HAMDEN, Conn. James Feldeine (New York, N.Y.) scored 26 points and Justin Rutty (Newburgh, N.Y.) added a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds, but the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team's comeback bid from a 20-point second-half deficit against Vermont fell just short, 84-79, Sunday afternoon at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. With the loss, the Bobcats fall to 6-4, while the Catamounts improve to 6-3.
James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.) contributed 15 points, five steals and four assists for the Bobcats, while Louis Brookins (Silver Spring, Md.) chipped in with 10 points after missing the previous seven games due to injury. Mike Trimboli scored a team-high 24 points on 7-for-7 shooting from the floor for Vermont. Marqus Blakely (16) and Maurice Joseph (15) also finished in double figures, while Blakely was a difference-maker defensively with five blocks.
The Bobcats trailed by 20 points with just 7:18 remaining in regulation. A 14-2 run cut the deficit to eight by the 4:17 mark. A pair of Feldeine three-pointers made it a one-possession game at 82-79 with nine seconds left. But Joey Accaoui's two free throws with six seconds remaining put the game out of reach.
"We played more confidently and scored 50 points in the second half," said Quinnipiac Head Coach Tom Moore. "The defense was disappointing in the first half, but we played stronger and tougher in the second half."
After a back-and-forth start through the first 11 minutes of action, Vermont created separation with a 12-2 run to take a 31-20 lead by the 6:38 mark. The lead extended to as many as 17 in the first half and the Catamounts took a 15-point lead into halftime.
The Catamounts outshot the Bobcats from the floor, 50.0 percent (26-52) to 48.4 percent (30-62), as well as 33.3 percent (4-12) to 30.0 percent (3-10) from three-point range. Vermont also took an 82.4 percent (28-34) to 66.7 percent (16-24) advantage from the free-throw line. The Bobcats outrebounded the Catamounts, 34-31, and made a season-high 16 steals.
The Bobcats return to action Dec. 29 when they travel to Providence, R.I., to take on Brown. Opening tip is scheduled for 1 p.m. at the Pizzitola Sports Center.