Quinnipiac University Bobcats (3-2) at
University of Massachusetts Minutemen (2-4)
Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2009 - 7 p.m.
Mullins Center - Amherst, Mass.
Bobcats Travel To UMass Wednesday
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team returns to action Wednesday, when it travels to Amherst, Massachusetts, to take on the University of Massachusetts Minutemen. The Bobcats are coming off a crushing 65-62 defeat at Navy on Monday. Quinnipiac erased a 17-point second-half deficit and held Navy without a field goal from the 10:30 mark in the final stanza until Chris Hall buried a half-court buzzer beater. UMass fell to then-No. 2 Michigan State, 106-68, in Atlantic City, N.J., on Saturday.
Scouting the Massachusetts Minutemen
The Minutemen (2-4) feature a talented, one-two scoring punch in Anthony Gurley (18.2 ppg.) and Ricky Harris (17.7 ppg.). Freddie Riley also averages in double figures at 10.7 ppg. Harris is also a threat on defense, averaging a team-best 1.5 steals per game. Sean Carter is the team's leader in rebounding at 6.7 boards per game, while David Gibbs has dished out a team-best 2.8 assists per game.
Last Time Against Massachusetts
The Bobcats and Minutemen have never met.
Last Time Out Against Navy
James Feldeine scored 18 of his 24 points in the second half as the Bobcats erased a 17-point second-half deficit, but Chris Hall hit a half-court shot at the buzzer to give Navy a 65-62 victory on Monday. Justin Rutty added 15 points and nine rebounds, while Deontay Twyman contributed 11 points.
On The Air
Wednesday's game can be heard live on AM 1220 WQUN and www.quinnipiacbobcats.com. Bill Schweizer will have the play-by-play call while Bill Mecca will provide color commentary. UMass will also provide a live video stream through its athletics website, www.umassathletics.com. The cost of the live video webcast is $9.95. UMass' athletics website will also provide live stats at no cost. To access live audio, video and stats, please click on the appropriate links on the men's basketball schedule on www.quinnipiacbobcats.com.
On Second Thought...
The Bobcats have held opponents to a decidedly lesser field-goal percentage in the second half (36.2 percent) as compared to the first half (43.9 percent) through five games this season. Included in the mark is a stretch of the last two second halves in which the Bobcats held Maine and Navy to a combined 26.1 percent (12-46) over the last 40 second-half minutes.
10 Great Minutes
The Bobcats held Navy without a field goal for a stretch of 10:29 in the second half, Nov. 30. The Midshipmen managed just eight points, all on free throws, in the span.
Feldeine Flashes Back
After an off night in which James Feldeine uncharacteristically scored just three points, Nov. 24, at Maine, the senior wing erupted for a season-high 24 points, including 18 in the second half, Nov. 30, at Navy.
On the Rebound
Quinnipiac has outrebounded each of its opponents this season, and owns a +10.4 rebounding margin.
Another Note About Rutty's Offensive Rebounding
Justin Rutty, the nation's top returning offensive rebounder from a year ago (4.6 offensive rebounds per game), grabbed seven of his nine rebounds on the offensive glass, Nov. 30, at Navy.
The Bobcats held Maine to just 30.6 percent (19-62) shooting on Nov. 24, including just 25.9 percent (7-27) in the second half. The Black Bears converted just two of 16 three-point attempts (12.5 percent).
Bo Knows Offense
James Johnson scored 16 points, including 4-for-6 shooting from long range, at Maine. The output was just one point off his previous career high of 17 points, scored twice last season.
Bo Knows Defense
James Johnson has drawn the opponent's greatest scoring threat in each of this season's games, having success on most occasions. He held two of the top scoring threats in the America East Conference in Hartford's Joe Zeglinski and Maine's Gerald McLemore scoreless in the second half of both games. Meanwhile, Lehigh's Marquis Hall scored just nine points against Johnson. Only Yale's Alex Zampier had a strong statistical performance against Johnson with 29 points. However, Quinnipiac Head Coach lauded both Johnson's defense in the game, as the latter forced Zampier to convert on several low-percentage shots.
Shoot Better, Win More
The Bobcats had won 15 consecutive games when outshooting their opponent dating back to the end of the 2007-08 season before falling at Navy, Nov. 30. The Bobcats edged the Midshipmen, 41.4 percent (24-58) to 40.4 percent (19-47).
Rutty Named NEC, CT 6 Player of the Week
For his average of 21.0 points and 11.0 rebounds in the Bobcats' 1-1 week, Justin Rutty was named both the Choice Hotels NEC Player of the Week and the Connecticut 6 Player of the Week. Rutty scored 19 points and added eight rebounds in a loss at Lehigh, before exploding for 23 points and 14 rebounds, 10 on the offensive glass, at Yale.
Justin Rutty scored 23 points and grabbed 10 of his 14 rebounds on the offensive glass in the Bobcats' Nov. 21 victory over local rival Yale. Rutty, the nation's top returning offensive rebounder from a year ago, averaged 4.6 offensive rebounds per game. That figure was bested only by current San Antonio Spurs forward DeJuan Blair, who averaged 5.6 offensive rebounds per game last season at Pittsburgh.
