Two days after destroying New Hampshire, considered to be at least the fourth-best team in the conference, in Durham 80-50 and holding the Wildcats to 0.85 points per possession, Stony Brook came down to Hartford and they not only didn’t give the Hawks hope, they didn’t let them score en route to a 77-43 pummeling, holding Hartford to 0.65 ppp in the process.
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. – The ball moved quickly, everyone seemed to touch it, extra passes were made, and – most importantly – shots were falling as Quinnipiac was rolling Tuesday night at intrastate rival Hartford.
At one point, the Bobcats were 8-12 and then 10-16 from three-point range, and after Gio McLean drove with ease to the hoop and scored, Quinnipiac led 60-47 with 10:30 left and appeared to be cruising to its second straight victory, even without its best post player, Chaise Daniels.
But the cruise hit the proverbial iceberg at that point. Possessions that didn’t end in turnovers finished wih rushed shots at the end of the shot clock. Hartford alowly started to gain momentum and scored 14 points the rest of the way. Quinnipiac showed a lot of guts and Gio McLean hit an eventual game-winning shot with 1:16 left to give it a 68-66 road win despite scoring just eight points in the final quarter of the contest, and – coupled with a win at Canisius Saturday – may tell us plenty about the mental makeup of the Bobcats going forward (certainly about McLean, more on him later).
There are few positive things that come from being ineligible for the NCAA Tournament for a Division I basketball coach, but one of them might be a little ease on the pressure that most of their other brethren in the coaching fraternity feel.
This is doubly so for UMass Lowell coach Pat Duquette, whose team (due to the transition period from Division II to Division I) won’t be a contender for the America East championship until 2018. Add that to the fact that Duquette was forced to replace almost everyone from last season’s surprising team that went 8-8 in its inaugural season in America East and was picked dead last again this season.