GAME OF THE NIGHT: Quinnipiac 68, Monmouth 64
From the midway point of the second half until 30 seconds remaining in regulation, no team held a larger led by more than two points, as the lead swapped hands five times.
Evan Conti hit a 3-pointer to put Quinnipiac up 61-60 with just under three minutes to play. The Bobcats would retain that lead for the remainder of the game, but not without a fight from Monmouth. Despite James Ford’s free throws, which put Quinnipiac up 66-60 with under 30 seconds to play, the Hawks had their chance to force an extra frame after Collin Stewart drilled a three to cut the lead to 66-63.
Hearst, an 83 percent free throw shooter, missed both from the line. On the ensuing possession Monmouth’s Max DiLeo was fouled shooting a three with five seconds left. Although, he missed the first, made the second and committed the a lane violation on the final attempt.
In the preseason these two teams were tabbed to win the two MAC divisions. On Friday night, Toledo took the first of two meetings this season with an 84-67 win. The Rockets were 9-of-11 at half, which included a J.D. Weatherspoon 40-footer at the buzzer to give Toledo a 37-34 halftime lead. Toledo would keep that lead.
With under eight minutes to play, Nyles Evans, Akron’s leading scorer at that point, finished a layup over Kurt Hall to cut the deficit to single digits. Following the play, he pinned the ball in Hall’s chest, earning him a technical foul, which disqualified Evans from the game with his fifth personal foul. Toledo would hold a double-digit lead from that point on.
1) Keifer Sykes, Green Bay: Sykes scored 22 of his 34 points in the first half, connecting on 13-of-20 of his attempts from the field, including 5-of-7 from deep.
2) Zaid Hearst, Quinnipiac: In 37 minutes, Hearst scored 27 points and grabbed 10 boards. While he missed two free throws with 18 seconds to leave the door open for Monmouth, he drilled a key 3-pointer several possessions earlier to give the Bobcats a two-possession lead. Qusmane Drame had 17 points and 10 rebounds in 26 minutes for QU.
3) Damon Lynn, N.J.I.T.: The Highlanders’ leading scorer went for a game-high 23 points, including five 3-pointers in a win over the Ivy League contender.
1) Yale without Justin Sears: Yale’s top scorer and rebounder was reportedly hit in the mouth, limiting him to just six minutes with zero points, zero rebounds and only two blocks. Yale would fall to college basketball’s lone independent, 78-71. The Bulldogs end the non-conference portion of the schedule against Division III Daniel Webster on Saturday before the start of Ivy League play.
2) Milwaukee’s first half: The Panthers buried themselves in the first half during a seven-minute span. With nine minutes left in the first half, Green Bay led 21-17. With just under two minutes to play, a Carrington Love layup capped a 21-2 run for the Phoenix, opening up a 42-21 lead. Green Bay would hold a 20-point lead at half. The closest Milwaukee would cut it was 11 in the second half.