Men's Basketball Travels To Niagara Wednesday

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (7-2) at
Niagara University Purple Eagles (3-8)
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 7 p.m.
John J. "Taps" Gallagher Center - Niagara University, N.Y.

Bobcats Travel To Niagara Wednesday
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team begins a two-game road stretch when it travels to Western New York to face Niagara Wednesday. The Bobcats are coming off arguably the most impressive victory in program history, a 73-66 win against Rhode Island. It was the first win in program history against an Atlantic 10 team. The Purple Eagles fell at Central Connecticut, 74-71, in New Britain Sunday. The two teams have never met.

Scouting the Niagara Purple Eagles
The Purple Eagles (3-8) haven't been at full strength all season. Senior guard Anthony Nelson missed the first three games of the season before averaging 16.9 points, 4.6 assists and 2.6 steals in eight games. Freshman guard Antoine Mason averaged 16.7 points per game in three games before the son of former NBA All-Star Anthony Mason fell to a foot injury. Kashief Edwards has contributed 13.6 points and a team-high 6.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. Marvin Jordan also averages in double figures with 10.5 points per game. The Purple Eagles have struggled shooting the ball at just 38.3 percent from the floor and 27.7 percent from long range. Edwards has shot a team-high 44.1 percent from the field, while Skylar Jones' 35.7 percent from beyond the three-point arc is a team best. Niagara has been outrebounded by 10.9 boards per game so far this season.

Last Time Out Against Rhode Island
Spurred by balanced scoring and exceptional care of the basketball, the Bobcats defeated Rhode Island, 73-66, Dec. 11 at the TD Bank Sports Center. Justin Rutty and Deontay Twyman had 13 points apiece, while James Johnson and Dominique Langston had 12 each. Rutty also added seven rebounds, while Johnson had six assists and three steals. Langston added seven rebounds and six assists. Delroy James scored a game-high 18 points for Rhode Island.

Follow the Bobcats
Wednesday's game can be heard live on AM 1220 WQUN. The voice of the Bobcats, Bill Schweizer, will have the play-by-play call, while Greg Ott will provide color commentary.

Movin' On Up
With 888 rebounds, Justin Rutty ranks fifth all-time at QU and 10th all-time in the Northeast Conference. Rutty passed Al Carfora '80 (846) for fifth on the QU list with eight rebounds against Maine on Nov. 29, while moving past Wagner's Nigel Wyatte (834), LIU's Freddie Burton (836) and Marist's Alan Tomidy (838) on the NEC list with 10 rebounds Nov. 23 at Dartmouth. Wagner's Durell Vinson (893), FDU's Greg Foster (916), Marist's Ted Taylor (923) and FDU's Rahshon Turner (927) are next on Rutty's climb up the list.

Rutty Moves Up QU Career Scoring List
With 1,305 career points, Rutty now ranks 15th on the Quinnipiac career scoring list and fifth on the Quinnipiac Division I scoring list. With 13 points against Rhode Island, Dec. 11, Rutty moved past Joe Trimarchi '98 (1,293). Former teammate James Feldeine '10 is next on both the all-time and Division I lists (1,320).

Rebounding Dominance
The Bobcats are one of just four teams in the nation ranked in the top 10 in both rebounding average (44.6, 3rd) and rebounding margin (+11.4, 7th), joining Drexel, Pittsburgh and Southern Mississippi. Quinnipiac also ranks first in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (17.89).

Bobcats Helping Bobcats
The Bobcats dished out a then-season-high 20 assists, Dec. 7 against Lehigh, only to eclipse the mark with 21, Dec. 11 against Rhode Island. The Bobcats' 16.44 assists per game rank 28th in the nation.

Rutty, Langston Earn NEC Recognition
Justin Rutty and Dominique Langston earned NEC Player and Rookie of the Week, respectively, on Dec. 13, after leading the Bobcats to a 2-0 week against Lehigh and Rhode Island. Rutty averaged 20.0 points and 9.0 rebounds, while Langston added 7.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.

Quinnipiac Picks Up Signature Victory
The Bobcats picked up perhaps the most impressive win in program history when they defeated Rhode Island, 73-66, Dec. 11 at the TD Bank Sports Center. The win is the first in program history over an Atlantic-10 school.

Welcome to the Fold, T-Bask
Highly-touted recruit Tevin Baskin became eligible for play following the last day of final exams at Quinnipiac. His first game action figures to come Wednesday at Niagara.

Free 'N' Easy
Justin Rutty, a career 48.8 percent free-throw shooter entering the Dec. 7 game against Lehigh, went 11-for-11 from the charity stripe against the Mountain Hawks, and is 14-for-14 over the past two games.

