Quinnipiac University Bobcats (11-14, 7-7 NEC) vs.
Fairleigh Dickinson University Knights (7-19, 6-9 NEC)
Thursday, Feb. 19, 2009 7 p.m.
TD Banknorth Sports Center Hamden, Conn.
Heading Down the Home Stretch
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team looks to secure a berth in the Northeast Conference Tournament when it plays host to Fairleigh Dickinson, Thursday, at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. A win and losses by Wagner and Monmouth would cement the Bobcats' spot in the tournament. The Bobcats are coming off a tough-fought, five-point loss at Robert Morris, while the Knights lost last time out at St. Francis (N.Y.), 82-72. The Knights won the teams' prior meeting this year, 72-68, in Hackensack, N.J., while also leading the all-time series, 16-8.
Scouting the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights
Guard Sean Baptiste paces the Knights in points (16.5), rebounds (5.9) and steals (1.77). Baptiste tops the NEC in points per game (19.1) in league games, and is fourth overall. Guard Cameron Tyler also averages in double figures, scoring 13.3 points per game to go along with an NEC-best 5.4 assists per game, including 6.7 dimes per game against league foes. Forward Alvin Mofunanya has blocked an NEC-high 2.1 shots per game and shot 57.0 percent in league games (2nd-NEC). The Knights have allowed an NEC-high 74.5 points per game in league games.
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 Fairleigh Dickinson
Sean Baptiste scored a career-high 37 points as the Knights defeated the Bobcats, 72-68, Jan. 3, at Stratis Arena. Cameron Tyler complimented Baptiste with 21 points and nine assists, while no other Knight scored more than six points. Justin Rutty compiled a double-double of 25 points and 10 rebounds.
Last Time Out At Robert Morris
James Feldeine scored a game-high 25 points, but the Bobcats fell at first-place Robert Morris, 69-64, Saturday night. Bryan Geffen and Jeremy Baker added 11 points apiece. Rob Robinson compiled a double-double of 22 points and 14 rebounds, and added five steals for Robert Morris.
Eight is Great
The Bobcats tied their season high with eight three-point field goals made at Robert Morris. The Bobcats also hit eight trifectas, Feb. 7, against Bryant and Dec. 13 at Wagner.
Give and Take
Of the Bobcats' eight three-point field goals made against Robert Morris, James Feldeine and Bryan Geffen accounted for seven. The pair assisted each other on six of the seven three-point connections. Geffen set up all four of Feldeine's made trifectas.
Feldeine Finds His Stroke
James Feldeine hit 9-of-18 shots at Robert Morris, including 4-of-8 from long range for 25 points. Feldeine, who averaged 18.8 points per game through 16 games, saw his scoring average dip to 16.5 ppg after an eight-game stretch of 11.9 ppg, and a high of 15 points in the span. He bumped his scoring average back up to 16.8 ppg with the 25-point outburst.
Shoot Better, Win More
The Bobcats are 8-0 when they outshoot their opponent.
Ten of Eleven
The Bobcats have taken 10 of their 11 wins this season while allowing 69 points or less.
Justin Rutty compiled his NEC-leading 10th double-double of the season with 13 points and 14 rebounds, Feb. 7, against Bryant. No other Bobcat has more than three double-doubles this season.
In The Bobcats' Defense...
Quinnipiac ranks first in the NEC in field-goal percentage defense (.404) and second in scoring defense (62.6) in conference games.
Second To Start 24
James Johnson joined Jared Grasso as the only Bobcats to start the first 24 consecutive games of their collegiate careers at the Division I level with a start, Feb. 12, at Saint Francis (Pa.). Johnson surpassed Bill Romano's 23 straight starts in 1998-99 with the start against the Red Flash. Grasso holds the QU record with 71 straight starts to begin his career.
Rutty Nationally Ranked
In addition to leading the Northeast Conference with a 60.9 field-goal percentage, Justin Rutty ranks 14th in the nation. His 4.63 offensive rebounds per game rank second, while his 9.3 boards per game are 26th.
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 nine of the last 11 games. He's averaged 12.0 points during the span.
Giveth, But Can't Taketh Away
James Johnson is fifth in the NEC in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.51. He's dished out 107 assists (4.3 apg, T6th-NEC) while turning it over just 71 times.
Dunkin' Dutchman Comparison
Rutty's shooting accuracy (60.9%) also compares well 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 seven in the NEC among scorers (15.1 ppg, 7th) and rebounders (9.3 rpg, 1st), becoming one of only two players in the league currently ranked in the top seven of both categories (SHU's Joey Henley).
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 24 of the Bobcats' 25 games this season.
Floor General Johnson
James Johnson has taken control of the point guard position in just his freshman season. Johnson has averaged 10.5 points, 4.3 assists, 4.0 rebounds and 1.5 steals while adjusting seamlessly to the college game. He's started his first 25 collegiate games, becoming just the second Quinnipiac player to do so at the Division I level.
On the Rebound
The Bobcats offensive rebounding prowess (15.00 per game - 1st-NEC) has resulted in holding opponents to 31.8 rebounds per game (2nd-NEC) and a +5.8 rebounding margin (1st-NEC).
Fine To Be Feldeine
James Feldeine currently ranks among the NEC's best in several categories. He's 3rd in scoring at 16.8 points per game and 9th in rebounds (6.2). His 4.56 defensive boards per game rank 8th and his 73.8 free-throw percentage is 11th. His 1.76 steals per game are 5th and his 2.20 assists per game are 20th. He's also 14th in three-point field goals made per game at 1.56.
Regular For Rutty
Justin Rutty has shot 60.9 percent (159-for-261) this season (1st-NEC), besting his NEC-leading 59.0 percent average of a year ago.
Second To One Hundred
Justin Rutty grabbed his 100th offensive rebound of the season at Sacred Heart, becoming just the second Quinnipiac player to reach 100 offensive boards at the Division I level, joining Jeremy Bishop (117 in 2001-02). He also joined just 11 other NEC players to grab 100 on the offensive glass since the league started tabulating offensive boards in 1997-98.
The Bobcats return to action Saturday, when they travel to Brooklyn, N.Y., to face Long Island. Opening tip of the game regionally televised on MSG and FCS, is scheduled for 4:07 p.m. at the Wellness Center.