Highlights: Quinnipiac men’s basketball blasts Hartford, 99-79

HAMDEN, Conn. – Seniors Daniel Harris (18 points on 7-9 shooting) and Donovan Smith (15 points, 10 rebounds) helped lead a balanced offense, as the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team rolled to a dominant 99-79 win over Hartford in a non-conference matchup on Wednesday evening at the TD Bank Sports Center.

With the win, the Bobcats improve to 3-5 on the year, after taking a big first half lead for the second game in a row. Quinnipiac led by as many as 17 in the first half, before taking a 52-41 lead into intermission, the first time since joining the MAAC in 2013-14 that it has had scored 50 points by halftime. Hartford falls to 2-8 on the year with the loss.

Freshman guard Mikey Dixon (New Castle, Del.), the reigning MAAC Rookie of the Week, had 17 points and seven assists, while junior guard Reggie Oliver (Apopka, Fla.) and freshman guard Peter Kiss (New York, N.Y.) each had 12 points as five Bobcats finished in double figures, while junior guard Phil Winston (Lakewood, Wash. – pictured) had 10 assists, the first Bobcat to have 10 assists in a game since Dave Johnson had 10 against Niagara on December 22, 2011.

Quinnipiac took control early, building up a 24-9 lead at the 12:57 mark of the first half. Oliver got things started with a pair of early three-pointers, while Kiss and Harris each started the game by making their first four shots from the floor (including two threes) for 10 points.

Foul trouble slowed the Bobcats down a bit as four players went to the bench with two and the Hawks were able to close within 52-41 at the break. However, Quinnipiac restored its momentum early in the second half with a 7-0 run, as Harris started things off with a three-pointer and Smith had a dunk off a feed from Winston.

Hartford never threatened as Quinnipiac took its largest lead at 26 points (89-63) on a fast break layup from Winston before settling for a 20-point final margin. The Bobcats had a few chances to break the 100-point mark late, but were unable to get a shot to fall to reach the century mark.

Quinnipiac shot 53.8 percent from the floor, while assisting on 25 of its 35 baskets. Harris had an impressive all-around line with 18 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals, while Smith became the third different Bobcat to record a double-double in the last four games, joining Chaise Daniels and Abdulai Bundu. Quinnipiac also had a 46-24 edge in the rebounding department, the third time in the last four games that it has had a double-digit edge in that department.

The Bobcats will be back in action on Sunday when they travel to Holy Cross for a 1 p.m. contest.

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