Quinnipiac wins foul plagued game with Manhattan

I have been to two college basketball games this week, first was the Central Connecticut State women at home vs. St. Francis of Pennsylvania and then last night in Hamden for Quinnipiac vs. Manhattan. If these games had one thing in common, it was the sound of a whistle.

Between the two games, 130 personal fouls were called and two technical fouls on coaches. 176 free throws were attempted and eight players fouled out in a combined 85 minutes of play time (CCSU vs. SFU played a single overtime period).

I understand the “freedom of motion” rules were being enforced this year, but it seems like things are getting a little ridiculous. A college basketball game should not take two and a half hours to be played.

I know the rules of basketball, but I have never been great with the details of officiating, so I’ll give this one my best shot.

Manhattan committed 32 fouls to Quinnipiac’s 24 in what looked like a “home job” to the Jaspers fans, but in fact, the game was called incredibly tight on both sides. QU is the second best rebounding team in the country and they showed it tonight, for the final 30 minutes at least.

Little did I know, the physical activity early in the game would lead to so many fouls.

The Jaspers led 22-13 with 9:57 left in the first half before Shane Richards committed the ninth team foul of the game sending Kasim Chandler to the line. Umar Shannon hit a three from the corner with 6:14 left in the half to give the Bobcats a 26-25 lead and the game stayed close for the rest of the night.

A number of times during the game, it seemed like no one had any idea why the ref was blowing his whistle, but only once did they hear it from the crowd of 2,038 at the TD Bank SportsCenter, because a majority of the “bad” calls went against the Jaspers.

Aside from the officiating, Michael Alvarado had a big game for Manhattan after leading-scorer George Beamon went down with an apparent shoulder injury early in the first half. Alvarado seemed to be the only player in green able to penetrate the defensive presence down low, dropping in a game and season-high 23 points (career high is 25 on Feb. 7, 2011 vs. Iona); also recording his first double-double of the season by adding 10 rebounds.

Ike Azotam for Quinnipiac had a monster game. The senior tied a career-high with 18 rebounds while pouring in 17 points to lead the Bobcats. Ousmane Drame added 14 boards while the entire team recorded 49, 2.5 more than their season average.

The game was going to come down to free throws, because it seemed like the entire game was free throws and it did. Neither team was great from the line, but QU shot better (67.4% to 50%) and that where the game was won. Quinnipiac defeated Manhattan 81-76 and continued to show that they belong in the MAAC and will be a force, especially this year with the big guys doing their thing.

Manhattan vs. Quinnipiac tonight

Tonight I am going to the TD Bank SportsCenter to watch Manhattan take on Quinnipiac in Hamden.

This will be the first non-Northeast Conference game I am going to since, probably watching UConn at the XL Center in Hartford in 2004, when they won the National Championship with some of my favorite college basketball players ever (Ben Gordon, Josh Boone, Emeka Okafor, Talik Brown, Rashad Anderson, Charlie Villenueva). Anyway, this MAAC game tonight should be a good one.

Quinnipiac is second in the country in rebounding, led by their THREE beasts down low, Ike Azotam, Zaid Hearst and Ousmane Drame. That is who keeps the Bobcats in games.

Manhattan is led by George Beamon at 21.6 points per game. The Jaspers are 65th in the country in scoring.

I don’t really know much about these two teams, but I hope to see a good game.