Bobcats (9-3, 1-1 NEC) at
Monmouth University Hawks (5-9, 1-1 NEC)
Thursday, January 6, 2011 - 7 p.m.
Multipurpose Activity Center - West Long Branch, N.J.
Travels To Monmouth Thursday
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team travels to Monmouth Thursday, looking to bounce back after seeing its five-game winning streak snapped by Wagner Monday. The Seahawks defeated the Bobcats, 73-68, at the TD Bank Sports Center. Meanwhile, Monmouth defeated Bryant, 66-57, Monday. However, the Bobcats will face a much different team than the Hawks who beat the Bulldogs. According to several published reports, four Hawks - Will Campbell, Gary Cox, Jordan Davis and Matt Pritchett - have been suspended indefinitely due to academic reasons. Campbell, Cox and Davis combined for 29 points and 16 rebounds in 73 minutes Monday. Davis compiled his first career double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds to go along with six assists Monday. Monmouth leads the all-time series, 13-11, though the Bobcats have won six of the last eight meetings.
The Bobcats lead the nation in both rebounds per game (44.9) and offensive rebounds per game (17.8), and are sixth nationally in rebound margin (+10.3). Quinnipiac is one of just four teams in the nation ranked in the top 10 in all three categories, joining No. 5 Pittsburgh, No. 17 Kansas State, and Drexel, No. 8 in the Mid-Major Top 25.
Scouting the Monmouth Hawks
The Hawks are led by Ed Waite, whose 9.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game are both team highs. Jesse Steele joined the team two games ago and averages 7.5 points per game. All five of his field-goals have come from beyond the three-point arc, where he's shooting 62.5 percent (5-8). He's missed all three attempts inside the arc. R.J. Rutledge has chipped in with 7.1 points per game. James Hett had dished out a team-high 4.1 assists per game.
Time Out Against Wagner
Justin Rutty had a double-double of 14 points and 11 rebounds and James Johnson added 15 points, but the Bobcats were defeated by Wagner, 73-68, Monday night at the TD Bank Sports Center. Wagner's Tyler Murray had a game-high 28 points.
Time Against Monmouth
Five Bobcats scored in double figures, led by James Johnson's 23 points and eight assists, as Quinnipiac defeated Monmouth, 84-75, in the NEC Tournament Quarterfinals, March 4, 2010, in Hamden. James Feldeine (15), Justin Rutty (14), Jeremy Baker (13) and Deontay Twyman (10) also reached double-figures. Rutty completed a double-double with 13 rebounds.
Follow the Bobcats
Thursday's game can be heard live on AM 1220 WQUN. The voice of the Bobcats, Bill Schweizer, will have the play-by-play call, while Bill Mecca and Bob Tipson will provide color commentary. A live video webcast will also be provided on www.gomuhawks.com, at a cost of $6.95. Live stats will also be provided free of charge by the Monmouth athletics website.
Bobcats Helping Bobcats
The Bobcats have averaged 18.6 assists per game over the last five, pushing their season average to 16.67 apg., good for 26th in the nation. Their 1.24 assist-to-turnover ratio is 38th in the nation.
Starting Off Strong
At 9-3, the Bobcats are off to the best 12-game start to a season in Quinnipiac Division I history, and the third-best all-time for the program. The next-best QU start at Division I is 8-4, accomplished in 1999-2000. The best starts in program history came in 1969-70 and 1961-62, when the Braves won 10-of-12 games to begin the year.
James Johnson and Justin Rutty rank No. 2 and 4 in the Northeast Conference in scoring at 17.3 and 16.6 points per game, respectively. Rutty also ranks first in rebounding (9.9), offensive rebounding (4.08) and defensive rebounding (5.83), while Johnson also ranks first in three-point field goals made per game (2.92) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.65). He's second in free-throw percentage (.919) and three-point field goal percentage (.427).
Knows (Insert Statistical Category Here)
James Johnson's name is listed among the statistical leaders in the Northeast Conference in nine of 13 categories kept by the league. More impressive, he's in the top five in seven categories, the leader in two, second in three, third in another, and fifth in one more. He leads the league in three-point field goals made per game (2.92) and assist-to-turnover ratio (2.65). He's second in scoring (17.3), free-throw percentage (.919) and three-point field-goal percentage (.427), third in steals per game (2.25) and fifth in assists per game (4.42). He ranks sixth in minutes per game (33.75) and tied for 14th in defensive rebounds per game (3.67).
Lookin' Up At QU
The Bobcats are in the top four in 14 of 19 statistical categories kept by the NEC, including the top spot in five. They're first in rebounding offense (44.9), rebounding margin (+10.3), assists (16.67), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.24) and offensive rebounds (17.75). QU ranks second in scoring margin (+5.5), three-point field-goal percentage defense (.300) and defensive rebounding (27.17). They rank third in field-goal percentage (.429), field-goal percentage defense (.415) and rebounding defense (34.7), and fourth in three-point field-goal percentage (.357) and turnover margin (+0.00).
