Men's Basketball Opens NEC Rivalry Week Against Sacred Heart Wednesday

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (15-8, 7-5 NEC) vs.
Sacred Heart University Pioneers (9-14, 4-8 NEC)
Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - 7 p.m.
TD Bank Sports Center - Hamden, Conn.

Bobcats Begin NEC Rivalry Week
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team begins NEC Rivalry Week Wednesday, when it plays host to intrastate foe Sacred Heart. The Bobcats are coming off an 84-74 setback at Long Island Saturday, while the Pioneers also fell Saturday in Brooklyn at St. Francis (N.Y.), 78-51. James Johnson (24) and Justin Rutty (20) led the Bobcats in scoring, while Ike Azotam collected a team-high 10 rebounds. Julian Boyd led LIU with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Freshmen Chris Evans (17) and Evan Kelley (10) led the Pioneers in defeat at St. Francis (N.Y.). While Sacred Heart leads the all-time series, 36-21, the Bobcats have won the last three, including both games in last year's NEC Rivalry Week series. Wednesday's game will feature the NEC's leader in rebounding offense (Quinnipiac, 42.3) against the league's leader in rebounding defense (Sacred Heart, 33.6).

Rebounding Dominance
The Bobcats lead the nation in rebounds per game (42.3) and are second in offensive rebounds per game (15.9). They also rank 11th nationally in rebound margin (+7.8). QU is one of only three teams in the nation ranked in the top 15 in all three categories, joining nationally-ranked No. 4 Pittsburgh and Old Dominion.

Scouting the Sacred Heart Pioneers
The Pioneers (9-14, 4-8 NEC) are led by Shane Gibson, who's averaged 16.9 points per game while shooting a team-high 40.4 percent from long range. He's hoisted 151 three-point attempts this year, good for more than 6.5 per game. Jerrell Thompson has scored at a 12.7 points per game clip while establishing team highs in assists per game (3.78), steals per game (1.91) and free-throw percentage (.860). Chris Evans narrowly misses double-figures at 9.9 points per game. Stan Dulaire has contributed 7.3 points and a team-high 5.1 rebounds per game.

Last Time Out Against Long Island
Despite getting 24 points from James Johnson and 20 from Justin Rutty, the Bobcats fell, 84-74, to a balanced Long Island attack. Julian Boyd led LIU with 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Kyle Johnson and Jason Brickman had 15 points apiece. Brickman also dished out eight assists without turning the ball over once.

Last Time Against Sacred Heart
James Feldeine scored 22 points to lead four Bobcats with at least 15 points apiece as Quinnipiac defeated Sacred Heart, 90-87, Feb. 6, 2010, at the TD Bank Sports Center. Jeremy Baker (18), Justin Rutty (16) and James Johnson (15) also had strong scoring performances, while Rutty completed a double-double with 13 rebounds. Jerrell Thompson led Sacred Heart with 30 points.

Follow the Bobcats
Wednesday's game can be heard live on AM 1220 WQUN. Bill Schweizer will have the play-by-play call, while Bill Mecca and Bob Tipson will provide color commentary. Live video will also be available at a cost of $9.99 at www.quinnipiacbobcats.com. Live stats will also be provided free of charge on the official Quinnipiac athletics website.

Iron Bo
With a start against Sacred Heart, Feb. 9, James Johnson would tie Kason Mims' QU Division-I record 88-game consecutive starts streak. Johnson has started each of Quinnipiac's 87 games to begin his career. His 72nd consecutive start broke Jared Grasso's '02 program record for consecutive starts (71) from the outset of his Bobcats' career at Division I. 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.

Rutty Nearing Quinnipiac Division I Field Goals Record
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 (595) jumped ahead of Rob Monroe '05 (523), and now trails only Bill Romano '02 (599).

Doing More With Less
QU leads the nation in rebounds per game (42.3) and is second in offensive rebounds per game (15.91) despite having the 13th-least height in the nation. According to kenpom.com, the Bobcats are 333rd of 345 teams in the nation in average height (75.0 inches).

