HAMDEN, Conn. - James Feldeine (New York, N.Y.) scored a team-high 17 points, including the 1,000th of his career as the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team edged preseason Northeast Conference favorite Mount St. Mary's, 64-63, Thursday night at the TD Bank Sports Center. With the win, the Bobcats improve to 7-6 (2-1 NEC), while the Mountaineers fall to 3-11 (0-3 NEC). Justin Rutty added a double-double of 14 points and a season-high 17 rebounds for the Bobcats, his fifth double-double of the season.
Game Photos and Audio
"It wasn't always pretty, but we made enough free throws - 21-of-26 is just huge for us as a team," said Quinnipiac Head Coach Tom Moore. "We kept our poise enough and didn't really turn it over against their pressure at the end. They took a couple championship punches at us, but we took them and handled it."
James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.) also added 15 points for the Bobcats. Jeremy Goode kept the Mount in the game down the stretch, scoring 12 of his game-high 24 points in a span of just over the final four minutes of play. Kelly Beidler had a strong all-around game for the Mount with seven points, five rebounds, three blocks, three steals and two assists, despite fouling out with 8:26 remaining in the game.
"I'm just glad I finally got (1,000 points) and I'm just really excited right now," said Feldeine. "I thought I was never going to get it after my freshman year and a coaching change and he didn't recruit me. But (Coach Moore) gave me the confidence and after last year I knew I had a chance."
"If you want to try to put 1,000 points in perspective with (James), it was a rough freshman year for him academically and off the court and on the court," said Moore. "The growth that he's made as a young man in these three years since I've gotten here is just staggering. He's got a great mom, he's got a great support system with his brother. He was a kid who was wide-eyed and wanted to be coached and wanted to sort of be appreciated and loved. I saw a work ethic in him when I first got here in those first couple months that impressed me - a basketball work ethic and an academic work ethic, even though he wasn't achieving very well in either. I thought he could really shoot it. He had a really soft touch. He's done all the rest. We've tried to push him and properly guide him, but he's really blossomed and his growth is one of the things I'm most proud of since I've been here."
Down two with 9:38 to go in the second half, the Bobcats went on a 10-2 run to take a six-point lead, 54-48, with 4:56 remaining. A back-and-forth next two minutes again resulted in a six-point Bobcats' lead before Goode made back-to-back three-pointers on consecutive trips down court to tie the game at 59-59 with 1:49 left in regulation. Feldeine was fouled on the next Quinnipiac possession and buried both free throws to put the Bobcats on top for good.
Goode made one-of-two free throws to cut the deficit back down to one with 19 seconds left, but after Dave Johnson (Jackson, N.J.) made one-of-two free throws and the Bobcats thwarted Goode's drive to the bucket with seven seconds left, Rutty, a career 42.8 percent free-throw shooter, buried a pair from the charity stripe to ice the victory. Goode knocked down a three-pointer as time expired to account for the one-point margin of victory.
A closely-played first half that featured five lead changes ended with the Bobcats leading by one, 29-28. Feldeine led all scorers in the first half with 11, while Rutty corralled eight first-half rebounds. Atupem led the Mount with seven points, while Goode had six. Beidler contributed two points, three rebounds, two assists, three blocks and three steals in the first half.
The Mount quickly jumped out to a five-point lead, 9-4, at the 16:11 mark, led by five Atupem points. The Bobcats immediately responded with six straight points to take a three-point lead by the 14:19 mark. The Mount retook the lead briefly on a pair of Tayvon Jackson free throws, but the Bobcats scored another six straight, capped by Jeremy Baker's (Washington, D.C.) lay-up at the 11:42 mark, to take an 18-13 lead.
The Bobcats' lead extended to its largest point, eight points, 23-15, after Feldeine knocked down a three-pointer for his 1,000th point and followed with a jumper in the paint at the 9:21 mark. The Mount reeled off seven straight points, however, capped by a Will Holland three-pointer at the 7:47 mark. The Bobcats' lead again reached five points before the Mount responded with six straight to take a one-point lead, 28-27, with 48 seconds left. James Johnson's jumper with 41 seconds left gave the Bobcats a one-point lead, 29-28, that would hold heading into the half. The Bobcats held the Mountaineers to just 29.4 percent (10-34) shooting, but the Mount made just six first-half turnovers.
For the game, the Bobcats outshot the Mountaineers, 34.4 percent (21-61) to 33.9 percent (20-59) from the floor, and 80.8 percent (21-26) to 66.7 percent (14-21) from the free-throw line. The Mount took a 40.9 percent (9-22) to 25.0 percent (1-4) advantage from long range. The Bobcats outrebounded their 13th consecutive opponent to begin the season with a 50-36 advantage on the glass over the Mount.
The Bobcats return to action Saturday afternoon when they play host the Wagner. Opening tip of the second game of a men's and women's basketball doubleheader from the TD Bank Sports Center is scheduled for 2 p.m.