February 12, 2010

Justin Rutty Scores 1,000th Point As Men's Basketball Defeats St. Francis (N.Y.), 77-65

HAMDEN, Conn. - Justin Rutty (Newburgh, N.Y.) scored a game-high 17 points, including the 1,000th of his career, as the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team defeated St. Francis (N.Y.), 77-65, Thursday night at the TD Bank Sports Center. Jonathan Cruz (Lawrence, Mass.) added his second career double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds as the Bobcats improved to 17-7 (11-2 NEC), including an undefeated 10-0 at home. The loss dropped the Terriers to 10-14 (7-6 NEC).

"1,000 points is a great milestone for him," said Quinnipiac Head Coach Tom Moore of Rutty. "To get it three quarters of the way through his junior year is a quite an accomplishment. He's had a terrific first two and a half years and he's got what I hope to be a great year and a quarter left. Most 1,000-point scorers are the focal point of the offense all the time and I'd say, for most of his career so far, he hasn't really been the focal point. In his freshman year, he was just picking up scraps from whatever DeMario (Anderson) or maybe even Evann (Baker) didn't get. Last year, he emerged a little bit for us, but James (Feldeine) got a lot of the shots. He's does it very efficiently. He's been a high field-goal percentage guy for his whole career and he's been a relentless warrior on the offensive glass. That effort has translated. If I could put a number on how many of the points came off offensive rebounds, it might be three or four hundred."

James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.) matched his career high with 17 points for Quinnipiac, which outrebounded its 24th consecutive opponent to begin the 2009-10 season with a 36-21 margin Thursday. Quinnipiac shot 53.8 percent (28-52) from the field. Deontay Twyman (Olney, Md.) and Dave Johnson (Jackson, N.J.) added identical lines of eight points, three rebounds and three assists for the Bobcats.

"I'm happy with the win," said Moore. "We're finding a lot of different ways this season to win games. Some games it's offense. Some games, it's defense. A lot of games, it's rebounding. Tonight, it wasn't real pretty. I think it was more of a street fight type game."

St. Francis had five players score in double figures, led by 14 points apiece from Akeem Bennett and Akeem Johnson. Bennett also added team highs in rebounds (seven), assists (four), and steals (three). Justin Newton (12), Ricky Cadell (12) and Stefan Perunicic (11) also scored in double figures for the Terriers.

After the Terriers established an 18-11 lead in the early going, the Bobcats went on an 8-1 run to tie the game, 19-19, capped by James Johnson's three-pointer at the 9:51 mark. St. Francis twice reestablished a two-point advantage before Quinnipiac scored eight straight points, including a pair of trifectas from Twyman, to take a six-point lead at the 6:17 mark. St. Francis trimmed the Bobcats' advantage to four on a four-point play by Bennett, but the Terriers would never regain the lead.

Quinnipiac finished the half on a 10-0 run. Cruz scored six points, including a putback at the halftime buzzer to give the Bobcats a 14-point lead going into the locker room.

Rutty led all scorers with 13 points at the half, while Cruz added 10 points for the Bobcats. Perunicic paced the Terriers with 10 points in the first half.

The Quinnipiac lead swelled to as many as 16 points at the 9:03 mark of the second half, when they made six straight free throws. The first two came from James Johnson after offsetting technical fouls on each team, followed by a technical on the St. Francis bench. Bennett turned the next Quinnipiac possession into a steal and fast-break dunk, but was whistled for yet another technical foul for hanging on the rim. After Feldeine knocked down a pair of free throws, Cruz was fouled and hit both of his opportunities to stretch the lead to 16. The Terriers would draw no closer than to within 10 points the rest of the way.

For the game, the Bobcats outshot the Terriers, 53.8 percent (28-52) to 45.8 percent (22-48) from the floor, 35.7 percent (5-14) to 20.8 percent (5-24) from long range, and 72.7 percent (16-22) to 64.0 percent (16-25) from the free-throw line. Quinnipiac took a 36-21 advantage on the boards.

The Bobcats conclude their homestand Saturday, when they play host to Long Island. Prior to the game, the Bobcats will honor their seniors as part of Senior Day ceremonies. Opening tip from the TD Bank Sports Center is scheduled for 2 p.m.