Rutty's Offense Returning To Form
Justin Rutty's offensive game continues to round back into form in four games since his return from an elbow injury. After scoring six points in his return, Jan. 27, Rutty scored 12 points in consecutive games against Saint Francis (Pa.) and St. Francis (N.Y.). Rutty then scored 20 points in 27 minutes at Long Island.

Bobcats Helping Bobcats
The Bobcats lead the NEC at 15.17 assists per game, good for 49th in the nation. Their 1.21 assist-to-turnover ratio is 43rd in the nation.

Johnson & Johnson No Turnover Solution
James Johnson (2.53) and Dave Johnson (2.41) rank second and third in the NEC in assist-to-turnover ratio. James ranks 27th in the nation, while Dave is 35th. James ranks ninth in the NEC at 3.74 assists per game, while Dave narrowly misses the Top 15 at 3.04. Deontay Twyman is also tied for 11th in the NEC in assists (3.57 apg.) and 197th nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.61).

Starting Off Strong
At 15-8, the Bobcats are off to the second-best 23-game start to a season in program Division I history. The 2009-10 squad went 16-7 through 23 games, while the 1999-2000 squad also went 15-8.

Another Impressive QU Rebounding Stat
The Bobcats have grabbed at least 50 rebounds in five games this season, including a program Division I record 60 against Lehigh on Dec. 7. Most recently, the Bobcats grabbed 50 boards at St. Francis (N.Y.), Feb. 3. Quinnipiac had three 50-rebound games in all of 2009-10, and never had three 50-rebound games in 11 prior years at Division I. Quinnipiac has corralled 50 rebounds in a game 10 times in Tom Moore's four years at QU. In nine prior years at Division I, QU had just five 50-rebound games, with only two coming against teams classified at Division I at the time of competition.

Bo Knows The 1,000 Mark
James Johnson became the 35th player in Quinnipiac history and the ninth at Division I to reach the 1,000-point plateau, Jan. 22, at Mount St. Mary's. He then leapfrogged Franklin Johnson '73 (1,077) and Steve Settles '83 (1,093) with 24 points at Long Island, Feb. 5, and is just nine points shy of Dave Tuthill '65 (1,106) for 26th place.

Shoot Better And Win
The Bobcats are 12-0 this season when outshooting their opponent. By contrast, they're 3-8 when being outshot.

Bo Knows (Insert Statistical Category Here)
James Johnson's name is listed among the statistical leaders in the NEC in eight of 13 categories kept by the league. He's second in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.53) and scoring (17.1) and ranks fourth in three-point field goals made per game (2.52). He's fifth in steals per game (1.61), tied for sixth in free-throw percentage (.837), ninth in assists (3.74) and minutes per game (33.43), and 13th in three-point field-goal percentage (.374).

Lookin' Up At QU
The Bobcats are in the top five in 14 of 19 statistical categories kept by the NEC, including the top spot in five. They're first in rebounding offense (42.3), rebounding margin (+7.8), assists (15.17), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.21) and offensive rebounds (15.91). QU ranks second in scoring offense (73.5), rebounding defense (34.5) and defensive rebounds (26.39). They rank third in scoring margin (+3.4) and field-goal percentage (.426) and fourth in three-point field-goal percentage (.344) and turnover margin (+1.00). QU ranks fifth in three-point field-goal-percentage defense (.326) and blocked shots (3.48).

Rutty Eyes Exclusive 1,000-1,000 Club
Justin Rutty stands at 1,407 points and 946 rebounds in his career. Just two QU players have reached both 1,000 points and rebounds.

Three Streak Extended
With four threes against Long Island, QU extended its streak of making at least one three-pointer in each of the last 307 contests. The last time QU didn't knock down a three was Dec. 19, 2000, at Dartmouth (0-11).

Movin' On Up
With 946 rebounds, Justin Rutty ranks fourth all-time at QU and sixth all-time in the NEC. Rutty passed Ed Skwara '69 (933) for fourth on the QU list with eight rebounds at St. Francis (N.Y.), while moving past Marist's Ted Taylor (923) and tying FDU's Rahshon Turner (927) with 10 rebounds against Robert Morris. CCSU's Corsley Edwards (966) and Saint Francis' Eric Taylor (967) are next on Rutty's climb up the NEC list, while George McDowell '72 (991) is next on the QU list.

