Free Video Replay of the QU vs. Lehigh Game
HAMDEN, Conn. - Justin Rutty (Newburgh, N.Y.) turned in the 35th double-double of his career with 27 points and 11 rebounds, as the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team defeated defending Patriot League Champion Lehigh, 84-78, in a non-conference game at the TD Bank Sports Center. With the win, Quinnipiac improves to 6-2 overall, while Lehigh drops to 4-5 on the season.
Entering the game 10th in the nation in rebounding margin (+10.6), the Bobcats outrebounded the Mountain Hawks, 60-36. The 60 rebounds are the most in Quinnipiac's 13-year Division I history.
Rutty was 8-for-15 from the floor for the game, and a gaudy 11-for-11 from the free throw line in the Bobcats' victory. He led four Quinnipiac players in double figures, with James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.) netting 18 points while also tallying six assists and four steals. Deontay Twyman (Olney, Md.) chipped in 12 points, while Jamee Jackson (Newark, N.J.) contributed 10 points and five rebounds. Dominique Langston (Bridgeport, Conn.) came off the bench to pull down 14 rebounds while also dishing out five assists and blocking two shots. William Harrison (Bronx, N.Y.) played a career-high 13 minutes and contributed nine rebounds.
Mackey McKnight paced four Mountain Hawks in double figures with 24 points, seven assists and three steals. C.J. McCollum (15), Michael Ojo (15) and Gabe Knutson (13) also finished in double figures.
Both teams traded hoops early in the game before Lehigh used a 10-4 run to take a 14-8 lead just under six minutes into the game. Quinnipiac used an 11-3 run to take its first lead of the game, 19-17, on a three-pointer from Twyman with 10:38 to play in the half. Led by a pair of baskets from Raheem May-Thompson (London, England), followed by a pair of free throws from Rutty and a three-pointer from Johnson, Quinnipiac jumped out to its biggest lead of the half, 32-24, with 6:37 to play. Lehigh kept chipping away at the lead, outscoring Quinnipiac, 13-11, down the stretch as the Bobcats took a 43-37 lead into halftime.
The Bobcats outrebounded Lehigh, 35-17, in the first half. Rutty paced the Bobcats with 15 points and eight rebounds in the initial stanza, while McKnight countered with 13 points and four assists for Lehigh.
After a back-and-forth initial two minutes of the second half, Lehigh went on a 10-0 run, capped by a McCollum three-pointer to take a 50-49 advantage with 16:34 left in regulation. Following two more lead changes, a Twyman jumper sparked a 12-0 Bobcats run to give Quinnipiac a 67-57 lead with just over seven minutes left in regulation.
The Mountain Hawks chipped away with 13 of the next 16 points to tie the game, 70-70, on Knutson's dunk with 2:41 remaining. Quinnipiac retook the lead on Jackson's bucket in the lane on the next possession, but McCollum immediately countered with a deep three-pointer from the left wing to give Lehigh a 73-72 advantage with just under two minutes left.
But Johnson was equal to the task, answering with a three-pointer of his own on the next Quinnipiac possession and the Bobcats never trailed again.
For the game, the Bobcats outshot the Mountain Hawks, 42.5 percent (31-73) to 34.9 percent (22-63) from the floor, and 72.0 percent (18-25) to 68.3 percent (28-41) from the free-throw line. Lehigh took a 33.3 percent (6-18) to 30.8 percent (4-13) edge from long range.
The Bobcats return to action Saturday, when they play host to the University of Rhode Island in a game being regionally televised on NESN. Opening tip is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the TD Bank Sports Center.