March 8, 2009

Men's Basketball Falls At Top-Seeded Robert Morris

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. – James Feldeine (New York, N.Y.) scored a team-high 16 points and Justin Rutty (Newburgh, N.Y.) compiled his Northeast Conference-leading 13th double-double of the season, but the fifth-seeded Quinnipiac University men's basketball team fell to top-ranked Robert Morris, 75-48, in NEC Tournament Semifinal action Sunday afternoon at the Sewall Center. The loss ends the Bobcats' season at 15-16, while the Colonials (23-10) advance to the NEC Championship Game against the winner of tonight's other semifinal game between Mount St. Mary's and Sacred Heart.

Rutty scored 10 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, including seven on the offensive glass, to complete his double-double.

NEC Player of the Year Jeremy Chappell led the Colonials with 25 points and eight rebounds, while NEC Defensive Player of the Year Bateko Francisco and Jimmy Langhurst contributed 12 points apiece. Francisco also dished out a game-high five assists.

For the game, the Colonials outshot the Bobcats, 58.8 percent (30-51) to 33.3 percent (16-48) from the floor, 42.9 percent (9-21) to 22.2 percent (2-9) from long range, and 100 percent (6-6) to 77.8 percent (14-18) from the free-throw line. The Bobcats outrebounded Robert Morris, 35-21.

The Bobcats kept it close in the initial minutes, tying the game at 11-11 with 12:34 remaining in the first half on Jeremy Baker's (Washington, D.C.) three-pointer. But Francisco answered just over a minute later with a trifecta of his own, putting the Colonials on top for good.

The first half ended with the Colonials in front, 40-27, thanks in large part to Chappell's 17 points on 7-of-10 shooting. Rutty, coming off a three-point, five-rebound performance last time at the Sewall Center, Feb. 14, scored eight points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the first half alone.

Robert Morris immediately extended its lead to 18 with five straight points from Francisco to open the second half. The advantage only grew the rest of the way, maxing out at 32 points, 71-39, on a Chappell three-pointer. The Colonials held the Bobcats to just five field goals in the second half.