Led by Justin Rutty's 10 offensive rebounds, the Bobcats grabbed 24 offensive rebounds at Yale, the most by a Quinnipiac team since the school entered Division I play in 1998-99. Jamee Jackson added four offensive boards and James Johnson had three. In total, seven Bobcats had at least one offensive board.
Clutch Free-Throw Shooting
With Yale closing in quickly on Quinnipiac's lead down the stretch on Nov. 21 in New Haven, James Johnson and James Feldeine stepped to the charity stripe and combined to go 10-for-10 in the final minute and a half of play.
Feldeine Gets Fifth
James Feldeine compiled his fifth career double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds at Lehigh, Nov. 18. In addition to the Lehigh game, he had one double-double in 2007-08 and three in 2008-09.
Rutty Rebounds Against Lehigh
Justin Rutty bounced back from a foul-plagued, five-point, five-rebound performance against Hartford to score 19 points on 9-12 shooting and add eight rebounds at Lehigh.
The Bobcats have gotten strong contributions from a trio of its first-year players. Junior transfer Deontay Twyman scored 12 points in his Quinnipiac debut against Hartford. After playing solid defense with two blocks in his Bobcats debut, freshman Jamee Jackson went for nine points and seven rebounds at Lehigh and grabbed 10 rebounds at Yale. Finally, Dave Johnson has shown the ability to spell James Johnson at point guard without Quinnipiac missing a beat.
Johnson's Elite Company
James Johnson began an impressive streak when he started last season's opener against Hartford. The point guard became just the eighth freshman in QU Division I history to start his collegiate debut. Johnson went on to start all 31 of Quinnipiac's games, joining just 19 other freshmen in the nation to start every game their team played in 2008-09. With the start in each of this season's contests, Johnson has stretched the streak to his first 36 games as a Bobcat. Each player to start his first game and complete four years with the Bobcats has scored over 1,000 points. Rob Monroe, Bill Romano and Jared Grasso started their first games and rank first, second and fifth, respectively, on the Bobcats D-I scoring list. Johnson joined teammates Justin Rutty and Evann Baker as current players who started their debuts, while Job Casimir and Casey Cosgrove were in the starting line-up for their initial contests, but transferred prior to completion of four seasons in Hamden.
Saying "No" To Joe
The Quinnipiac defense once again clamped down on Hartford's Joe Zeglinski, one of the most potent scorers in the America East Conference. After scoring 12 points in the first half of this year's meeting, aided by a 30-foot desperation heave off glass that fell at the halftime buzzer, the Bobcats didn't allow Zeglinski another point in the second half. The Bobcats held the 2007-08 First-Team All-America East selection to just two points on 1-for-10 shooting on Nov. 14, 2008. Zeglinski's career scoring average was 14.6 points entering the contest. He had reached double-figures in 34 of his prior 37 games. The output tied Zeglinski's career low, set during his freshman season, Feb. 3, 2007, at Boston University.
Moore of the Same
Head Coach Tom Moore has won the season opener in each of his three years at QU, all coming against Hartford. Prior to Moore's arrival to Hamden, no Quinnipiac team had won its first game of the season during the school's Division I era. Teams that have had Moore serving on the coaching staff have won 10 consecutive season openers. The last time one of Moore's teams didn't win its first game was Nov. 11, 1999, when defending National Champion and top-ranked UConn was upset by Iowa in the Coaches vs. Cancer IKON Classic. None of Quinnipiac's other five coaches all-time won their first three season openers, and only Burt Kahn won three straight at any point. Kahn won three straight three times, including six straight from 1967-68 through 1972-73.
QU Picked Second In CT6 Poll
Quinnipiac was picked second in the Preseason Connecticut 6 Coaches' Poll. Fairfield claimed the top spot, while Sacred Heart immediately followed the Bobcats in third. Central Connecticut, Yale and Hartford rounded out the poll.
Rutty Picked To Preseason CT6 Team
Justin Rutty was selected as Quinnipiac's representative on the Preseason Connecticut 6 Team. Joining Rutty were CCSU's Shemik Thompson, Fairfield's Anthony Johnson, Hartford's Joe Zeglinski, Sacred Heart's Corey Hassan and Yale's Alex Zampier.
Bobcats Third In NEC Coaches' Poll
The Northeast Conference's coaches selected the Bobcats to finish tied for third in the league this season. Mount St. Mary's claimed the top spot, followed by Long Island. Robert Morris was selected to tie QU for third, while Central Connecticut ranked fifth. Sacred Heart, St. Francis (N.Y.), Fairleigh Dickinson, Monmouth, Wagner, Bryant and Saint Francis (Pa.) rounded out the poll.
Rutty Recognized Among The Best
Justin Rutty was recognized among the Northeast Conference's best players when the league's coaches named him to the Preseason All-Conference Team. Rutty, who earned All-NEC First Team honors in 2008-09, joined Central Connecticut's Ken Horton, Long Island's Jaytornah Wisseh, Mount St. Mary's Jeremy Goode and Robert Morris' Rob Robinson on the team.
The Bobcats return to action Saturday, when they play their home and Northeast Conference opener against Fairleigh Dickinson. Opening tip from the TD Bank Sports Center is scheduled for 2 p.m.