BETHLEHEM, Pa. - James Feldeine (New York, N.Y.) had a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds, both game-highs, but the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team was defeated, 79-71, Wednesday night at Stabler Arena. With the loss, the Bobcats fall to 1-1, while the Mountain Hawks improve to 1-2.
Justin Rutty (Newburgh, N.Y.) contributed 19 points and eight rebounds, while James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.) added 10 points, five assists and five rebounds for the Bobcats. Freshman Jamee Jackson (Newark, N.J.) also had a strong outing, scoring nine points to go along with seven rebounds. Lehigh was led by freshman C.J. McCollum's 22 points, while Rob Keefer (13) and Michael Ojo (11) also scored in double-figures. Marquis Hall had a game-high 10 assists for the Mountain Hawks.
Lehigh immediately jumped out in front of the Bobcats, 7-2, within the first 1:15 of the game. The Lehigh lead extended to as many as 10 by the midpoint of the first half. The Bobcats turned it on at the end of the half to come all the way back and take a one-point lead on Feldeine's traditional three-point play with less than a minute left before the halftime break. But Keefer was fouled with 1.5 seconds left and knocked down both free throws to send the Mountain Hawks into the locker room with a one-point advantage, 33-32.
Rutty led all first-half scorers with 12 in the initial stanza, while Feldeine added 11 points for the Bobcats. Keefer paced Lehigh with 11 points at the break.
A back-and-forth first three minutes of the second half saw four lead changes before Justin Maneri's lay-up at the 13:37 mark put the Mountain Hawks up for good. McCollum scored 18 of his 22 points in the second half, including four three-pointers. The Lehigh lead extended to as many as 12 points, 68-56, on a pair of Maneri free throws at the 3:22 mark.
The Bobcats wouldn't go down without a fight, however, closing to as few as four points on two occasions. Deontay Twyman (Olney, Md.) and Feldeine hit three-pointers with 1:50 and 13 seconds remaining, respectively, to close the gap to four points each time, but the Bobcats could draw no closer.
For the game, Lehigh outshot the Bobcats, 43.6 percent (24-55) to 40.3 percent (25-62) from the floor and 71.9 percent (23-32) to 66.7 percent (18-27) from the free-throw line. Quinnipiac outrebounded the Mountain Hawks, 43-37.
The Bobcats return to action Saturday, when they square off against New Haven County rival Yale. Opening tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. at John J. Lee Amphitheater in New Haven, Conn.