Men's Basketball Faces Future NEC Foe Bryant Saturday

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (10-12) vs.

Bryant University Bulldogs (6-17)

Saturday, Feb. 7, 2009 – 2 p.m.

TD Banknorth Sports Center – Hamden, Conn.

Bobcats Welcome Future NEC Foe Bryant

The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team looks to win a third straight game for the second time this season when it welcomes Bryant to the TD Banknorth Sports Center, Saturday afternoon. Both teams are coming off Thursday road victories. The Bobcats outlasted intrastate foe Sacred Heart, 66-64, while the Bulldogs defeated Monmouth, 83-71. The Bulldogs took the first meeting of the season with the Bobcats, 59-50, at the Tyler Ugolyn Columbia Classic. Quinnipiac owns a 37-15 advantage in the all-time series.

Scouting the Bryant Bulldogs

Cecil Gresham leads the Bulldogs in both points (13.3) and rebounds (4.2) per game, while Andrew Lyell also averages 4.2 rebounds. Chris Birrell leads the Bulldogs at 3.4 assists and 1.9 steals per game. Bryant likes to shoot the three-pointer, with 499 attempts this season. By contrast, the Bobcats have attempted 302. More than half of Gresham, Birrell and Peter Lambert's shots have come from deep. Lambert has hoisted 134 of 147 shots from beyond the three-point arc.

On The Air

Saturday's game can be heard live on the Bobcats Radio Network. Eli Olken-Dann will have the play-by-play call with Bill Mecca on color. A live video webcast will also be available to Bobcat Channel subscribers.

Last Time Against Bryant

James Feldeine had 15 points and nine rebounds, but the Bobcats were defeated by Bryant, 59-50, at Columbia Nov. 22. Justin Rutty added 13 points while James Johnson had 11. Jeremy Baker had eight points and a game-high 10 rebounds, but left late in the game due to an injury that cost him the next 17 games. Cecil Gresham nearly didn't miss for the Bulldogs, making 7-of-8 field-goal attempts, including 5-of-6 from deep en route to a game-high 21 points.

Last Time Out Against Sacred Heart

James Feldeine led five Bobcats in double-figures with 12 points and 10 rebounds as Quinnipiac outlasted Sacred Heart, 66-64, in Fairfield. Jeremy Baker (11), Louis Brookins (10), Bryan Geffen (10) and James Johnson (10) also added a second digit to their point totals.

Healthy Bobcats?

The Bobcats welcomed back Jeremy Baker and Louis Brookins, Feb. 5 at Sacred Heart, after both missed considerable time due to injury. Baker returned after missing 17 games and Brookins missed four. The Bobcats had as many as nine available scholarship players for just the second time this season.

Big-Shot Baker

The Bobcats are 2-2 in games Jeremy Baker has played this season and field goals he's made have proved to be the difference in both. He hit a game-winning putback in overtime, Nov. 17, against Army and his jumper with 1:31 left put the Bobcats up for good at Sacred Heart.

Balanced Bobcats

Six Bobcats scored at least nine points in Quinnipiac's 66-64 win at Sacred Heart, Feb. 5. James Feldeine led the group with 12, while Jeremy Baker (11), Louis Brookins (10), Bryan Geffen (10) and James Johnson (10) also added a second digit to their point totals.

Newburgh Native Nationally Ranked

In addition to leading the Northeast Conference with a 61.7 field-goal percentage, Justin Rutty ranks eighth in the nation. His 100 offensive rebounds and 4.76 offensive rebounds per game rank second, while his 9.4 boards per game are 25th.

Hardly Hardy; Unlike Litke

The Bobcats held Chauncey Hardy and Ryan Litke, two of Sacred Heart's most potent scoring options, without a field goal in their own gym, Feb. 5. Hardy entered the game shooting 46.6 percent and averaging 11.5 points per game, while Litke averaged 7.6 points and shot 35.2 percent from long range. The duo combined for an 0-16 night from the floor and scored just seven points, all from the free-throw line.

Free-Throw Efficiency

After shooting 61.0 percent from the free-throw line in their first 20 game, the Bobcats have shot 75.4 percent (43-57) in the last two games, both wins.

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 six of the last eight games. He's averaged 12.3 points during the span.

Second To One Hundred

Justin Rutty grabbed his 100th offensive rebound of the season at Sacred Heart, becoming just the second Quinnipiac player to reach 100 offensive boards at the Division I level, joining Jeremy Bishop (117 in 2001-02). He also joined just 11 other NEC players to grab 100 on the offensive glass since the league started tabulating offensive boards in 1997-98.

Giveth, But Can't Taketh Away

James Johnson is sixth in the NEC in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.48. He's dished out 98 assists (4.5 apg, 5th-NEC) while turning it over just 66 times.

Dunkin' Dutchman Comparison

Rutty's shooting accuracy also compares well 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 (15.8 ppg, 5th) and rebounders (9.4 rpg, 1st), becoming the only player in the league currently ranked in the top five of both categories. In addition, his 4.76 offensive rebounds per game rank first in the NEC by a 1.96 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' 22 games this season.

Floor General Johnson

James Johnson has taken control of the point guard position in just his freshman season. Johnson has averaged 10.4 points, 4.5 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals while adjusting seamlessly to the college game. He's started his first 22 collegiate games, becoming just the third Quinnipiac player to do so at the Division I level.

On the Rebound

The Bobcats offensive rebounding prowess (15.00 per game - 1st-NEC) has resulted in holding opponents to 32.0 rebounds per game (T-2nd-NEC) and a +6.0 rebounding margin (1st-NEC).

Fine To Be Feldeine

James Feldeine currently ranks among the NEC's best in several categories. He's 2nd in scoring at 17.0 points per game and 7th in rebounds (6.4). His 4.68 defensive boards per game rank 5th and his 74.7 free-throw percentage is 10th. His 1.64 steals per game are tied for 5th and his 1.50 three-point field goals made per game are tied for 13th.

Regular For Rutty

Justin Rutty has shot 61.7 percent (145-for-235) this season (1st-NEC), besting his NEC-leading 59.0 percent average of a year ago.

On Deck

The Bobcats return to action Thursday, when they begin a two-game road trip through western Pennsylvania at Saint Francis (Pa.). Opening tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. at DeGol Arena.