December 21, 2009

Men's Basketball Returns Home To Face Columbia Wednesday Night

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (4-5) vs.
Columbia University Lions (5-4)
Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009 - 7 p.m.
TD Bank Sports Center - Hamden, Conn.

Bobcats Return Home To Face Columbia Wednesday
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team returns from a nine-day break for final exams to welcome Columbia to the TD Bank Sports Center for a Wednesday night non-conference game. The Bobcats played well against Rhode Island and Vermont in their last two games before finals, but fell in both contests. Meanwhile, the Lions have won two straight road games at Northeast Conference opponents, defeating Wagner and Bryant, Dec. 8 and 12, respectively. The Bobcats own a 2-0 advantage in the all-time series. However, the teams haven't met since Nov. 29, 1999.

Scouting the Columbia Lions
The Lions (5-4) are led by Noruwa Agho, who's averaged a team-high 18.7 points to go along with 2.3 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Included in Agho's stat line is an unconscious 64.4 percent (29-45) from long range. Brian Grimes (11.4 ppg.) and Patrick Foley (11.3 ppg.) have also averaged in double figures, while Grimes is the Lions' leading rebounder at 7.4 boards per contest. Foley is the Lions' top distributor of the basketball, having dished out 3.3 assists per game.

Last Time Against Columbia
Jared Grasso's 11 points led all scorers in a low-scoring affair, Nov. 29, 1999, in Hamden, as the Bobcats defeated Columbia, 49-38. Nate Pondexter added eight points and 11 rebounds for the Bobcats, while Mike McBrien paced Columbia with 10 points.

Last Time Out Against Vermont
Jeremy Baker scored a career-high 22 points and Justin Rutty added a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds, but the Bobcats were defeated at Vermont, 80-77, Dec. 13 at Patrick Gym. James Feldeine added 21 points for the Bobcats, compiling his fifth consecutive 20-point game. Marqus Blakely scored a career-high 32 points for the Catamounts.

On The Air
Wednesday's game can heard live on AM 1220 WQUN. The voice of the Bobcats, Bill Schweizer, will have the play-by-play call, while Bill Mecca will provide color commentary. The game can also be seen live on Bobcat Channel, the web streaming arm of the official Quinnipiac Athletics website, www.quinnipiacbobcats. Live stats will also be available through www.quinnipiacbobcats.com. To access live audio, video and stats, please click on the appropriate links on the men's basketball schedule on www.quinnipiacbobcats.com.

Feldeine Flirting With 1,000 Points
With 951 career points, James Feldeine stands just 49 points shy of 1,000 points at Quinnipiac. Making the feat more impressive is that Feldeine scored just seven points in his freshman season of 2006-07.

If At First You Don't Succeed...
44.6 percent of the Bobcats' rebounds have come on the offensive end, second-most in the NCAA this year.

Three Straight With Twenty-Plus For Two
The Bobcats have had two players score at least 20 points in each of their last three games. James Feldeine and Justin Rutty accomplished the feat against Fairleigh Dickinson and Rhode Island. Meanwhile, Jeremy Baker scored 22 points and Feldeine added 21 at Vermont. Rutty scored 23 and 30 points against FDU and Rhode Island, respectively, while Feldeine had 22 and 28.

Feldeine Seeing 20-20-20-20-20
James Feldeine has scored at least 20 points in five consecutive games against Navy, Massachusetts, Fairleigh Dickinson, Rhode Island and Vermont to raise his scoring average to 19.7 ppg.

Rutty Grabs Rebound Number 500
With eight rebounds against Fairleigh Dickinson, Justin Rutty eclipsed the 500 career rebound plateau, becoming just the fifth Bobcat to do so at the Division level. Currently at 527 rebounds, only Bill Romano '02 (580), C.J. Vick '05 (577), Kason Mims '04 (548) and Jeremy Bishop '03 (547) now stand in Rutty's way to becoming Quinnipiac's Division I Rebounding King.

On the Rebound
Quinnipiac has outrebounded each of its opponents this year, and owns a +10.1 rebounding margin, good for 10th in the nation.