Downright Offensive
The Bobcats rank first, both nationally and in the Northeast Conference, in offensive rebounds per game at 17.89 orpg. 43.4 percent of the Bobcats' rebounds this season have come on the offensive boards, third-most in the nation. Individually, Justin Rutty's 3.89 offensive rebounds per game rank 27th in the nation.

Three Streak Extended
With six three-pointers against Rhode Island, Dec. 11, the Bobcats extended their streak of making at least one three-pointer in each of the last 293 contests. The streak dates back to Dec. 19, 2000, at Dartmouth (0-11).

Rutty Eyes Exclusive 1,000-1,000 Club
Justin Rutty currently stands at 1,305 points and 888 rebounds in his career. With at least 20 more games left this season, Rutty's career 8.9 rebounds per game average would leave him at 1,066 boards, while his three-year average of 10.33 boards per game would put him at 1,095 rebounds. Just two prior Quinnipiac players have reached both 1,000 points and rebounds.

Second-Half Stifling
The Bobcats' defense has been considerably better in the second halves of games this season, especially the last six. Against Dartmouth, Maine, UMass, Mount St. Mary's, Lehigh and Rhode Island, the opposition has shot 45.1 percent (79-175) in the first halves, before Tom Moore's halftime speeches have inspired the Bobcats to hold opponents to 37.0 percent in the latter stanza (61-165). Overall, opponents have shot 44.4 percent (112-252) in the first halves, while being held to 39.9 percent (99-248) in the second halves. The Bobcats have also taken much greater care of the ball in the second halves. Their 1.66 assist-to-turnover ratio in the second halves is strikingly more favorable than their 0.83 assist-to-turnover ratio in first halves. As such, the Bobcats have edged the opposition, 306-303, in first halves, while dominating second halves, 361-319.

Johnson's Elite Company
With the 72nd consecutive start to begin his collegiate career Dec. 7, James Johnson broke Jared Grasso's '02 Quinnipiac record for consecutive starts (71) from the outset of his Bobcats' career at Division I. The streak has now reached 73 games, second among all QU D-I starts streaks, behind only Kason Mims' '04 record 88-game consecutive starts streak. Johnson became just the eighth freshman in QU Division I history to start his collegiate debut, and started all 31 of Quinnipiac's games in 2008-09, joining just 19 other freshmen in the nation to start every game their team played. Each player to start his first game and complete four years at QU has scored over 1,000 points. Rob Monroe, Bill Romano, Justin Rutty and Grasso started their first games and rank first, second, fifth and seventh, on the QU scoring list.

More Exclusive Company For Rutty
Justin Rutty connected on his 500th career field goal against Yale, Nov. 13, becoming one of just three Quinnipiac players at the Division I level to achieve the feat. With 10 made field goals, Dec. 1 against UMass, Rutty (552) jumped ahead of Rob Monroe '05 (523), and now trails only at Bill Romano '02 (599).

Johnson Steals Milestone
With five steals Nov. 20 against Vermont, James Johnson became the 13th Quinnipiac player all-time and fifth at Division I to compile 100 career steals. Ironically, the five steals tied Johnson's career-high, originally set Dec. 21, 2008, against the same Vermont team on the same Lender Court before a regional television audience on NESN. Johnson now stands at 115 career steals, good for a tie for 10th all-time and fourth at Division I at QU with Nate Pondexter '00.

New (Le)High Rebounding Mark
The Bobcats established a new program Division I record with 60 rebounds, Dec. 7 against Lehigh. The prior record of 58 rebounds came twice in recent years - a double-overtime game against Hartford, Nov. 11, 2007, and a Jan. 2, 2005 contest against Division II Longwood.

What Can Brown Do For Q?
Lance Brown was granted a waiver by the NCAA, Nov. 23, to become immediately eligible for play after transferring from Fordham this past Spring. Brown scored seven points and added four rebounds in 13 minutes in his Bobcats debut at Dartmouth, but missed the next four games due to injury. He returned, Dec. 11 against Rhode Island, scoring four points and grabbing five rebounds in 10 minutes.

Jump and Run
The Bobcats began five of their first six games on a run. They scored the first nine points against Yale, before scoring seven straight against Hartford. QU scored five straight to open against Vermont, before scoring the first four and 15 of the first 17 at Dartmouth. The Bobcats also scored six of the first eight points against Maine, and five straight against Mount St. Mary's.

Block Party
Six different Bobcats accounted for eight blocks against Lehigh, Dec. 7. The eight-block performance was only the fourth of its kind for Quinnipiac at Division I, and the first since the 1999-2000 season. The Braves blocked a program Division I record nine shots against Yale, Dec. 3, 1999, while registering eight blocks at Fordham and Long Island, Dec. 21 and Jan. 17, respectively, in the same season.

