Free Bobcat Channel Replay of Game
HAMDEN, Conn. - James Feldeine (New York, N.Y.) scored a team-high 22 points and Justin Rutty (Newburgh, N.Y.) added his fifth double-double in as many games as the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team came from behind to defeat Sacred Heart, 90-87, in front 2,778 fans, the biggest crowd this season, at the TD Bank Sports Center Saturday afternoon. Rutty scored 16 points and grabbed 13 boards in compiling his Quinnipiac Division I record 23rd double-double, while Jeremy Baker (Washington, D.C.) also added 18 points and James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.) pitched in with 15 points.
In sweeping the NEC Rivalry Week series with the Pioneers, the Bobcats remain unbeaten at home (9-0) and in the state of Connecticut (13-0), and move to 16-7 overall (10-2 NEC). The 16 wins eclipse the win totals of each of the Bobcats' first two seasons under Tom Moore, in which Quinnipiac won 15 games twice. The Pioneers fall to 12-11 (5-7 NEC) with the loss.
The Bobcats scored half of their points at the free-throw line, converting 45 of 52 attempts. The 45 made free throws are the most by a Quinnipiac team since the Bobcats moved to Division I in 1998-99, and the 52 attempts are second most (40-58 vs. Longwood, Jan. 2, 2005). The Bobcats outrebounded their 23rd consecutive opponent, taking a 41-35 advantage.
"It was awesome," said Quinnipiac Head Coach Tom Moore of the crowd of 2,778. "That's the first game in my two and a half years that I could feel it. Our students were awesome. Just awesome. There were more of them and when we needed to get some stops - at the 10-minute mark, the eight-minute mark, the seven-minute mark - a couple times, Jeremy Baker and Feldeine encouraged them and they were right on top of it. They were fantastic. That's the first time since I've been a coach here that I felt we had a home-court advantage that you could feel. A real home court advantage. They were fantastic. I hope and pray they keep coming back because it really means a lot to our kids. They helped us get over the hump on a lot of defensive trips in the second half."
Jerrell Thompson led all scorers with 30 points for Sacred Heart, while Corey Hassan narrowly missed a triple-double with 16 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists. Liam Potter and Ryan Litke each contributed 15 points for the Pioneers.
For the game, the Pioneers outshot the Bobcats, 46.4 percent (32-69) to 41.5 percent (22-53) from the floor and 48.0 percent (12-25) to 11.1 percent (1-9) from long range. The Bobcats outshot the Pioneers, 86.5 percent (45-52) to 68.8 percent (11-16) from the free-throw line and took a 20-7 advantage in points in the paint.
The Bobcats trailed by six points early in the second half before a 12-0 run put the Bobcats on top for good. Feldeine's jumper in the paint at the 9:04 mark gave the Bobcats a 67-66 lead and Quinnipiac would never relinquish the advantage. Feldeine and Baker had six points apiece in the decisive run.
The Pioneers scored 17 of the game's first 23 points to take an 11-point lead by the 14:51 mark. Quinnipiac responded with a 13-2 run to tie the game, 21-21, at the 9:57 mark. After four lead changes, Sacred Heart opened a six-point lead with 33 seconds left in the half on Hassan's three-pointer, before Rutty made a pair of free throws before the final buzzer to cut the deficit to four points, 46-42, going into the locker room for halftime.
Thompson led all first-half scorers with 16 points, while Rutty countered with 12 points and six rebounds for the Bobcats. The Pioneers shot 50.0 percent (17-34) for the half, including 75.0 percent (6-8) from long range. Meanwhile, the Bobcats connected on just 35.7 percent (10-28) from the floor, but made up for it at the free-throw line, making 22-of-24 attempts.
The Bobcats continue their homestand Thursday, when they play host to St. Francis (N.Y.). Opening tip from the TD Bank Sports Center is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.