HAMDEN, Conn. - Justin Rutty (Newburgh, N.Y.) compiled his 37th career double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds, but the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team was defeated by Wagner, 73-68, Monday night at the TD Bank Sports Center. With the loss, the Bobcats fall to 9-3 (1-1 NEC), while the Seahawks improve to 6-7 (2-0 NEC).
James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.) had a team-high 15 points, five assists and three steals for Quinnipiac, while Deontay Twyman (Olney, Md.) also added 14 points. Ike Azotam grabbed a season-high 10 rebounds for the Bobcats, who outrebounded their 12th straight opponent to begin the season with a 41-31 edge on the boards.
Tyler Murray had a game-high 28 points and added a team-high eight rebounds for Wagner. Latif Rivers added 12 points and seven assists, while Chris Martin had 11 points and five assists for the Seahawks.
Neither team created separation all game long, with the largest lead being Wagner's six-point edge on four occasions. The Bobcats led by four twice in the second half. The first half featured three lead changes and six ties and concluded with the scored tied, 32-32. Murray led all scorers in the first half with 15 points on 5-for-7 shooting, including 4-for-5 from long range. Rutty and Johnson had seven points apiece for Quinnipiac.
After leading briefly in the first half, the Bobcats established a three-point cushion on Jamee Jackson's (Newark, N.J.) three-point play at the 16:37 mark of the second half. But Wagner scored the next seven points to take a four-point lead, 46-42, at the 14:30 mark. Following a Danny Mundweiler three-pointer with just under eight minutes left, Quinnipiac went on an 8-0 run, capped by a Dominique Langston (Bridgeport, Conn.) free throw, to take a 60-56 lead with six minutes left in regulation.
The lead remained four points following Langston's three-pointer at the 3:43 mark, but the Seahawks then went on a 9-0 run. Murray's lay-up with 2:07 remaining put Wagner on top for good. The Bobcats' lone field goal in the final three and a half minutes was Twyman's uncontested lay-up with eight seconds left.
For the game, the Seahawks outshot the Bobcats, 45.3 percent (24-53) to 42.1 percent (24-57) from the floor, 45.8 percent (11-24) to 31.3 percent (5-16) from long range and 66.7 percent (14-21) to 57.7 percent (15-26) from the free-throw line. Both teams took good care of the ball, with the Bobcats dishing out 19 assists to just 11 turnovers, and the Seahawks compiling 18 assists and 10 turnovers.
The Bobcats return to action Thursday, when they travel to West Long Branch, N.J., to take on Monmouth. Opening tip from the Multipurpose Activity Center is scheduled for 7 p.m.