Rutty Moves Up QU Career Scoring List
With 1,407 career points, Rutty now ranks 13th on the Quinnipiac career scoring list and third on the Quinnipiac Division I scoring list. With 26 points at Boston University, Dec. 29, Rutty moved past former teammate James Feldeine '10 (1,320), as well as Kason Mims '04 (1,335), on both the all-time and Division I lists.

Johnson Dishes Out Number 300
James Johnson dished out his 300th career assist, Dec. 22 at Niagara. He now stands at 345 career assists, good for fourth on the Quinnipiac Division I list.

Willis Rutty
Despite not taking part in a single team practice in three weeks, Justin Rutty managed six points and 10 rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench in his return to the line-up following elbow surgery, Jan. 27, against Robert Morris.

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 132 career steals, passing former teammate James Feldeine '10 (124) for ninth all-time and third at Division I at QU.

Fifty Fifty
Quinnipiac shot 51.9 percent (28-54) at St. Francis (N.Y.), Feb. 3, and also grabbed 50 rebounds. The Bobcats also shot 50 percent, Jan. 29 against Saint Francis (Pa.), giving them back-to-back 50-percent games for the first time this season. Quinnipiac has eclipsed the 50-percent mark three times this season.

.333 Three Times
The Bobcats held St. Francis (N.Y.) to 33.3 percent (21-63) shooting, Feb. 3. The defensive effort was the third of its kind this season, as Quinnipiac also held Bryant (17-51) and Niagara (21-63) to the same percentage.

Getting Defensive
The Bobcats grabbed a season-high 38 defensive rebounds, Feb. 3 at St. Francis (N.Y.). Lance Brown had nine of his career-high 12 rebounds on the defensive glass, while all nine of James Johnson's career-high nine boards were defensive. Quinnipiac's previous season-high was 37, established in a 60-rebound effort against Lehigh, Dec. 7.

First-Round Knockout
Quinnipiac started its Jan. 29 victory against Saint Francis (Pa.) on a 22-0 run. Seven different Bobcats scored a point and QU had three blocks and three steals in the opening burst.

So Glad To See The Boys Getting Along
The Bobcats tied a season-high with 21 assists and 10 different Quinnipiac players scored a point in a game for the first time this season, Jan. 29 against Saint Francis (Pa.).

Dave Dishes Out 10 Dimes
Dave Johnson handed out a career-high 10 assists in the Bobcats' 75-55 victory against Saint Francis (Pa.), Jan. 29. In two games since being inserted into the starting line-up, Johnson has averaged 8.0 assists per game and has an 8.0 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Shadowing Shannon
James Johnson held Saint Francis (Pa.) guard Umar Shannon, the NEC's fourth-leading scorer entering the game, to just three points on 1-for-5 shooting and four turnovers without an assist, Jan. 29. Shannon was coming off a 30-point outburst, Jan. 27 at Sacred Heart.

'Cats Scratch Out 10 Steals
The Bobcats had a season-high 10 steals in forcing 21 Saint Francis (Pa.) turnovers, Jan. 29. Deontay Twyman and Dave Johnson had three steals each, while Tevin Baskin added two.

Johnson Takes NEC Player of the Week
James Johnson was named NEC Co-Player of the week after averaging 24.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in a pair of Quinnipiac victories against Robert Morris and Saint Francis (Pa.). He made 10-of-19 three-pointers in earning his second career NEC award.

'Tay-king On A Larger Role
In seven games without Justin Rutty, Deontay Twyman stepped up to the tune of 15.4 points and 3.7 assists per game, both team highs. He highlighted the stretch with a career-high 23 points, 18 in the first half, against CCSU, Jan. 15.

Eighty Up
The Bobcats had won 18 straight games when scoring 80 points or more, prior to a 90-80 loss at Wagner, Jan. 20.