Shoot Better And Win
The Bobcats are 8-0 this season when outshooting their opponent. The lone win when being outshot came Dec. 4 against Mount St. Mary's, when the Mountaineers shot 54.4 percent to the Bobcats' 47.6 percent. By contrast, they're 1-3 when being outshot.
The Bobcats have won their last 18 games when scoring 80 points or more, including four wins this season. The last time QU scored 80 points and lost was Dec. 31, 2007, when they fell, 86-84, in overtime to Cornell.
Countdown To 1,000
James Johnson stands just 90 points shy of 1,000 for his career. He'd become the 35th player in Quinnipiac history and the ninth at Division I to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
Movin' On Up
With 917 rebounds, Justin Rutty ranks fifth all-time at QU and ninth all-time in the NEC. Rutty passed Al Carfora '80 (846) for fifth on the QU list with eight rebounds against Maine, while moving past FDU's Greg Foster (916) on the NEC list with 11 rebounds against Wagner on Jan. 3. Marist's Ted Taylor (923) and FDU's Rahshon Turner (927) are next on Rutty's climb up the NEC list, while Ed Skwara '69 (933) is next on the QU list.
Another Impressive QU Rebounding Stat
The Bobcats have grabbed at least 50 rebounds in three games this season, including a program Division I record 60 against Lehigh on Dec. 7. Quinnipiac had three 50-rebound games in all of 2009-10, and never achieved the feat in 11 prior years at Division I. Quinnipiac has corralled 50 rebounds in a game nine times in Tom Moore's four years at QU. In nine prior years at Division I, QU had just five 50-rebound games, with only two coming against teams classified at Division I at the time of competition.
Three Streak Extended
With five threes against Wagner, QU extended its streak of making at least one three-pointer in each of the last 296 contests. The last time QU didn't knock down a three was Dec. 19, 2000, at Dartmouth (0-11).
Rutty Moves Up QU Career Scoring List
With 1,357 career points, Rutty now ranks 13th on the Quinnipiac career scoring list and third on the Quinnipiac Division I scoring list. With 26 points at Boston University, Dec. 29, Rutty moved past former teammate James Feldeine '10 (1,320), as well as Kason Mims '04 (1,335), on both the all-time and Division I lists.
Rutty Eyes Exclusive 1,000-1,000 Club
Justin Rutty currently stands at 1,357 points and 917 rebounds in his career. With at least 17 more games left this season, Rutty's career 8.9 rebounds per game average would leave him at 1,068 boards, while his three-year average of 10.30 boards per game would put him at 1,092 rebounds. Just two prior Quinnipiac players have reached both 1,000 points and rebounds.
Exclusive Company For Rutty
Justin Rutty connected on his 500th career field goal against Yale, Nov. 13, becoming one of just three Quinnipiac players at the Division I level to achieve the feat. With 10 made field goals, Dec. 1 against UMass, Rutty (572) jumped ahead of Rob Monroe '05 (523), and now trails only at Bill Romano '02 (599).
The Bobcats' defense has been considerably better in the second halves of games this season, especially the last nine. Against Dartmouth, Maine, UMass, Mount St. Mary's, Lehigh, Rhode Island, Niagara, BU and Wagner, the opposition has shot 42.8 percent (116-271) in the first halves, before Tom Moore's halftime speeches have inspired the Bobcats to hold opponents to 38.3 percent in the latter stanza (95-248). Overall, opponents have shot 42.8 percent (149-348) in the first halves, while being held to 40.2 percent (133-331) in the second halves. The Bobcats have also taken much greater care of the ball in the second halves. Their 1.65 assist-to-turnover ratio in the second halves is strikingly more favorable than their 0.98 assist-to-turnover ratio in first halves. As such, the Bobcats have edged the opposition, 421-407, in first halves, while dominating second halves, 484-432.
Johnson Dishes Out Number 300
James Johnson dished out his 300th career assist, Dec. 22 at Niagara. He now stands at 312 career assists, good for fourth on the Quinnipiac Division I list.
Johnson's Elite Company
With the 72nd consecutive start to begin his collegiate career Dec. 7, James Johnson broke Jared Grasso's '02 Quinnipiac record for consecutive starts (71) from the outset of his Bobcats' career at Division I. The streak has now reached 76 games, second among all QU D-I starts streaks, behind only Kason Mims' '04 record 88-game consecutive starts streak. Johnson became just the eighth freshman in QU Division I history to start his collegiate debut, and started all 31 of Quinnipiac's games in 2008-09, joining just 19 other freshmen in the nation to start every game their team played. Each player to start his first game and complete four years at QU has scored over 1,000 points. Rob Monroe, Bill Romano, Justin Rutty and Grasso started their first games and rank first, second, third and seventh, on the QU scoring list.
