ORONO, Maine Justin Rutty (Newburgh, N.Y.) scored a career-high 30 points on 13-for-16 shooting and added seven rebounds as the Quinnipiac men's basketball team defeated Maine, 73-66, Tuesday night at Alfond Arena. James Feldeine (New York, N.Y.) contributed 14 points, while James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.) had a solid all-around game with 10 points, seven assists, five rebounds and three steals.
With the win, the Bobcats improve to 3-2, while the Black Bears fall to 3-2. Gerald McLemore led the Black Bears with 19 points, while Mark Socoby, who posted 29 points a year ago in Hamden, was limited to 14 points. Sean McNally contributed nine points and a game-high 14 boards for the Black Bears.
Rutty, whose previous career high was 14 points, didn't miss in the first half, going 5-for-5 from the floor. The Northeast Conference's most accurate shooter a year ago at 59.0 percent, Rutty upped his shooting percentage to 68.9 through five games this season.
A back-and-forth first 10 minutes elapsed with the game knotted at 14-14 before Eric Coggins' (Syracuse, N.Y.) free throw gave the Bobcats the lead at 9:13 of the first half. Though the Black Bears tied the game later in the half, Quinnipiac never trailed again.
McLemore's jumper at the 13:04 mark of the second half cut the Bobcats' advantage to one at 39-38, but Quinnipiac immediately responded by scoring 15 of the next 18 points to take its largest lead of the game, 54-41, with just over six minutes remaining. The Bobcats kept the Black Bears at arm's length the rest of the way, maintaining at least a six-point cushion.
Quinnipiac outshot Maine from the floor, 45.8 percent (22-48) to 35.0 percent (21-60), while also taking the advantage in free-throw percentage, 62.8 percent (27-43) to 51.7 percent (15-29). Maine outrebounded the Bobcats, 43-35, while also outshooting Quinnipiac from three-point range, 30.0 percent (9-30) to 22.2 percent (2-9).
The Bobcats return to action Dec. 1, when they play host to Binghamton. Opening tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the TD Banknorth Sports Center in Hamden, Conn.