December 13, 2009

Vermont Edges Men's Basketball, 80-77

BURLINGTON, Vt. - Jeremy Baker (Washington, D.C.) scored a career-high 22 points and Justin Rutty (Newburgh, N.Y.) added a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds, but the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team was defeated at Vermont, 80-77, Sunday afternoon at Patrick Gym. James Feldeine (New York, N.Y.) added 21 points for the Bobcats, compiling his fifth consecutive 20-point game. With the loss, the Bobcats fall to 4-5, while the Catamounts improve to 7-4.

James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.) also finished in double-figures with 11 points on 5-for-6 shooting, while adding a game-high five assists. Baker added four rebounds, three assists and three steals to his point today, while Feldeine added eight rebounds, three steals and two assists.

Marqus Blakely scored a game-high 32 points for Vermont, while Maurice Joseph added 14 points.

The Bobcats outshot (46.9 percent (30-64) to 46.3 percent (25-54)) and outrebounded (37-30) the Catamounts, but Vermont benefitted from 12 more attempts from the free throw line, shooting 75.0 percent (24-32) to the Bobcats' 70.0 percent (14-20).

Quinnipiac took a three-point lead into the locker room at halftime, riding Baker's 13 points. With the score tied at 36-36 in the final seconds, Johnson connected on a lay-up with seven seconds left. The inbounds pass was stolen by Baker, who was fouled, and made one-of-two free throws to give the Bobcats a 39-36 advantage leading into halftime. Neither team could manage a greater lead than five points in the initial stanza, with the Bobcats' five-point cushion at the 14:09 mark being the largest.

It was more back-and-forth basketball to begin the second half. Rutty made a pair of layups in the first two-plus minutes to help the Bobcats manage a five-point lead. But Vermont hung around, twice tying the game and twice taking a one-point advantage by the 14-minute mark. Quinnipiac gained its most separation with a 7-0 run, capped by Jonathan Cruz's (Lawrence, Mass.) jumper at the 11:20 mark, giving the Bobcats a six-point lead.

But Vermont scored six in a row, and eventually tied it once again, 57-57, at the 10:03 mark. Eight lead changes later, Garvey Young's three-pointer with 3:08 gave Vermont a lead it wouldn't relinquish. The Bobcats had an opportunity to tie the game with 21 seconds remaining, but after Feldeine curled around a screen and caught a pass for a potential look at a game-tying jumper, he slipped and turned the ball over.

Following one-of-two made free throws by Young, Quinnipiac still had a chance to tie it, down just three points. But Dave Johnson's (Jackson, N.J.) three-point attempt from the right wing at the buzzer hit front iron and fell harmlessly to the floor.

The Bobcats now take nine days off for final exams before returning to action Dec. 23, when Quinnipiac welcomes Columbia to the TD Bank Sports Center. Opening tip is scheduled for 7 p.m.