January 28, 2009

Men's Basketball Plays Host To Defending NEC Tournament Champion Mount St. Mary's Thursday

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (8-11, 4-5 NEC) vs.

Mount St. Mary's University Mountaineers (11-9, 6-3 NEC)

Thursday, Jan. 29, 2009 – 7 p.m.

TD Banknorth Sports Center – Hamden, Conn.

Conference Play Continues

The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team looks to snap a three-game losing skid when it plays host to defending NEC Tournament Champion Mount St. Mary's, Thursday night at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. The Bobcats have fallen to Monmouth, Sacred Heart and Central Connecticut in their last three games, while the Mountaineers have won six straight and eight of their last nine. The Mount owns a 10-9 edge in the all-time series.

Scouting the Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers

Preseason All-NEC Team pick Jeremy Goode leads the Mount at 15.6 points, 3.9 assists and 1.7 steals per game. Jean Cajou also scores in double figures at 13.6 points per game, while Kelly Beidler has corralled a team-leading 6.9 rebounds per game. Mount St. Mary's features the league's best scoring defense, allowing just 64.1 points per game and having held opponents to just 41.5 percent from the floor this season. They also own an NEC-best +1.60 turnover margin.

On The Air

Thursday's game can be heard live on the Bobcats Radio Network. Bill Schweizer will have the play-by-play call with Bill Mecca on color. A live video feed will also be available to Bobcat Channel subscribers.

Last Time Against Mount St. Mary's

DeMario Anderson scored a game-high 21 points, but the Bobcats were defeated, 80-70, March 6, 2008, in the NEC Tournament Quarterfinals at Knott Arena in Emmitsburg, Md. Casey Cosgrove added 12 points, while James Feldeine contributed 11 points and eight rebounds for the Bobcats. Jean Cajou led four Mountaineers in double figures with 20 points. Jeremy Goode and Kelly Beidler contributed 15 points apiece while Chris Vann scored 11.

Last Time Out Against Central Connecticut

Playing with just six healthy scholarship players, the Bobcats were defeated by Central Connecticut, 59-55, Saturday afternoon at Detrick Gym. James Johnson tied his career high with 17 points, while Justin Rutty compiled his seventh double-double of the season with 10 points and 14 rebounds.

Double-Double Again and Again

Justin Rutty compiled his team-leading seventh double-double of the season with 10 points and 14 rebounds, Jan. 24, at Central Connecticut. No other Bobcat has more than two double-doubles this season.

Johnson Ties Career High

James Johnson scored 17 points on 7-for-12 shooting, including 3-for-5 from long range, Jan. 24 at CCSU, to tie his career-high point total. He established the career-best total, Nov. 21 against UMBC.

Geffen Finds Consistency

After scoring more than 10 points just twice in the Bobcats' first 14 games, Bryan Geffen has added a second digit to his scoring total in four of the last five games. He's averaged 13.8 points during the span.

Newburgh Native Nationally Ranked

In addition to leading the Northeast Conference with a 64.4 field-goal percentage, Justin Rutty ranks sixth in the nation. Syracuse's Arinze Onuaku leads the nation at 70.6 percent.

Giveth, But Can't Taketh Away

James Johnson is sixth in the NEC in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.53. He's dished out 90 assists (4.7 apg, 3rd-NEC) while turning it over just 59 times.

Dunkin' Dutchman Comparison

Rutty's shooting accuracy also compares favorably to the best-ever field-goal percentage by a sophomore in the NEC - Marist's Rik Smits, who earned NBA All-Star status during his 12-year career with the Indiana Pacers, after shooting 62.2 percent for the Red Foxes in 1985-86.

Rutty Reaches Elite Status

Justin Rutty ranks in the top five in the NEC among scorers (16.3 ppg, 4th) and rebounders (9.1 rpg, 2nd), becoming one of two players in the league currently ranked in the top five of both categories (RMU's Jeremy Chappell). In addition, his 4.72 offensive rebounds per game rank first in the NEC by a 2.04 offensive rebounds per game margin.

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' 19 games this season.

Floor General Johnson

James Johnson has taken control of the point guard position in just his freshman season. Johnson has averaged 10.8 points, 4.7 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 steals while adjusting seamlessly to the college game. He's started his first 19 collegiate games, becoming just the third Quinnipiac player to do so at the Division I level.

On the Rebound

The Bobcats offensive rebounding prowess (15.26 per game - 1st-NEC) has resulted in holding opponents to 31.3 rebounds per game (1st-NEC) and a +6.6 rebounding margin (1st-NEC).

Fine To Be Feldeine

James Feldeine currently ranks among the Northeast Conference's best in several categories. He's first in scoring at 17.8 points per game and eighth in rebounds (6.4). His 4.74 defensive rebounds per game rank fifth and his 74.7 free-throw percentage is 12th. His 1.58 three-point field goals made per game are tied for 11th. His 1.74 steals and 2.32 assists rank third and tied for 19th, respectively.

Regular For Rutty

Justin Rutty has shot 64.4 percent (132-for-205) this season (1st-NEC), besting his Northeast Conference leading 59.0 percent average of a year ago.

On Deck

The Bobcats return to Northeast Conference action, Jan. 31, when they play host to Long Island. Opening tip is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the TD Banknorth Sports Center.