Quinnipiac University Bobcats (3-3, 0-0 NEC) vs.
Fairleigh Dickinson University Knights (1-6, 0-0 NEC)
Saturday, Dec. 5, 2009 - 2 p.m.
TD Bank Sports Center - Hamden, Conn.
Bobcats Play Host To FDU In Home, NEC Opener
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team plays host to Fairleigh Dickinson Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. in its home and Northeast Conference opener. The Bobcats (3-3) are looking to stop a two-game losing skid, including a 62-58 defeat Wednesday at Massachusetts. Meanwhile the Knights (1-6) have designs on stopping a four-game losing streak. FDU fell at Houston Baptist, 92-77, Wednesday night. The Bobcats and Knights last met on Feb. 19, 2009, when Quinnipiac took a 78-62 victory in Hamden.
Scouting the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights
The Knights (1-6) are led by Preseason All-NEC guard Sean Baptiste, who's averaged 17.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game thus far. Three other Knights have averaged in double-figure scoring - Terence Grier (10.9), Mike Scott (10.7) and Alvin Mofunanya (10.7). Scott has also averaged a team-best 4.0 assists and 1.0 steal per game, while Mofunanya is the Knights' top rebounder at 6.3 boards per game.
Last Time Against Fairleigh Dickinson
Led by Jeremy Baker's 20 points, the Bobcats defeated the Knights, 78-62, Feb. 19, 2009. Bryan Geffen (14), Justin Rutty (13) and James Feldeine (12) also finished in double figures for the Bobcats. Cameron Tyler led the Knights with 17 points, while Weston, Conn., native John Galvin posted a double-double of 13 points and 13 rebounds in defeat.
Last Time Out Against Massachusetts
James Feldeine scored 20 points and Justin Rutty added 13 rebounds, but the Bobcats were defeated at UMass, 62-58, Wednesday night. James Johnson also added 13 points for Quinnipiac. The Bobcats outrebounded UMass, 46-29, including a 28-11 advantage on the offensive glass. UMass was led by Ricky Harris' 19 points.
On The Air
Saturday's game can be heard live on AM 1220 WQUN and www.quinnipiacbobcats.com. Bob Mortali will have the play-by-play call while Bill Mecca and Bob Tipson will provide color commentary. A live video stream will also be available through www.quinnipiacbobcats.com. The cost of the live video webcast is $7.95 for a monthly membership to Bobcat Channel or $59.95 for a yearly membership. Live stats will also be available through the Quinnipiac Athletics website. To access live audio, video and stats, please click on the appropriate links on the men's basketball schedule on www.quinnipiacbobcats.com.
Rutty Rises On QU D1 Rebounding List
With 13 rebounds against UMass, Justin Rutty passed Rashaun Banjo '04 for fifth place on the Quinnipiac Division I rebounding list with 494 career boards. With six more, Rutty would become the fifth Quinnipiac player to reach 500 boards at the Division I level.
Grabbing A New High Again
The Bobcats shattered their previous record of 24 offensive rebounds in a single game at the Division I level with 28 offensive caroms at UMass on Dec. 2. Quinnipiac's previous high of 24 was accomplished just three games earlier at Yale on Nov. 21. Justin Rutty was monumental in both efforts, grabbing 10 offensive boards at Yale and nine at UMass.
Quinnipiac, Rutty Grab Third On NCAA Charts
The Bobcats' 28 offensive-rebound performance catapulted Quinnipiac into third in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (18.2). Individually, Justin Rutty ranks third nationally at 5.5 offensive boards per game, a year after finishing second in the nation behind only Pittsburgh's DeJuan Blair (5.6 oreb/game) with 4.6 offensive caroms per game.
Bobcats In NEC Openers
Quinnipiac is 6-5 in Northeast Conference openers, including a 2-0 mark under Head Coach Tom Moore. The Bobcats and Knights have met once to open the NEC slate, a 76-70 Fairleigh Dickinson win on November 29, 2005. The Knights would go on to win the NEC Regular Season Championship before being upset by Monmouth for the NEC Tournament title.
On the Rebound
Quinnipiac has outrebounded each of its opponents this season, and owns a +11.5 rebounding margin.
