ORLANDO, Fla. – Freshman Mikey Dixon (New Castle, Del. – pictured) had 21 big points off the bench, and junior forward Chaise Daniels (Meriden, Conn.) hit the winning basket with 24 seconds left as the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team won a thriller over Indiana State 80-77 on Sunday afternoon in the seventh place game at the AdvoCare Invitational, hosted at the HP Field House in the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex.
With the win, the Bobcats improve to 1-4 on the season after a very successful Orlando trip, which included battles against No. 11 Gonzaga on Thursday and Seton Hall on Friday. Indiana State slips to 2-4 on the year with the loss, after falling in the closing seconds in all three games of the AdvoCare Invitational (the first two to Iowa State and Stanford).
Sophomore forward Abdulai Bundu (Upper Marlboro, Md.) added a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds for the Bobcats, while freshman guard Peter Kiss (New York, N.Y.) scored 11, giving him double figures in all three games of the tournament. Daniels had all 12 of his points in the second half on 6-7 shooting after picking up two fouls in the first half.
Quinnipiac took its largest lead of the game at 71-63 with 3:34 to go on a Dixon three-pointer, but Indiana State chipped away and took the lead back in the final minute. A three-pointer from Matt Van Scyoc with 1:24 to go cut the Quinnipiac advantage to 76-74, and after senior guard Daniel Harris (Tampa, Fla.) had a driving runner roll off the rim, Brenton Scott (24 points) put the Sycamores in front 77-76 with 44 seconds left.
The Bobcats called a timeout and worked the ball around tor Daniels on the left baseline. He put the ball on the floor and felt out his defender, before hitting a soft 10-foot fadeaway to put the Bobcats back in front. Senior forward Alain Chigha (Yaounde, Cameroon) drew the defensive assignment on Scott on Indiana State’s next possession and helped force a kickout pass, resulting in a missed three-pointer from Donovan Franklin. Harris secured the defensive rebound, made both foul shots, and the last ditch effort from Indiana State missed short as the Bobcats earned the hard fought win.
The Bobcats withstood some foul trouble in the first half (five players with two fouls, including their four leading scorers) to close a nine-point Indiana State lead to 35-33. Quinnipiac jumped out to a 17-10 lead on a three-point play from freshman guard Mikey Dixon (New Castle, Del.) before Indiana State was able to surge ahead by as many as nine points (33-24) with 4:23 left in the half. However, the Bobcats were able to get back within 35-33 at intermission as Dixon reached 10 points on a runner in the paint with 45 seconds on the clock.
Quinnipiac had 41 bench points on the day, led by a combined 32 from freshmen Dixon and Kiss. Dixon’s 21 points were the most for any Quinnipiac player this season as he shot 8-18 from the floor, 2-4 from three, and 2-2 at the line. Senior forward Donovan Smith (Chicago, Ill.) added seven, including back-to-back baskets in the second half (a two and a three) to give the Bobcats a six-point lead. The Bobcats finished with a 43-32 edge on the boards, led by 12 from Bundu and seven from Dixon.
Quinnipiac will be back in action on Thursday night at home, when it faces preseason MAAC favorite Monmouth at 7 p.m. in the conference opener for both teams. For ticket information, contact the TD Bank Sports Center Box Office at 203-582-3905 or visit us online at QuinnipiacBobcats.com.