Dom-inating the Boards
Dominique Langston grabbed 14 rebounds against Lehigh, Dec. 7, the most by a Quinnipiac player so far this season.

Will-ing His Way Into The Line-up
After seeing just 11 minutes in four games to begin the year, William Harrison made the most of his 13 minutes, Dec. 7 against Lehigh. Harrison scored four points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out two assists, including a nifty dime ahead of the pack to Deontay Twyman to create separation in crunch time.

Super Bo
James Johnson scored eight points in the final 57 seconds to propel the Bobcats to victory against Mount St. Mary's, Dec. 4. Trailing by four in the final minute, Johnson nailed two three-pointers, stripped the Mount's Julian Norfleet with five seconds left, and made the game-winning runner just prior to the final buzzer.

Owning the Offensive Boards Against UMass
A year after grabbing a program Division I-record 28 offensive rebounds at UMass, Dec. 2, 2009, the Bobcats tied their second-greatest total on the offensive glass with 24 against UMass, Dec. 1, 2010. Quinnipiac also took 24 offensive caroms against Yale, Nov. 16, 2009. Justin Rutty led the way with seven offensive boards in the latest installment against UMass.

Dom Stealin' and Stuffin'
Dominique Langston established an early career high of four steals, including the theft and breakaway dunk that completed the Bobcats' comeback from down 19 against UMass, Dec. 1.

Not Up In Here!
Jamee Jackson had three second-half blocks against Maine, each leading to Bobcats offensive production. After his first block just less than two minutes in, James Johnson hit a three on the ensuing possession. Immediately following his block at the 11:53 mark, Dave Johnson nailed one from long range. Finally, following his rejection at the 5:08 mark, James Johnson hit a jumper on the next time down on offense.

Defense Offensive...Then Gets Defensive
After a first half against Maine in which the Bobcats allowed the Black Bears to shoot 52.2 percent (12-23), the Bobcats buckled down in the second half, holding Maine to 25.9 percent (7-27) from the floor.

A Lot To Like With Ike
Ike Azotam went 7-for-7 from the floor for 15 points to go along with seven rebounds, Nov. 23, at Dartmouth. The 100 percent performance was the first of five or more attempts for the Bobcats since Karl Anderson went 5-for-5 at Monmouth on Feb. 21, 2008. For his effort, Azotam was named the NEC Co-Rookie of the Week on Nov. 29.

Langston Huge
Dominique Langston has emerged as a solid contributor off the bench, averaging 13.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game over two games against Hartford and Vermont.

Bo Knows Scoring
James Johnson scored a game-high 23 points Nov. 16 against Hartford. He also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out three assists.

Sweet 16's
Deontay Twyman tied his career-high with 16 points against Yale at the Connecticut 6 Classic, Nov. 13. James Johnson matched Twyman's 16 points on 5-for-10 shooting and 4-for-4 from the line.

Gabriel's Impressive QU Debut
Mike Gabriel was impressive in his Quinnipiac debut against Yale, Nov. 13, scoring 10 points in just 13 minutes off the bench. He was very efficient, making 3-of-4 field-goal attempts and 4-of-6 free throw attempts.

Dom From Trey
Dominique Langston made both of his three-point attempts in his collegiate debut against Yale, Nov. 13, to account for his six points.

Bonding Overseas
The Bobcats took a 10-day trip to The Netherlands, Belgium and France this past August. In four games, Quinnipiac went 3-1.

Everybody's Favorite
The Northeast Conference's coaches selected the Bobcats as the league's first unanimous favorite since 1997-98 (Long Island). In addition, The Sporting News, Athlon, Lindy's and the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Report also picked the Bobcats as the NEC favorite.

Moore of the Same
Head Coach Tom Moore has won the season opener in each of his four years at QU, the first three coming against Hartford, while the most recent came this season against Yale. 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 11 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 as many as four straight at any point. Kahn won 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 Central Connecticut immediately followed the Bobcats in third. Sacred Heart, Yale and Hartford rounded out the poll.

Eight Is Enough
Quinnipiac returns eight players from the 2009-10 squad, and also welcomes eight new players in 2010-11. Five of the eight new players are currently available for play (Azotam, Brown, Gabriel, Harrison, Langston), while Tevin Baskin is slated to be eligible beginning second semester (Dec. 22 at Niagara). Austin Alecxih and Garvey Young must sit the year out due to NCAA transfer rules.