On Second Thought...
The Bobcats have held opponents to a lesser field-goal percentage in the second half (37.3 percent) as compared to the first half (42.0 percent) through six games this season. Included in the mark is a stretch of two second halves in which the Bobcats held Maine and Navy to a combined 26.1 percent (12-46) over the 40 second-half minutes.
10 Great Minutes
The Bobcats held Navy without a field goal for a stretch of 10:29 in the second half, Nov. 30. The Midshipmen managed just eight points, all on free throws, in the span.
Feldeine Flashes Back
After an off night in which James Feldeine uncharacteristically scored just three points, Nov. 24, at Maine, the senior wing erupted for a season-high 24 points, including 18 in the second half, Nov. 30, at Navy.
Another Note About Rutty's Offensive Rebounding
Justin Rutty, the nation's top returning offensive rebounder from a year ago (4.6 offensive rebounds per game), grabbed seven of his nine rebounds on the offensive glass, Nov. 30, at Navy.
The Bobcats held Maine to just 30.6 percent (19-62) shooting on Nov. 24, including just 25.9 percent (7-27) in the second half. The Black Bears converted just two of 16 three-point attempts (12.5 percent).
Bo Knows Offense
James Johnson scored 16 points, including 4-for-6 shooting from long range, at Maine. The output was just one point off his previous career high of 17 points, scored twice last season.
Bo Knows Defense
James Johnson has drawn the opponent's greatest scoring threat in each of this season's games, having success on most occasions. He held two of the top scoring threats in the America East Conference in Hartford's Joe Zeglinski and Maine's Gerald McLemore scoreless in the second half of both games. Meanwhile, Lehigh's Marquis Hall scored just nine points against Johnson. Only Yale's Alex Zampier had a strong statistical performance against Johnson with 29 points. However, Quinnipiac Head Coach lauded both Johnson's defense in the game, as the latter forced Zampier to convert on several low-percentage shots.
Shoot Better, Win More
The Bobcats had won 15 consecutive games when outshooting their opponent dating back to the end of the 2007-08 season before falling at Navy, Nov. 30. The Bobcats edged the Midshipmen, 41.4 percent (24-58) to 40.4 percent (19-47).
Rutty Named NEC, CT 6 Player of the Week
For his average of 21.0 points and 11.0 rebounds in the Bobcats' 1-1 week, Justin Rutty was named both the Choice Hotels NEC Player of the Week and the Connecticut 6 Player of the Week. Rutty scored 19 points and added eight rebounds in a loss at Lehigh, before exploding for 23 points and 14 rebounds, 10 on the offensive glass, at Yale.
Justin Rutty scored 23 points and grabbed 10 of his 14 rebounds on the offensive glass in the Bobcats' Nov. 21 victory over local rival Yale. Rutty, the nation's top returning offensive rebounder from a year ago, averaged 4.6 offensive rebounds per game. That figure was bested only by current San Antonio Spurs forward DeJuan Blair, who averaged 5.6 offensive rebounds per game last season at Pittsburgh.
Led by Justin Rutty's 10 offensive rebounds, the Bobcats grabbed 24 offensive rebounds at Yale, then the most by a Quinnipiac team since the school entered Division I play in 1998-99. Jamee Jackson added four offensive boards and James Johnson had three. In total, seven Bobcats had at least one offensive board.
Clutch Free-Throw Shooting
With Yale closing in quickly on Quinnipiac's lead down the stretch on Nov. 21 in New Haven, James Johnson and James Feldeine stepped to the charity stripe and combined to go 10-for-10 in the final minute and a half of play.
Feldeine Gets Fifth
James Feldeine compiled his fifth career double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds at Lehigh, Nov. 18. In addition to the Lehigh game, he had one double-double in 2007-08 and three in 2008-09.
Rutty Rebounds Against Lehigh
Justin Rutty bounced back from a foul-plagued, five-point, five-rebound performance against Hartford to score 19 points on 9-12 shooting and add eight rebounds at Lehigh.
