February 25, 2009

Men's Basketball Clashes With Wagner Thursday

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (13-14, 9-7 NEC) vs.

Wagner College Seahawks (14-13, 6-10 NEC)

Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009 – 7 p.m.

TD Banknorth Sports Center – Hamden, Conn.

Bobcats Wrap Up Regular Season At Home

The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team faces Wagner in a pivotal game for both teams, Thursday night at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. The Bobcats have kept hope of hosting a first-round NEC Tournament game and a win against the Seahawks could help. Meanwhile, the Seahawks have rallied into a tie for the eighth, and final, NEC Tournament position with wins in three of their last four league games. Most recently, the Seahawks completed a two-game home sweep of the top two teams in the league, Robert Morris and Mount St. Mary's. The two teams have split the last four meetings, while the Bobcats won the last meeting, 71-63, on Dec. 13.

Scouting the Wagner Seahawks

The Seahawks feature four players averaging in double figures. Joey Mundweiler leads Wagner at 12.9 points per game, with 75 of his 117 made field goals coming from long range. Jamal Smith has posted 12.1 points per game, while Llew Radford has pitched in with 11.4 points and a team-high 7.6 rebounds per game. Justin Drummond rounds out the double figure scorers at 10.2 points per game while leading the Seahawks with 3.9 assists, 1.7 steals and 0.8 blocks per game.

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 Wagner

James Feldeine posted a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds as the Bobcats defeated Wagner, 71-63, Dec. 13 on Staten Island. Justin Rutty narrowly missed a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds, while Bryan Geffen added 15 points on 5-for-9 shooting from long range. James Johnson also added nine points and seven assists. Llew Radford led the Seahawks with 17 points and seven rebounds.

Last Time Out Against Long Island

Justin Rutty poured in 23 points and grabbed 16 rebounds as the Bobcats defeated Long Island, 78-73, Saturday afternoon at the Wellness Center. With the win, the Bobcats became the only NEC team to defeat the Blackbirds on their home court this season. Jeremy Baker (13), James Feldeine (12) and Bryan Geffen (11) all scored in double figures for the Bobcats while Eric Coggins rejected a career-high four shots to go along with four points and five rebounds. Louis Brookins also contributed eight points.

The Clincher

The Bobcats clinched an NEC Tournament berth with a 78-73 win, Feb. 21, at Long Island.

Makin' It Snappy

The Bobcats snapped LIU's 11-game home winning streak with a 78-73 win, Feb. 21, at the Wellness Center. With the win in the Blackbirds' last home game of the regular season, the Bobcats became the only team in the league to defeat LIU in Brooklyn.

News Flash: Rutty's Really Good

Justin Rutty produced his third 20-point, 15-rebound performance of the year with 23 points and 16 rebounds at LIU. His prior outbursts came against Monmouth (20 points, 16 rebounds), Dec. 6, and Sacred Heart (22 points, 18 rebounds), Jan. 22. The latest performance helped him earn Choice Hotels/NEC Co-Player of the Week.

That's Consistency

James Feldeine scored 12 points, dished out six assists and grabbed six rebounds to start the week of Feb. 19 against Fairleigh Dickinson. He then finished the week with 12 points, five rebounds and four assists against Long Island.

Baker Beginning To Heat Up

Jeremy Baker has scored in double figures in each of the last three games. He began the span with 11 points at Robert Morris before scoring a career-high 20 points against Fairleigh Dickinson. On Feb. 21, he posted 13 points at LIU.

Efficiency From The Floor

The Bobcats shot a season-high 51.7 percent (31-60) from the floor at LIU, Feb. 21. The previous season-high (.512) came Jan. 10 against Saint Francis (Pa.).

Double-Digit Double-Doubles

Justin Rutty compiled his NEC-leading 11th double-double of the season with 23 points and 16 rebounds, Feb. 21, at LIU. No other NEC player has more than six double-doubles this season, and no other Bobcat has more than three.

Guard Play's Been Great

Jeremy Baker, James Feldeine and Bryan Geffen have scored in double digits in each of the last three games.

Big Shot Bryan

Bryan Geffen has hit a three-pointer with the game tied or the Bobcats trailing to give Quinnipiac a lead for good in four of the Bobcats 13 wins this season (at Hartford, vs. Monmouth, at Saint Francis (Pa.) and at LIU).

E-Cog Erupts

Eric Coggins set a new career-high with nine points against Fairleigh Dickinson, Feb. 19. He also tied his top rebound total with six boards. He followed with four points, five rebounds and a career-high four blocks at LIU, Feb. 21.

Shoot Better, Win More

The Bobcats are 10-0 when they outshoot their opponent.

Eleven of Thirteen

The Bobcats have taken 11 of their 13 wins while allowing 69 points or less.

In The Bobcats' Defense...

Quinnipiac ranks first in the NEC in field-goal percentage defense (.403) and third in scoring defense (63.2) in conference games.

Rutty Nationally Ranked

In addition to ranking second in the NEC with a 61.5 field-goal percentage, Justin Rutty ranks tied for 11th in the nation. He also ranks second in offensive rebounding average (4.54) and 23rd in rebounding (9.4).

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 11 of the last 13 games. He's averaged 12.1 points during the span.

Giveth, But Can't Taketh Away

James Johnson is seventh in the NEC in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.48. He's dished out 114 assists (4.2 apg, T-6th-NEC) while turning it over just 77 times.

Dunkin' Dutchman Comparison

Rutty's shooting accuracy (61.5%) 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.

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 26 of the Bobcats' 27 games this season.

Floor General Johnson

James Johnson has taken control of the point guard position in just his freshman season. Johnson has averaged 10.0 points, 4.2 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 1.5 steals while adjusting seamlessly to the college game. He's started his first 27 collegiate games, becoming just the second Quinnipiac player to do so at the Division I level.

On the Rebound

The Bobcats offensive rebounding prowess (15.07 per game - 1st-NEC, 9th NCAA) has resulted in holding opponents to 32.1 rebounds per game (3rd-NEC) and a +5.7 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 16.5 points per game and 9th in rebounds (6.2). His 4.48 defensive boards per game rank 8th and his 74.3 free-throw percentage is 11th. His 1.74 steals per game are tied for 4th and his 2.41 assists per game are 17th.

Regular For Rutty

Justin Rutty has shot 61.5 percent (176-for-286) this season (2nd-NEC), besting his NEC-leading 59.0 percent average of a year ago. Only a 14-for-14 week from Joey Henley pushed the Sacred Heart big man ahead of Rutty among NEC shooters (61.9 percent).

On Deck

The Bobcats conclude regular-season action Saturday, when they play host to intrastate NEC foe Central Connecticut. Opening tip of the game regionally-televised by NESN is scheduled for 4 p.m. at the TD Banknorth Sports Center. Prior to the game, the Bobcats will honor their senior class as part of Senior Day ceremonies.