Anything Tay Can Do, Bo Can Do Better
After seeing Deontay Twyman go off for 18 of his career-high 23 points in the first half of their previous home game against CCSU, Jan. 15, James Johnson erupted for 20 of his career-high 38 points against Robert Morris, Jan. 27. The 38 points were the most scored by a Bobcat since Rob Monroe '05 scored 40 points against Sacred Heart, Feb. 3, 2005. Monroe is the only Bobcat in program Division I history to score more than 38 points, a feat he accomplished three times with a high of 41, Jan. 2, 2005. The 38 points were the most by an NEC player since Wagner's Joey Mundweiler had 39, Feb. 28, 2009.

Alright On The Road
The Bobcats won their first five road games this season, becoming the first team in NEC history to win its first five road contests. The streak was snapped, Jan. 17, as the Bobcats fell at Brown.

Highly-Touted...and Producing
Much-heralded freshman Tevin Baskin had a break-out performance with 13 points, nine rebounds and two steals against CCSU on Jan. 15. Five of his nine boards were on the offensive glass.

New High For Dom
Dominique Langston scored 15 points at Wagner, establishing a new season high. He had scored 14 points on two prior occasions.

Depth The Difference
Quinnipiac's bench outscored Central Connecticut's reserves, 23-4, Jan. 15.

Chairman of the Boards
Ike Azotam had his first double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds against Bryant, Jan. 13.

Jamee Jamee Jamee
Jamee Jackson has blocked three shots on four different occasions this season, including twice in two games against Fairleigh Dickinson and Bryant, Jan. 8 and 13, respectively.

Dealing A Drought
The Bobcats held Bryant without a field goal until the 6:24 mark of the first half, Jan. 13.

Jackson's Potential Pours Out At Monmouth
Playing without Justin Rutty on the opposite block due to injury, Jamee Jackson stepped up in a big way with a career-high 20 points on 8-for-12 shooting, Jan. 6 at Monmouth. He also made what proved to be the game-winning free throw with 14.3 seconds left.

QU Can Knock Down the Three, Too
Led by James Johnson's seven trifectas, QU hit 12 three-pointers, Dec. 22 at Niagara, the most by a Quinnipiac team since the Bobcats knocked down 12 in Tom Moore's debut in Hamden, Nov. 11, 2007, a double-overtime thriller that QU won against Hartford, 85-79.

Dom's Timely Tip-In
Dominique Langston tipped in the game-winner with 3.8 seconds left in regulation as QU defeated Boston University, 82-81, Dec. 29.

Johnson Feelin' It From Long Range
James Johnson extended a red-hot three-point shooting streak with a 7-for-11 performance from beyond the arc at Niagara. The seven three-pointers, most by a Bobcat since Van Crafton '07 knocked down seven, Dec. 7, 2006 at Mount St. Mary's, pushed Johnson's percentage to 56.7 percent (17-30) over the four-game stretch.

Have A Day, Tay
Deontay Twyman established new career highs with 19 points (since eclipsed), seven rebounds and seven assists, while adding a highlight-reel block at Niagara, sprinting back on defense to prevent a fast-break bucket.

Dom's Double-Double
Dominique Langston had produced double-figure points and rebounds previously in his nine games as a Bobcat, but gave Quinnipiac both in the same game with 10 points and 12 rebounds for his first career double-double at Niagara.

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.

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. The streak reached 14 consecutive against URI, before he missed his first free throw at Niagara on Dec. 22.

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.

Welcome to the Fold, T-Bask
Highly-touted recruit Tevin Baskin became eligible for play following the last day of final exams at Quinnipiac, and saw his first game action Dec. 22 at Niagara.

New (Le)High Rebounding Mark
The Bobcats established a new program D-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 overtime 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 had seven points and four rebounds in his Bobcats debut at Dartmouth, but missed the next four games due to injury. He returned, Dec. 11 against Rhode Island.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Langston Huge
Dominique Langston 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.

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.

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.

Sweet 16's
Deontay Twyman tied his then-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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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).

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.

On Deck
The Bobcats continue NEC Rivalry Week at Sacred Heart, Monday, Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m. The game will be televised live on MSG.