December 18, 2008

Men's Basketball Defeats Dartmouth, 76-74

HANOVER, N.H. – James Feldeine (New York, N.Y.) scored a career-high 29 points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished out six assists and made three steals as the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team held on for a 76-74 victory against Dartmouth, Wednesday night at Leede Arena. The Bobcats fell behind with 2:35 remaining after holding a double-digit second-half lead, but Justin Rutty's (Newburgh, N.Y.) contested lay-up with 33 seconds remaining gave the Bobcats the lead for good.

Rutty added 17 points and nine rebounds, while James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.) contributed 12 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Bobcats. Alex Barnett scored a team-high 24 points for Dartmouth, including the 1,000th of his career. Ronnie Dixon and Jabari Trotter chipped in with 18 and 15, respectively. With the win, the Bobcats improve to 6-3, while the Big Green falls to 2-6.

The Bobcats established an 11-point lead with 10:29 remaining in the second half. But the Big Green kept chipping away until Trotter's lay-up with 3:41 remaining tied the game at 66-66. Trotter then converted a three-point field goal to give Dartmouth its first lead since the just under nine minutes into the first half. But Johnson immediately responded with a conventional three-point play to tie the game at 69-69 on the next possession.

Barnett had the answer for Dartmouth, converting a three-point play of his own on the next possession. After a Johnson miss for Quinnipiac, Dixon hit a lay-up to give Dartmouth a five-point cushion with 1:28 remaining.

The Bobcats responded with a Rutty lay-up off a Bryan Geffen (Queens, N.Y.) feed and the Quinnipiac press resulted in a Feldeine steal. Feldeine got the ball to Johnson, who was fouled. Johnson knocked down both ends of a one-and-one to cut the deficit to one, 74-73, with 1:02 remaining.

Solid defense by Rutty forced an off-balance shot by Barnett. Feldeine rewarded Rutty on the offensive end, assisting on the latter's go-ahead bucket with a Dartmouth defender draped on him and 32 seconds remaining. Barnett again missed on the ensuing possession with Rutty securing the rebound and drawing a foul.

The hard foul knocked Rutty out of the game, and with 2.9 seconds remaining and the Big Green picking up its 10th team foul, Steve Robinson (New York, N.Y.) stepped in and made one-of-two free throws to extend the Bobcat lead to the final margin of 76-74. Dixon's half-court heave hit high off the backboard, securing the Quinnipiac victory.

Feldeine led all scorers at the half with 22 points, while Rutty added 10 points and eight rebounds. Dixon led the Big Green with 11 points, including 3-for-4 shooting from long range.

The Bobcats and Big Green went back and forth for the first six minutes and the game, after which the game was tied at 10. Dartmouth took its largest lead of the half, 15-10, on a Clive Weeden bucket at the 12:53 mark. But Feldeine responded with nine points in just over the next two minutes to outscore the Big Green, 9-2, and put the Bobcats on top, 19-17.

After Dartmouth knotted the game at 21-21 on Trotter's bucket at the 8:58 mark, the Bobcats went on a 12-2 run to take a 10-point lead, 33-23, at the 3:07 mark. A Feldeine trifecta at the 1:32 mark gave Quinnipiac its largest lead of the half, 39-28, with 1:32 remaining. But Barnett scored the final five points of the half, including a three-pointer at the buzzer to pull Dartmouth back to within six points at 39-33 heading into halftime.

For the game, Quinnipiac took a 71.4 percent (10-14) to 68.8 percent (11-16) advantage from the free-throw line and outrebounded the Big Green, 46-30. Dartmouth outshot the Bobcats, 45.2 percent (28-62) to 44.1 percent (30-68), from the floor, and 43.8 percent (7-16) to 40.0 percent (6-15), from three-point range.