Quinnipiac University Bobcats (9-12, 5-6 NEC) at
Sacred Heart University Pioneers (10-11, 7-4 NEC)
Thursday, Feb. 5, 2009 7 p.m.
William H. Pitt Center Fairfield, Conn.
Conference Play Continues
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team looks to build upon a win last time out against Long Island when it faces intrastate NEC foe Sacred Heart, Thursday in Fairfield. The game, which will be televised live by MSG, FCS and CTSN, serves as an opportunity for the Bobcats to avenge a 70-66 loss to the Pioneers two weeks prior. Sacred Heart owns a 37-18 lead in the all-time series.
Scouting the Sacred Heart Pioneers
Two-time defending NEC Player of the Week Joey Henley leads the Pioneers at 14.8 points per game to go along with 7.2 rebounds per contest after missing the 2007-08 season due to a knee injury. Henley is second in the NEC in field-goal percentage at 58.4 percent, including a 62.4 connection rate in NEC games (1st-NEC). Chauncey Hardy has contributed 11.5 points and 3.4 assists per game, while Ryon Howard has pitched in with 11.1 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Corey Hassan (9.1), Shane Gibson (8.4) and Ryan Litke (7.6) have all made solid scoring contributions.
On The Air
Thursday's game can be seen live on MSG, FCS and the Connecticut Sports Network (CTSN). Paul Dottino will have the play-by-play call, while Tim Capstraw will provide color commentary and Jared Greenberg will have sideline reports. The game will also be broadcast live on the Bobcats Radio Network. Bill Schweizer will have the play-by-play call with Bill Mecca on color.
Last Time Against Sacred Heart
Justin Rutty began a streak of four straight double-doubles with 22 points and 18 rebounds, but the Pioneers defeated the Bobcats, 70-66, Jan. 22, at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. Joey Henley attacked an injury-riddled Quinnipiac interior, scoring 25 points on 12-of-20 shooting for Sacred Heart.
Last Time Out Against Long Island
Justin Rutty compiled his fourth consecutive double-double as the Bobcats defeated LIU, 69-63, Saturday at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. Rutty scored 16 points and added 14 rebounds to lead QU, while Bryan Geffen matched Rutty's 16 points.
The First Hundred Wins
With the Bobcats' win against LIU, Jan. 31, Head Coach Tom Moore reached 100 wins for his collegiate coaching career. He won 76 games in five years at Westfield State before adding 24 wins in less than two years at Quinnipiac.
Newburgh Native Nationally Ranked
In addition to leading the Northeast Conference with a 62.7 field-goal percentage, Justin Rutty ranks eighth in the nation. His 99 offensive rebounds and 4.95 offensive rebounds per game rank second, while his 9.7 boards per game are 23rd.
Double-Double Again and Again
Justin Rutty compiled his NEC-leading ninth double-double of the season with 16 points and 14 rebounds, Jan. 31, against Long Island. No other Bobcat has more than two double-doubles this season.
Geffen Finds Consistency
After scoring more than 10 points just twice in the Bobcats' first 14 games, Bryan Geffen has added a second digit to his scoring total in five of the last seven games. He's averaged 12.6 points during the span.
Welcome Back Zajac
Ed Zajac returned to the floor, Jan. 29, against Mount St. Mary's after missing the previous seven games due to injury. He then totaled a season-high 11 points and six rebounds, Jan. 31, against LIU.
One More To One Hundred
Justin Rutty currently stands at 99 offensive rebounds. With one more, he'd become just the second Quinnipiac player to reach 100 offensive rebounds at the Division I level, joining Jeremy Bishop (117 in 2001-02). He'd also join just 11 other NEC players to grab 100 on the offensive glass since the league started tabulating offensive boards in 1997-98.
Giveth, But Can't Taketh Away
James Johnson is sixth in the NEC in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.48. He's dished out 96 assists (4.6 apg, 5th-NEC) while turning it over just 65 times.
Dunkin' Dutchman Comparison
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.
Rutty Reaches Elite Status
Justin Rutty ranks in the top five in the NEC among scorers (16.1 ppg, 4th) and rebounders (9.7 rpg, 1st), becoming the only player in the league currently ranked in the top five of both categories. In addition, his 4.95 offensive rebounds per game rank first in the NEC by a 2.19 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' 21 games this season.
Floor General Johnson
James Johnson has taken control of the point guard position in just his freshman season. Johnson has averaged 10.4 points, 4.6 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals while adjusting seamlessly to the college game. He's started his first 21 collegiate games, becoming just the third Quinnipiac player to do so at the Division I level.
On the Rebound
The Bobcats offensive rebounding prowess (15.24 per game - 1st-NEC) has resulted in holding opponents to 31.7 rebounds per game (2nd-NEC) and a +6.5 rebounding margin (1st-NEC).
Fine To Be Feldeine
James Feldeine currently ranks among the NEC's best in several categories. He's 2nd in scoring at 17.2 points per game and 8th in rebounds (6.2). His 4.57 defensive boards per game rank tied for 6th and his 74.2 free-throw percentage is 12th. His 1.67 steals per game are 5th.
Regular For Rutty
Justin Rutty has shot 62.7 percent (141-for-225) this season (1st-NEC), besting his NEC-leading 59.0 percent average of a year ago.
The Bobcats return to action Saturday, when they take a break from NEC play to face future league foe Bryant. Opening tip is scheduled for 2 p.m. at the TD Banknorth Sports Center.