January 8, 2009

Men's Basketball Challenges Robert Morris Thursday

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (6-7, 2-1 NEC) vs.

Robert Morris University Colonials (8-7, 3-1 NEC)

Thursday, Jan. 8, 2008 – 7 p.m.

TD Banknorth Sports Center – Hamden, Conn.

Conference Play Resumes

The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team returns home for a Thursday night Northeast Conference tilt against Robert Morris. The Bobcats have fallen in each of their last four games, including a 72-68 defeat Saturday at Fairleigh Dickinson. Robert Morris sits atop the NEC at 3-1, including wins in its last two games against St. Francis (Pa.) and at preseason NEC favorite Mt. St. Mary's. Thursday's game features three of the NEC's top four scorers in James Feldeine (19.2 - 1st), Jeremy Chappell (17.4 - 3rd) and Justin Rutty (17.3 - 4th).

Scouting the Robert Morris Colonials

Guard Jeremy Chappell leads the Colonials at 17.4 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 2.5 steals per game. He's averaged 33.3 minutes per game with the next closest Colonial playing 26.8 minutes per contest. Forward Rob Robinson (10.0 ppg) and guard Jimmy Langhurst (9.2 ppg) have also made strong scoring contributions. Guard Gary Wallace has connected on 50 percent of his three-point attempts, good for second in the NEC.

On The Air

Thursday's game can be heard live on the Bobcats Radio Network. Bill Schweizer will have the play-by-play call with Bill Mecca on color. A live video webcast will also be available to Bobcat Channel subscribers.

Last Time Against Robert Morris

Robert Morris defeated the Bobcats, 86-79, in the two teams' only meeting of 2007-08, Jan. 5, at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. The game was broadcast on ESPNU, becoming the first nationally-televised regular-season NEC game in league history. The Colonials shot 54.2 percent from the floor, including 61.1 percent from long range to negate the Bobcats' 52.4 percent shooting effort. DeMario Anderson had a game-high 28 points.

Last Time Out Against Fairleigh Dickinson

The Bobcats were defeated, Jan. 3, at Fairleigh Dickinson. After shooting 51.4 percent in the first half, the Bobcats went cold in the second (22.9 percent). Sean Baptiste scored a career-high 37 points for the Knights, while Justin Rutty countered with a double-double of 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Bobcats. QU had a season-low seven turnovers in the game.

Possession Offense

The Bobcats turned the ball over just seven times at Fairleigh Dickinson, tying for the second-fewest turnovers by a Quinnipiac team in a single game at the Division I level. The Bobcats turned it over just six times, Feb. 24, 2003, at Central Connecticut.

20-Plus Tear

Justin Rutty has scored at least 22 points in each of his last three games played for an average of 23.0 points per game. He's compiled two double-doubles in the span, grabbing 10 rebounds against Vermont and Fairleigh Dickinson.

Leading The League

James Feldeine currently ranks first in the Northeast Conference in scoring at 19.2 points per game, more than one point per game ahead of the next-most-potent scorer in the league.

Comparing Favorably to the Dunkin' Dutchman

At nearly the halfway point of the season, Justin Rutty has shot 67.1 percent, 10 percent better than the next-best shooter in the NEC this season. Rutty's shooting accuracy also compares favorably to the best-ever field-goal percentage by a sophomore in the NEC - Marist's Rik Smits, who earned NBA All-Star status during his 12-year career with the Indiana Pacers, after shooting 62.2 percent in 1985-86.

Rutty Reaches Elite Status

Justin Rutty ranks in the top five in the NEC among scorers (17.3 ppg, 4th) and rebounders (8.3 rpg, 4th), becoming the only player in the league currently ranked in the top five of both categories. In addition, his 4.67 offensive rebounds per game rank first in the NEC by a 1.97 offensive rebounds per game margin.

Giveth, But Can't Taketh Away

James Johnson is second in the Northeast Conference in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.67. He's dished out 65 assists (5.0 apg, 3rd-NEC) while turning it over just 39 times.

Feldeine Fillin' It Up

While the Bobcats lost DeMario Anderson to graduation and his personal double-digit points streak ended at an NEC-record 48 games, James Feldeine has taken over Anderson's role as a consistent double-figure scorer. Feldeine has reached a 10th point in each of the Bobcats' 13 games this season.

Floor General Johnson

James Johnson has taken control of the point guard position in just his freshman season. After posting modest statistics while playing a key role in Quinnipiac's 2-0 start, Johnson has averaged 11.8 points, 5.4 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 1.8 steals, while shooting 44.0 percent (11-25) from three-point range. He's started his first 13 collegiate games, becoming just the third Quinnipiac player to do so at the Division I level.

On the Rebound

The Bobcats offensive rebounding prowess (16.23 per game - 1st-NEC) has resulted in holding opponents to 30.5 rebounds per game (1st-NEC) and a +7.6 rebounding margin (1st-NEC).

Fine To Be Feldeine

James Feldeine currently ranks among the Northeast Conference's best in several categories. He's first in scoring at 19.2 points per game and ninth in rebounds (6.7). His 5.1 defensive rebounds per game rank tied for sixth and his 47.4 field-goal percentage is 13th. He's also 13th in three-point field-goal percentage (39.3) and is 12th in free-throw percentage (74.1). His 1.69 three-point field goals made per game ranks eighth. His 1.69 steals and 2.46 assists per game rank fourth and 15th, respectively.

Regular For Rutty

Justin Rutty has shot 67.1 percent (94-for-140) this season (1st-NEC), besting his Northeast Conference leading 59.0 percent average of a year ago.

On Deck

The Bobcats return to Northeast Conference action, Jan. 10, when they welcome St. Francis (Pa.) to the TD Banknorth Sports Center. The game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start in Hamden, Conn.