BRIDGEPORT, Conn. - James Feldeine (New York, N.Y.) led four Bobcats in double-figures with 23 points as the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team opened the 2009-10 campaign with an 85-74 victory over the University of Hartford in the nightcap of the inaugural Connecticut 6 Classic, Friday night at Arena at Harbor Yard. With the win, the Bobcats move to 1-0, while the Hawks fall to 0-1.
Jeremy Baker (Washington, D.C.) added 17 points, while James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.) (15 points) and Deontay Twyman (Olney, Md.) (12 points) rounded out the Bobcats' double-figure scorers. Feldeine also paced Quinnipiac in assists (five) and steals (two), while Jonathan Cruz (Lawrence, Mass.) had a team-high six rebounds in his Bobcats debut. Jamee Jackson (Irvington, N.J.) made his presence felt on the defensive end, rejecting a pair of Hawks shots in his collegiate debut.
The Bobcats showed much improved depth from a year ago, with 12 different players seeing meaningful minutes.
"The first half was hard to deal with, psychologically and emotionally, because a lot of guys were excited to play," said Quinnipiac Head Coach Tom Moore. "We had about five guys get multiple fouls quickly and I took a lot of guys out. I didn't expect to go 12 deep on the bench in the first half of the first game, but I thought we handled it pretty well. I had a feeling if we could just get to the second half and not have a bunch of guys fouling out, we could maybe grind it out in the second half and that's sort of the way it played out."
Joel Barkers led the Hawks with 23 points, while Joe Zeglinski (12), Milton Burton (11) and Morgan Sabia (10) also finished in double-figures. Barkers and Burton grabbed seven rebounds each.
A back-and-forth first half concluded with the Bobcats leading by one, 43-42, following a 30-foot desperation heave off glass fell for Zeglinski. Feldeine paced Quinnipiac with 14 points, while Baker also contributed first-half double-digits with 12 points. Barkers led Hartford with 14 points at the break, including eight from the free-throw line. All told in the initial stanza, 28 fouls were called, 16 of which went against the Bobcats. The Hawks converted 16-of-21 attempts, while the Bobcats made 8-of-13 from the charity stripe.
The second half continued the back-and-forth tendency for the first seven minutes before Feldeine's three-pointer at the 12:39 mark sparked an 8-0 Bobcats run, giving Quinnipiac a five-point cushion, 59-54. Quinnipiac would never trail again. Twyman's three with just more than six minutes left stretched the lead to 12. The lead reached its high point, 13, when Twyman knocked down one-of-two free throws with 45 seconds left.
For the game, the Bobcats outshot the Hawks, 51.8 percent (29-56) to 47.1 percent (24-51), while also winning the battle on the boards, 35-31. Hartford outshot the Bobcats from the free-throw line, 71.0 percent (22-31) to 61.8 percent (21-34).
The Bobcats return to action Wednesday, when they travel to Bethlehem, Pa., to take on Lehigh. Opening tip is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Stabler Arena.