Quinnipiac University Bobcats (6-3, 2-0 NEC) at
University ofVermont Catamounts (5-3, 0-0 America East)
Sunday, Dec. 21, 2008 12 p.m.
TD Banknorth Sports Center Hamden, Conn.
America East Rubber Match
Riding a three-game winning streak, the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team takes on Vermont, Sunday afternoon at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. The game, which can be seen live on NESN-TV, represents a rubber match for the Bobcats against America East Conference foes. The Bobcats have a 2-2 record against America East teams this season, having beaten Hartford and Maine and suffering setbacks to Binghamton and UMBC. Vermont plays its first game since cruising past UNC-Wilmington, 89-68, last Sunday.
Scouting the Vermont Catamounts
Vermont is led by reigning America East Player of the Year Marqus Blakely, whose 17.1 points, 9.3 rebounds, 3.1 blocks and 2.8 steals per game are all team highs. Norwalk native Mike Trimboli has pitched in with 15.4 points and a team-high 5.5 assists per game. Colin McIntosh has added 14.0 points per game, while Michigan State transfer Maurice Joseph cannot be overlooked at 6.8 points per game. The Catamounts are very accurate in all shooting categories. They've shot 47.6 percent from the floor, 41.3 percent from long range and 70.7 percent from the free-throw line.
On The Air
Sunday's game can be seen live on NESN-TV. Bill Schweizer will have the play-by-play call with Bill Mecca on color and Rich Coppola providing sideline reports. A live video webcast will also be available to Bobcat Channel subscribers.
Last Time Against Vermont
DeMario Anderson scored 25 points and Casey Cosgrove and Justin Rutty contributed 10 points apiece, but the Bobcats were defeated by Vermont, 80-72, last Dec. 22 in Burlington. Led by Blakely's 19 points on 7-for-10 shooting, the Catamounts shot 51.9 percent. Trimboli had 18 points, while Kyle Cieplicki (16) and Nick Vier (12) also finished in double figures.
Last Time Out Against Dartmouth
The Bobcats erased a five-point deficit with 1:30 remaining in regulation, scoring the game's last seven points to defeat Dartmouth, 76-74, Wednesday in Hanover, N.H. James Feldeine scored a career-high 29 points, while Justin Rutty (17) and James Johnson (12) also finished in double figures.
James Feldeine has scored at least 15 points in the first half of three of nine games this season, and at least nine points in the first half of five games. After scoring 16 in the initial stanza against Army and 15 in the first half at Wagner, Feldeine exploded for 22 first-half points en route to a career-high 29 points at Dartmouth. The Bobcats won all three games.
We're Going Streaking!!!
The Bobcats are currently riding a three-game winning streak. Quinnipiac won as many as three consecutive games just once last year, a four-game streak spanning games Jan. 10 through Jan. 19.
Quinnipiac has won all four games it's played on the road this season. The Bobcats have defeated Hartford, Maine, Wagner and Dartmouth as the visiting team.
Feldeine Earns NEC Player of the Week
James Feldeine was named NEC Player of the Week, Dec. 15. Feldeine recorded his second double-double of the year and third of his career with 19 points and 10 rebounds as the Bobcats remained unbeaten in NEC play with a 71-63 victory, Dec. 13 at Wagner. He also added four assists. The award is the first of Feldeine's career.
Can't Touch C-T
The rest of the Northeast Conference is currently looking up in the standings at the league's three schools from Connecticut. Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart sit atop the league at 2-0, while Central Connecticut is 1-0. The rest of the league has at least one conference loss.
2-0 Moore For QU
Quinnipiac Head Coach Tom Moore has led the Bobcats to a 2-0 start in NEC play in each of his first two seasons at the helm. Prior to his arrival, the Bobcats won their first two league games just once, when the 1999-2000 reeled off five straight.
Giveth, But You Can't Taketh Away
James Johnson is the Northeast Conference's leader in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.09. He's dished out 48 assists (5.3 apg, 2nd-NEC) while turning it over just 23 times.
Sittin' On Top of the League
At 15.3 points (6th-NEC) and 8.0 rebounds (4th-NEC) per game, Justin Rutty is one of only two players in the conference currently ranked in the top six in both categories, joining Central Connecticut's Ken Horton (20.9 ppg-1st, 7.4 rpg-6th).
Feldeine Fillin' It Up
While the Bobcats lost DeMario Anderson to graduation and his personal double-digit points streak ended at an NEC-record 48 games, James Feldeine has taken over Anderson's role as a consistent double-figure scorer. Feldeine has reached a 10th point in each of the Bobcats' nine games this season.
Floor General Johnson
James Johnson has taken control of the point guard position in just his freshman season. After posting modest statistics while playing a key role in Quinnipiac's 2-0 start, Johnson has averaged 11.3 points, 6.0 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 1.3 steals, while shooting 53.8 percent (8-15) from three-point range. He's started his first nine collegiate games, becoming just the fourth Quinnipiac player to do so at the Division I level.
On the Rebound
The Bobcats offensive rebounding prowess (15.22 per game - 1st-NEC) has resulted in holding opponents to 30.9 rebounds per game (1st-NEC) and a +8.8 rebounding margin (1st-NEC).
Fine To Be Feldeine
James Feldeine currently ranks among the Northeast Conference's best in several categories. He's second in scoring at 18.0 points per game and eighth in rebounds (7.2). His 5.3 defensive rebounds per game rank sixth and 47.6 field-goal percentage is 10th. He also ranks 12th in free-throw percentage (47.9) and 15th in three-point field-goal percentage (38.9). His 1.56 three-point field goals made per game are tied for 14th.
Regular For Rutty
Justin Rutty has shot 66.3 percent (61-for-92) this season (1st-NEC), besting his Northeast Conference leading 59.0 percent average of a year ago.
The Bobcats return to action Dec. 29, when they begin a two-game, two-city swing against Ivy League opponents. The road trip begins at Brown for a 1 p.m. tip at the Pizzitola Sports Center. The trip continues with a 1 p.m. tilt at Cornell on Dec. 31.