Quinnipiac, Rutty Grab Top 10 On NCAA Charts
The Bobcats are ranked sixth in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (16.2). Individually, Justin Rutty ranks tied for fourth nationally at 5.0 offensive boards per game, a year after finishing second in the nation behind only Pittsburgh's DeJuan Blair (5.6 oreb/game) with 4.6 offensive caroms per game.

On Second Thought...
The Bobcats have held opponents to a lesser field-goal percentage in the second half (39.9 percent) as compared to the first half (44.2 percent) through nine games this season. Included in the mark is a stretch of two second halves in which the Bobcats held Maine and Navy to a combined 26.1 percent (12-46) over the 40 second-half minutes.

Rutty Atop ESPN Nightly Rankings
Justin Rutty ranked as the most productive player in the nation, Dec. 8, as decided by the ESPN Rating. The ESPN Rating weighs points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks, turnovers, field goals, three-point field goals and free throws. Rutty scored 30 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and made four steals.

Rutty, Feldeine Post Top Five Scoring Outputs
Justin Rutty (30 points) and James Feldeine (28 points) both ranked in the top five in the nation in single-game scoring, Dec. 8, at Rhode Island. Rutty ranked second, while Feldeine ranked fifth.

Shooting the Lights Out
The Bobcats shot a season-high 55.4 percent (31-56), Dec. 8, at Rhode Island.

Dynamic Duo
Justin Rutty and James Feldeine combined for 58 points, Dec. 8, at Rhode Island. The 58 points between two players are the third-most by Bobcats teammates in QU Division I history. Rob Monroe (41) and Karl Anderson (20) combined for 61 points against Division II Longwood, Jan. 2, 2005, while Monroe (32) and Craig Benson (27) scored 59 combined points, Dec. 4, 2004, at Robert Morris.

Give a Dime, Take a Dime
The Bobcats tied their season-high with 17 assists, Dec. 5, against Fairleigh Dickinson.

Small Man, Big Game
Dave Johnson had a breakout performance against Fairleigh Dickinson on Dec. 5, establishing new career highs in points (10), assists (6) and steals (3).

Bobcats Sign Two For 2010-11
Quinnipiac Head Coach Tom Moore has announced the signings of Ike Azotam (Boston, Mass.) and Dominique Langston (Bridgeport, Conn.) to National Letters of Intent. Azotam is a 6-foot-7 forward currently enrolled at Marianapolis Prep in Thompson, Conn., for a post-graduate year. Langston, a 6-foot-3 guard also opted for a post-grad year, and is attending St. Thomas Moore in Oakdale, Conn.

Bobcats In NEC Openers
With a win Dec. 5 against Fairleigh Dickinson, Quinnipiac improved to 7-5 in Northeast Conference openers, including a 3-0 mark under Head Coach Tom Moore.

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 eight points, all on free throws, in the span.

Fordham Elevates Grasso To Head Coach
Jared Grasso '02 has been elevated to Interim Head Coach at Fordham University after more than three years as an assistant coach at the school. Grasso, who played for four years at QU (1998-02) and served as an assistant coach during the 2005-06 season, is fifth on the Quinnipiac Division I career scoring list with 1,134 points. His name is stamped all over the QU Division I record book. In addition to his scoring record, he's second in three-point field goals (216), third in assists (404) and three-point field goal percentage (39.4%) and fourth in free throws made (233).

Grabbing A New High Again
The Bobcats shattered their previous record of 24 offensive rebounds in a single game at the Division I level with 28 offensive caroms at UMass on Dec. 2. Quinnipiac's previous high of 24 was accomplished just three games earlier at Yale on Nov. 21. Justin Rutty was monumental in both efforts, grabbing 10 offensive boards at Yale and nine at UMass.

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.

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.

Getting Defensive
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.

Feldeine Gets Fifth
James Feldeine compiled his fifth career double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds at Lehigh, Nov. 18.

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.

Downright Offensive
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.

Rebounding First
Led by Justin Rutty's 10 offensive rebounds, the Bobcats grabbed 24 offensive rebounds at Yale, then 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.

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.

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.

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 40 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.

Bobcats 3rd 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.

On Deck
The Bobcats return to action Dec. 30, when they play host to Dartmouth. Opening tip from the TD Bank Sports Center is scheduled for 2 p.m. The game will be televised live on NESN.