Northeast Conference Tournament Semifinals
Quinnipiac University Bobcats (15-15) at
Robert Morris University Colonials (22-10)
Sunday, March 8, 2009 2 p.m.
Charles L. Sewall Center Moon Township, Pa.
Live Stats www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com
Bobcats Face Colonials In NEC Tournament Semifinals
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team travels to Moon Township, Pa., to face top-seeded Robert Morris in Northeast Conference Tournament Semifinal action, Sunday at 2 p.m. The game will be televised live on MSG. The Bobcats are coming off an 86-78 overtime win at Long Island Thursday, while the Colonials staved off a second-half St. Francis (N.Y.) run to beat the eighth-seeded Terriers, 73-60. The Colonials won the first two meetings this season and hold a 13-7 advantage in the all-time series.
Scouting the Robert Morris Colonials
NEC Player of the Year Jeremy Chappell leads the Colonials at 16.7 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.5 steals per game. He's averaged 32.6 minutes per game with the next closest Colonial playing 26.3 minutes per contest. Forward Rob Robinson (11.6 ppg) and guard Jimmy Langhurst (10.1 ppg) have also made strong scoring contributions. Robinson has also averaged 5.6 rebounds and 1.03 blocks per game. Chappell (40.9), Langhurst (42.3) and guard Gary Wallace (51.8) all shoot over 40.0 percent from long range. The Colonials lead the NEC in three-point field-goal percentage, rebounding defense and steals.
On The Air
Sunday's game can be seen live on MSG. Dave Popkin (play-by-play), Terry O'Connor (color) and Paul Dottino (sideline) will have the call. Live audio will not be available.
Last Time Against Robert Morris
Bryan Geffen's three-pointer with 3:28 left in regulation put the Bobcats up by three points, but the Colonials held the Bobcats without a field goal the rest of the way as Robert Morris defeated Quinnipiac, 69-64. James Feldeine scored a game-high 25 points for the Bobcats, while Rob Robinson countered with 22 points and 14 rebounds for the Colonials.
Last Time Out Against Long Island
James Feldeine scored 22 points and Justin Rutty added 18 points and 16 rebounds as No. 5 QU outlasted No. 4 LIU, 86-78, in overtime. Up 16 points with less than eight minutes left in regulation, the Blackbirds stormed all the way back, with Julian Boyd's trifecta at the buzzer forcing overtime. The Bobcats immediately regained control in overtime and never trailed in the final 35 minutes of play.
Bobcats In The NEC Tournament
Quinnipiac is 5-5 all-time in NEC Tournament games. The Bobcats are 2-5 in road contests, and have never met the Colonials in the tournament. The furthest Quinnipiac has advanced in the tournament is the finals, which the Bobcats achieved in their first NEC Tournament appearance.
Feldeine Fares Well Against RMU
James Feldeine has averaged 21.5 points in two games this season against Robert Morris. After scoring 18 points in the first meeting, Jan. 8, Feldeine poured in 25, Feb. 14, at RMU.
Rutty Rips Blackbirds
Justin Rutty was dominant in three meetings with Long Island this season. He averaged 19.0 points and 15.3 rebounds per game against the Blackbirds. An average of six of Rutty's rebounds in the three meetings came off the offensive glass.
Half Ain't Bad
The Bobcats shot 50.0 percent of better from the floor for the fourth time this season, March 5, at LIU. Most recently, they shot an even 50.0 percent (29-58). Quinnipiac is 3-1 when it has shot 50.0 percent or better.
O-T is O-K
The Bobcats faced overtime for just the second time this season, March 5, at LIU. Quinnipiac has won both overtime opportunities this season, including a 66-64 win, Nov. 17, against Army.
Shoot Better, Win More
The Bobcats are 12-0 when they outshoot their opponent.
Twelve of Fifteen
The Bobcats have taken 12 of their 15 wins while allowing 69 points or less.
In The Bobcats' Defense...
Quinnipiac ranks first in the NEC in field-goal percentage defense (.407) and third in scoring defense (63.4) in conference games.
Rutty Nationally Ranked
In addition to ranking second in the NEC with a 60.8 field-goal percentage, Justin Rutty ranks 10th in the nation. He also ranks second in offensive rebounding average (4.48) and 21st in rebounding (9.7).
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 14 of the last 16 games. He's averaged 12.2 points during the span.
Giveth, But Can't Taketh Away
James Johnson is sixth in the NEC in assist-to-turnover ratio at 1.53. He's dished out 124 assists (4.1 apg, T6th-NEC) while turning it over just 81 times.
Dunkin' Dutchman Comparison
Rutty's shooting accuracy (60.8%) 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 29 of the Bobcats' 30 games this season.
Floor General Johnson
James Johnson has taken control of the point guard position in just his freshman season. Johnson has averaged 9.9 points, 4.1 assists, 3.8 rebounds and 1.6 steals while adjusting seamlessly to the college game. He's started his first 30 collegiate games, becoming just the second Quinnipiac player to do so at the Division I level.
On the Rebound
The Bobcats offensive rebounding prowess (14.97 per game - 1st-NEC, 11th NCAA) has resulted in holding opponents to 32.3 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 first in scoring at 17.0 points per game and 10th in rebounds (6.1). His 4.43 defensive boards per game are tied for ninth and his 74.0 free-throw percentage is 12th. His 1.70 steals per game are sixth and his 2.37 assists per game are 17th.
Regular For Rutty
Justin Rutty has shot 60.8 percent (189-for-311) this season (2nd-NEC), besting his NEC-leading 59.0 percent average of a year ago.
Honored For Improvement
James Feldeine was honored by the NEC's coaches with the inaugural NEC Most Improved Player Award, the league office announced March 3. Feldeine has gone from a seldom-used freshman (0.6 ppg) to a solid contributor as a sophomore (8.3 ppg) and eventually the league's leading scorer (17.0 ppg) as a junior this season. Feldeine was also named to the All-NEC Second Team.
Rutty Rewarded On First Team
Justin Rutty was named to the All-NEC First Team after leading the league in rebounds (9.7 rpg) and offensive rebounds (4.5). One of the most dominant low post threats in the league, Rutty has also averaged 15.0 points per game and has compiled a league-best 12 double-doubles. Rutty's selection marked the first time in the last five years that a sophomore earned first-team recognition. The last sophomore to land among the top five players in the league at year's end was Fairleigh Dickinson's Gordon Klaiber in 2003-04.
Bo Knows The All-Rookie Team
James Johnson was named to the NEC All-Rookie Team after averaging 10.0 points, 4.1 assists and 1.6 steals in the regular season. He was the only Bobcat to start all 30 games and compiled a 1.53 assist-to-turnover ratio.
Three On All-NEC
The Bobcats led all NEC teams with three all-conference selections. Long Island, Monmouth, St. Francis (N.Y.) and Robert Morris followed with two each.
Moore of the Same
Quinnipiac Head Coach Tom Moore placed a player on both the All-NEC First Team (DeMario Anderson, Justin Rutty) and All-Rookie Team (Evann Baker, James Johnson) for the second consecutive year.
The Bobcats hope to advance to Wednesday's Northeast Conference Tournament Championship. With a win at Robert Morris, Quinnipiac would travel to the winner of Sunday's other semifinal match-up between No. 3 Sacred Heart and No. 2 Mount St. Mary's, to be played in Emmitsburg, Md., at 7 p.m.