could really feel the energy from the team. I think we were really excited to do what we do out there. If the shots fall the shots fall and tonight they did but if they didn’t we were ready to grind it out if we had to.”

Another part of the success of the three-point shot was the rebounding. Quinnipiac did get outrebounded 37-33, but the improvement by the team really stood out. Redshirt junior forward Kevin Marfo had a double-double as well as other players stepping up to help on the backboard, which helps in spacing the floor and run in transition.

“[Rebounding] went pretty good,” Marfo said. “Our defense got them to take the shots we wanted. They took a lot of twos. Those were the shots we wanted them to take. When it came to getting rebounds, I thought we did a pretty good job. It could’ve been a little bit better. They outrebounded us offensively throughout the game, but we were there.”