Quinnipiac University Bobcats (12-14, 8-7 NEC) at
Long Island University Blackbirds (14-12, 10-5 NEC)
Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009 4 p.m.
Wellness Center Brooklyn, N.Y.
Large Implications At LIU
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team looks to secure a berth in the Northeast Conference Tournament when it travels to Brooklyn, N.Y., Saturday, to face Long Island University at the Wellness Center. The game can be seen live on MSG-TV. A win would not only clinch a berth in the tournament, but also move the Bobcats one step closer to a potential home game (top four seeds in the eight-team field play host to first-round games). The Bobcats are coming off an impressive, 78-62, win against Fairleigh Dickinson, while the Blackbirds defeated St. Francis (Pa.), 85-71, Thursday in Brooklyn. Quinnipiac owns an 11-10 edge in the all-time series.
Scouting the Long Island Blackbirds
Jaytornah Wisseh leads the Blackbirds at 14.9 points, 4.7 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Ron Manigault trails only Justin Rutty among rebounders in the NEC at 8.8 boards per game. Kyle Johnson has also contributed 13.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2.3 three-point field goals made per game. Julian Boyd has been named NEC Rookie of the Week five times this year, and has averaged 10.3 points and 5.9 rebounds.
On The Air
Saturday's game can be seen live on MSG-TV. Dave Popkin will have the play-by-play call with Tim Capstraw on color commentary and Paul Dottino roaming the sidelines. The game can also be heard on the Bobcats Radio Network. Bill Schweizer will have the play-by-play call with Bob Tipson on color.
Last Time Against Fairleigh Dickinson
Justin Rutty compiled a double-double of 16 points and 14 rebounds as the Bobcats defeated LIU, 69-63, Jan. 31, at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. Bryan Geffen also added 16 points, while Edward Zajac and James Feldeine had 11 points apiece. Julian Boyd led LIU with 18 points.
Last Time Out Against Fairleigh Dickinson
Jeremy Baker scored a career-high 20 points to lead four Bobcats in double figures as Quinnipiac defeated Fairleigh Dickinson, 78-62, Thursday night at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. Bryan Geffen (14), Justin Rutty (13) and James Feldeine (12) also finished in double figures.
A Little Help Here
The Bobcats racked up a season-high 22 assists against Fairleigh Dickinson, Feb. 19. James Feldeine led the way with six assists, while James Johnson and Steve Robinson handed out five dimes apiece.
Jeremy Baker poured in a career-high 20 points on 8-for-15 shooting, including a perfect 2-for-2 from long range against Fairleigh Dickinson, Feb. 19.
Eric Coggins set a new career-high with nine points against Fairleigh Dickinson, Feb. 19. He also tied his top rebound total with six boards.
The Bobcats have connected on at least seven three-pointers in three of the last four games after making seven trifectas on just two occasions in their first 22 games.
Shoot Better, Win More
The Bobcats are 9-0 when they outshoot their opponent.
Eleven of Twelve
The Bobcats have taken 11 of their 12 wins this season while allowing 69 points or less.
Justin Rutty compiled his NEC-leading 10th double-double of the season with 13 points and 14 rebounds, Feb. 7, against Bryant. No other Bobcat has more than three double-doubles this season.
In The Bobcats' Defense...
Quinnipiac ranks first in the NEC in field-goal percentage defense (.402) and second in scoring defense (62.6) in conference games.
Rutty Nationally Ranked
In addition to leading the Northeast Conference with a 61.1 field-goal percentage, Justin Rutty ranks 11th in the nation. His 4.52 offensive rebounds per game rank second, while his 9.2 boards per game are 30th.
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 10 of the last 12 games. He's averaged 12.2 points during the span.
Giveth, But Can't Taketh Away
James Johnson is fifth in the NEC in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.56. He's dished out 112 assists (4.3 apg, 6th-NEC) while turning it over just 72 times.
Dunkin' Dutchman Comparison
Rutty's shooting accuracy (61.1%) 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.
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 25 of the Bobcats' 26 games this season.
Floor General Johnson
James Johnson has taken control of the point guard position in just his freshman season. Johnson has averaged 10.2 points, 4.3 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.6 steals while adjusting seamlessly to the college game. He's started his first 26 collegiate games, becoming just the second Quinnipiac player to do so at the Division I level.
On the Rebound
The Bobcats offensive rebounding prowess (15.19 per game - 1st-NEC) has resulted in holding opponents to 32.0 rebounds per game (3rd-NEC) and a +5.8 rebounding margin (1st-NEC).
Fine To Be Feldeine
James Feldeine currently ranks among the NEC's best in several categories. He's 3rd in scoring at 16.7 points per game and 9th in rebounds (6.2). His 4.64 defensive boards per game rank 9th and his 1.77 offensive boards per game are tied for 15th. His 73.3 free-throw percentage is 11th. His 1.77 steals per game are 4th and his 2.35 assists per game are 18th. He's also 14th in three-point field goals made per game at 1.54.
Regular For Rutty
Justin Rutty has shot 61.1 percent (165-for-270) this season (1st-NEC), besting his NEC-leading 59.0 percent average of a year ago.
The Bobcats return to action Thursday, when they play host to Wagner. Opening tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the TD Banknorth Sports Center.