Moore Wins
With 23 wins in 2009-10, including 15 NEC victories, the Bobcats set a new program record. The marks edge the 1999-2000 QU team (18-10, 12-6 NEC) for the most wins at D-I, and passed the 1972-73 and 1979-80 teams for the all-time program record.

Eighty Up
The Bobcats were 11-0 when scoring at least 80 points last season.

C-T State of Mind
Quinnipiac was 18-1 in games played in Connecticut, including a 14-1 mark at home in 2009-10. In starting 14-0 at home, the Bobcats established the best start at home in program history.

Bobcats Experience Historic 2009-10 Season
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team experienced a historic season of firsts in 2009-10. Jim Phelan NEC Coach of the Year Tom Moore led the Bobcats to a program-record 23 wins, the first Northeast Conference Regular Season Championship in team history, and a berth into the National Invitation Tournament, the first national postseason tournament appearance in program Division I history. Junior forward Justin Rutty was named the NEC Player of the Year, becoming the first player in program history earn the award. Both Rutty and senior wing James Feldeine were named to the All-NEC First Team Moore's recognition as Coach of the Year was also a first in program history.

Keeping Good Company
Quinnipiac was one of just four teams in the NCAA ranked in the top 10 nationally in both rebound margin and rebounds per game in 2009-10. The Bobcats ranked second in rebound margin and 10th in rebounds per game. Quinnipiac joined nationally-ranked Kentucky (4th - rebound margin, 5th - rebounds per game) and Kansas (9th - rebound margin, 7th - rebounds per game), as well as Radford (7th - rebound margin, 1st - rebounds per game) in the exclusive club. Quinnipiac also ranked 14th in offensive rebounds (14.61).

Twelve In Fourteen
Justin Rutty compiled his Quinnipiac Division I record 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th career double-doubles in seven consecutive games, Feb. 18-Mar. 10, 2010, and had 12 double-doubles in his last 15 games of the season. Rutty began the streak with five straight double-doubles, Jan. 24-Feb. 6. After a two-game stretch when he missed a double-double by two rebounds against St. Francis (N.Y.) and two points against LIU, Rutty reeled off seven more consecutive double-doubles.

If It's Free, It's For Me
The Bobcats enjoyed marked improvement from the free-throw line in the latter portion of the 2009-10 season. After seeing its season free-throw percentage dip to 65.1 percent through 15 games, QU shot 76.7 percent (358-467) over the last 18 games to raise its free-throw percentage to 72.1 percent.

Rutty Grabs Quinnipiac DI Rebound Record
With 11 rebounds against Wagner on Jan. 9, Justin Rutty took over the Quinnipiac Division I Rebound lead from Bill Romano '02 (580).

Rutty's Keeping Good Company
At 15.3 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, Justin Rutty was one of just 20 players nationally to average a double-double in 2009-10.

Rutty Finds Free-Throw Stroke
Justin Rutty, a career 50.0 percent free-throw shooter, shot 79.4 percent (54-68) from the charity stripe in the last 14 games of the 2009-10 season. Included in the mark were two separate strings of at least 11 consecutive successful attempts. Rutty went 6-for-6 at Sacred Heart, the first 100 percent game of more than three attempts in his career. He followed with a 4-for-4 effort against SHU, and an 8-for-8 performance at Saint Francis (Pa.).

Bobcats, Rutty On NCAA Rebound Charts
Led by Justin Rutty's 10.9 rebounds per game (8th-NCAA), the Bobcats ranked 10th in the nation in rebounds per game (40.4 rpg.).

If At First You Don't Succeed...
41.2 percent of the Bobcats' rebounds in 2009-10 came on the offensive end, fourth-most in the NCAA.

On the Rebound
Quinnipiac was outrebounded just three times in 2009-10, and owned a +8.5 rebounding margin, second-best in the nation.

Quinnipiac, Rutty Grab Top Rankings
The Bobcats ranked 14th in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (14.6) in 2009-10. Individually, Justin Rutty ranked second nationally at 4.9 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.

Sitting on Top of the NEC
Quinnipiac ranked in the top three in the NEC in 12 of 19 statistical categories in 2009-10. The Bobcats were first in scoring offense (73.2), scoring margin (+6.7), field-goal percentage (.448), assist-to-turnover ratio (0.98), rebounding offense (40.4), rebounding defense (31.9), rebound margin (+8.5), offensive rebounding (14.61) and defensive rebounding (25.79). QU ranked second in assists (13.42) and free-throw percentage (.721) and third in field-goal percentage defense (.415).

On Deck
The Bobcats return to action Dec. 29, when they travel to Boston to take on Boston University. Opening tip from Case Gym is scheduled for 7 p.m.