The Bobcats have gotten strong contributions from a trio of its first-year players. Junior transfer Deontay Twyman scored 12 points in his Quinnipiac debut against Hartford. After playing solid defense with two blocks in his Bobcats debut, freshman Jamee Jackson went for nine points and seven rebounds at Lehigh and grabbed 10 rebounds at Yale. Finally, Dave Johnson has shown the ability to spell James Johnson at point guard without Quinnipiac missing a beat.
Johnson's Elite Company
James Johnson began an impressive streak when he started last season's opener against Hartford. The point guard became just the eighth freshman in QU Division I history to start his collegiate debut. Johnson went on to start all 31 of Quinnipiac's games, joining just 19 other freshmen in the nation to start every game their team played in 2008-09. With the start in each of this season's contests, Johnson has stretched the streak to his first 37 games as a Bobcat. Each player to start his first game and complete four years with the Bobcats has scored over 1,000 points. Rob Monroe, Bill Romano and Jared Grasso started their first games and rank first, second and fifth, respectively, on the Bobcats D-I scoring list. Johnson joined teammates Justin Rutty and Evann Baker as current players who started their debuts, while Job Casimir and Casey Cosgrove were in the starting line-up for their initial contests, but transferred prior to completion of four seasons in Hamden.
Saying "No" To Joe
The Quinnipiac defense once again clamped down on Hartford's Joe Zeglinski, one of the most potent scorers in the America East Conference. After scoring 12 points in the first half of this year's meeting, aided by a 30-foot desperation heave off glass that fell at the halftime buzzer, the Bobcats didn't allow Zeglinski another point in the second half. The Bobcats held the 2007-08 First-Team All-America East selection to just two points on 1-for-10 shooting on Nov. 14, 2008. Zeglinski's career scoring average was 14.6 points entering the contest. He had reached double-figures in 34 of his prior 37 games. The output tied Zeglinski's career low, set during his freshman season, Feb. 3, 2007, at Boston University.
Moore of the Same
Head Coach Tom Moore has won the season opener in each of his three years at QU, all coming against Hartford. Prior to Moore's arrival to Hamden, no Quinnipiac team had won its first game of the season during the school's Division I era. Teams that have had Moore serving on the coaching staff have won 10 consecutive season openers. The last time one of Moore's teams didn't win its first game was Nov. 11, 1999, when defending National Champion and top-ranked UConn was upset by Iowa in the Coaches vs. Cancer IKON Classic. None of Quinnipiac's other five coaches all-time won their first three season openers, and only Burt Kahn won three straight at any point. Kahn won three straight three times, including six straight from 1967-68 through 1972-73.
QU Picked Second In CT6 Poll
Quinnipiac was picked second in the Preseason Connecticut 6 Coaches' Poll. Fairfield claimed the top spot, while Sacred Heart immediately followed the Bobcats in third. Central Connecticut, Yale and Hartford rounded out the poll.
Rutty Picked To Preseason CT6 Team
Justin Rutty was selected as Quinnipiac's representative on the Preseason Connecticut 6 Team. Joining Rutty were CCSU's Shemik Thompson, Fairfield's Anthony Johnson, Hartford's Joe Zeglinski, Sacred Heart's Corey Hassan and Yale's Alex Zampier.
Bobcats Third In NEC Coaches' Poll
The Northeast Conference's coaches selected the Bobcats to finish tied for third in the league this season. Mount St. Mary's claimed the top spot, followed by Long Island. Robert Morris was selected to tie QU for third, while Central Connecticut ranked fifth. Sacred Heart, St. Francis (N.Y.), Fairleigh Dickinson, Monmouth, Wagner, Bryant and Saint Francis (Pa.) rounded out the poll.
Rutty Recognized Among The Best
Justin Rutty was recognized among the Northeast Conference's best players when the league's coaches named him to the Preseason All-Conference Team. Rutty, who earned All-NEC First Team honors in 2008-09, joined Central Connecticut's Ken Horton, Long Island's Jaytornah Wisseh, Mount St. Mary's Jeremy Goode and Robert Morris' Rob Robinson on the team.
The Bobcats return to non-conference action Tuesday, when they travel to Kingston, R.I., to take on the University of Rhode Island. Opening tip from the Ryan Center is scheduled for 7 p.m. The game will be televised regionally by NESN.