Men's Basketball Plays Host To Sacred Heart Thursday

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (8-9, 4-3 NEC) vs.

Sacred Heart University Pioneers (6-11, 3-4 NEC)

Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009 – 7 p.m.

TD Banknorth Sports Center – Hamden, Conn.

Conference Play Continues

The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team returns home to take on intrastate NEC foe Sacred Heart, Thursday night at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. Both teams are coming off road losses. The Bobcats fell last time out at Monmouth, while the Pioneers were defeated at Mount St. Mary's. The Pioneers lead the all-time series, 36-18, including wins in each of the last four meetings. The last Quinnipiac win came on Feb. 8, 2007, the first meeting at the TD Banknorth Sports Center.

Scouting the Sacred Heart Pioneers

Senior big man Joey Henley leads the Pioneers at 13.9 points per game to go along with 6.6 rebounds per contest after missing the 2007-08 season due to a knee injury. Henley is third in the NEC in field-goal percentage at 57.4 percent, including a 62.7 connection rate in NEC games (1st-NEC). The Pioneers have five players among the 30 scorers in the league. Ryon Howard (11.4), Chauncey Hardy (10.7), Shane Gibson (9.2) and Corey Hassan (9.2) have all made solid scoring contributions. While Hardy leads SHU at 3.4 assists per game, the Pioneers lead the NEC at 15.65 dimes per contest.

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 feed will also be available to Bobcat Channel subscribers.

Last Time Against Sacred Heart

Despite DeMario Anderson's game-high 25 points and 11 rebounds, Sacred Heart defeated the Bobcats, 88-74, Feb. 23, 2008, at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. Chauncey Hardy and Ryan Litke led five Pioneers in double figures, while Drew Shubik narrowly missed a triple-double with 10 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds. The Bobcats shot 56.3 percent, but turned the ball over 21 times to the Pioneers nine.

Last Time Out Against Monmouth

Louis Brookins scored a game-high 14 points, but the Bobcats were defeated, 74-63, Saturday night in West Long Branch, N.J. James Johnson added 12 points, while James Feldeine and Bryan Geffen contributed 11 points each.

Back-to-Back Brookins

Louis Brookins established new season highs in rebounds and points in consecutive games, Jan. 15 and Jan. 17. After grabbing a season-high 11 rebounds at St. Francis (Pa.), Brookins scored a season-best 14 points at Monmouth.

Dunkin' Dutchman Comparison

Justin Rutty has shot 64.6 percent, 6.8 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 for the Red Foxes in 1985-86.

Giveth, But Can't Taketh Away

James Johnson is sixth in the NEC in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.56. He's dished out 84 assists (4.9 apg, 3rd-NEC) while turning it over just 54 times.

Rutty Reaches Elite Status

Justin Rutty ranks in the top five in the NEC among scorers (16.4 ppg, 4th) and rebounders (8.3 rpg, 3rd), becoming one of two players in the league currently ranked in the top five of both categories (RMU's Jeremy Chappell). In addition, his 4.38 offensive rebounds per game rank first in the NEC by a 1.56 offensive rebounds per game margin.

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' 17 games this season.

Floor General Johnson

James Johnson has taken control of the point guard position in just his freshman season. Johnson has averaged 10.7 points, 4.9 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals while adjusting seamlessly to the college game. He's started his first 17 collegiate games, becoming just the third Quinnipiac player to do so at the Division I level.

On the Rebound

The Bobcats offensive rebounding prowess (15.29 per game - 1st-NEC) has resulted in holding opponents to 31.1 rebounds per game (1st-NEC) and a +6.6 rebounding margin (1st-NEC).

Fine To Be Feldeine

James Feldeine currently ranks among the Northeast Conference's best in several categories. He's second in scoring at 18.4 points per game and eighth in rebounds (6.5). His 4.88 defensive rebounds per game rank fifth and his 45.1 field-goal percentage is 14th. He's also 13th in three-point field-goal percentage (37.8) and 10th in free-throw percentage (76.7). His 1.65 three-point field goals made per game is tied for eighth. His 1.76 steals and 2.35 assists rank third and tied for 17th, respectively.

Regular For Rutty

Justin Rutty has shot 64.6 percent (117-for-181) 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. 24, when they face intrastate rival Central Connecticut. Opening tip is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Detrick Gym in New Britain, Conn.