HAMDEN, Conn. - Justin Rutty (Newburgh, N.Y.) compiled his 41st career double-double with 22 points and 16 rebounds as the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team defeated Mount St. Mary's, 78-59, in Thursday night's NEC Tournament Quarterfinals at the TD Bank Sports Center. With the win, the Bobcats improve to 22-8 and advance to the NEC Tournament Semifinals, where they'll play host to third-seeded Robert Morris, Sunday at 2 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on Fox College Sports, ESPN3.com and ESPN Full Court. The Mountaineers close the season at 11-21.
The 16 rebounds push Rutty's career total to 1,015. He's just the third player in both Quinnipiac and Northeast Conference history to grab 1,000 career rebounds, and moved into second all-time in the NEC, passing Long Island's Carey Scurry (1,013). He now trails only Central Connecticut's Ron Robinson (1,022) for the all-time NEC rebounding crown. At Quinnipiac, Rutty joined Harold Driver '78 (1,147) and Ed Skwara '69 (1,082) as the only Quinnipiac players to grab 1,000 rebounds.
James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.) scored all 13 of his points in the first half, while Deontay Twyman (Olney, Md.) and Dave Johnson (Jackson, N.J.) also added 10 points apiece. The Bobcats outrebounded Mount St. Mary's, 43-24, pushing the discrepancy to 145-63 over their opponents in the last three games. The Bobcats shot 50.0 percent (32-64) to the Mountaineers' 42.0 percent (21-50), pushing their record to 17-0 when outshooting the opponent this season. The Bobcats owned a 48-20 advantage on points in the paint and a 26-5 edge in second-chance points.
Shawn Atupem had a team-high 20 points for Mount St. Mary's, while Julian Norfleet added nine points and five assists. However, Norfleet was held without a point in the second half.
The Mountaineers started the game by making seven of their first eight shots, including an 8-0 run to open the contest. Johnson scored the Bobcats' first seven points and nine of the first 11 to help the Bobcats claw back to within six on two occasions. The second sparked a 16-3 run to turn an eight-point deficit into a five-point lead, 25-20, by the seven minute mark of the first. Rutty's lay-up at the 9:10 mark gave the Bobcats the lead for good.
Quinnipiac stretched its lead to as many as nine points on four occasions, before a Lamar Trice jumper at the buzzer made it 41-34 at the half.
The Bobcats immediately pushed their lead to double-digits on a pair of Jamee Jackson (Newark, N.J.) lay-ups off Rutty feeds early in the second half. Twyman made it a 13-point lead with a jumper on the next Quinnipiac possession. The Mount cut the lead to nine on four occasions, before Quinnipiac gradually pushed the lead to as many as 21 on two Dave Johnson free throws at the 2:12 mark.