Johnson Steals Milestone
With five steals Nov. 20 against Vermont, James Johnson became the 13th Quinnipiac player all-time and fifth at Division I to compile 100 career steals. Ironically, the five steals tied Johnson's career-high, originally set Dec. 21, 2008, against the same Vermont team on the same Lender Court before a regional television audience on NESN. Johnson now stands at 122 career steals, good for 10th all-time and fourth at Division I at QU.
Dom's Timely Tip-In
Dominique Langston tipped in the game-winner with 3.8 seconds left in regulation as QU defeated Boston University, 82-81, Dec. 29.
Johnson Feelin' It From Long Range
James Johnson extended a red-hot three-point shooting streak with a 7-for-11 performance from beyond the arc at Niagara. The seven three-pointers, most by a Bobcat since Van Crafton '07 knocked down seven, Dec. 7, 2006 at Mount St. Mary's, pushed Johnson's percentage to 56.7 percent (17-30) over the four-game stretch.
Can Knock Down the Three, Too
Led by James Johnson's seven trifectas, QU hit 12 three-pointers, Dec. 22 at Niagara, the most by a Quinnipiac team since the Bobcats knocked down 12 in Tom Moore's debut in Hamden, Nov. 11, 2007, a double-overtime thriller that QU won against Hartford, 85-79.
A Day, Tay
Deontay Twyman established new career highs with 19 points, seven rebounds and seven assists, while adding a highlight-reel block at Niagara, sprinting back on defense to prevent a fast-break bucket.
Dominique Langston had produced double-figure points and rebounds previously in his nine games as a Bobcat, but gave Quinnipiac both in the same game with 10 points and 12 rebounds for his first career double-double at Niagara.
Justin Rutty, a career 48.8 percent free-throw shooter entering the Dec. 7 game against Lehigh, went 11-for-11 from the charity stripe against the Mountain Hawks. The streak reached 14 consecutive against URI, before he missed his first free throw at Niagara on Dec. 22.
Rutty, Langston Earn NEC Recognition
Justin Rutty and Dominique Langston earned NEC Player and Rookie of the Week, respectively, on Dec. 13, after leading the Bobcats to a 2-0 week against Lehigh and Rhode Island. Rutty averaged 20.0 points and 9.0 rebounds, while Langston added 7.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.
Quinnipiac Picks Up Signature Victory
The Bobcats picked up perhaps the most impressive win in program history when they defeated Rhode Island, 73-66, Dec. 11 at the TD Bank Sports Center. The win is the first in program history over an Atlantic-10 school.
Welcome to the Fold, T-Bask
Highly-touted recruit Tevin Baskin became eligible for play following the last day of final exams at Quinnipiac, and saw his first game action Dec. 22 at Niagara.
(Le)High Rebounding Mark
The Bobcats established a new program D-I record with 60 rebounds, Dec. 7 against Lehigh. The prior record of 58 rebounds came twice in recent years - a double-overtime game against Hartford, Nov. 11, 2007, and a Jan. 2, 2005 overtime contest against Division II Longwood.
Can Brown Do For Q?
Lance Brown was granted a waiver by the NCAA, Nov. 23, to become immediately eligible for play after transferring from Fordham this past Spring. Brown scored seven points and added four rebounds in 13 minutes in his Bobcats debut at Dartmouth, but missed the next four games due to injury. He returned, Dec. 11 against Rhode Island.
The Bobcats began five of their first six games on a run. They scored the first nine points against Yale, before scoring seven straight against Hartford. QU scored five straight to open against Vermont, before scoring the first four and 15 of the first 17 at Dartmouth. The Bobcats also scored six of the first eight points against Maine, and five straight against Mount St. Mary's.
Six different Bobcats accounted for eight blocks against Lehigh, Dec. 7. The eight-block performance was only the fourth of its kind for Quinnipiac at Division I, and the first since the 1999-2000 season. The Braves blocked a program Division I record nine shots against Yale, Dec. 3, 1999, while registering eight blocks at Fordham and Long Island, Dec. 21 and Jan. 17, respectively, in the same season.
Dom-inating the Boards
Dominique Langston grabbed 14 rebounds against Lehigh, Dec. 7, the most by a Quinnipiac player so far this season.
Will-ing His Way Into The Line-up
After seeing just 11 minutes in four games to begin the year, William Harrison made the most of his 13 minutes, Dec. 7 against Lehigh. Harrison scored four points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out two assists, including a nifty dime ahead of the pack to Deontay Twyman to create separation in crunch time.
James Johnson scored eight points in the final 57 seconds to propel the Bobcats to victory against Mount St. Mary's, Dec. 4. Trailing by four in the final minute, Johnson nailed two three-pointers, stripped the Mount's Julian Norfleet with five seconds left, and made the game-winning runner just prior to the final buzzer.
Owning the Offensive Boards Against UMass
A year after grabbing a program Division I-record 28 offensive rebounds at UMass, Dec. 2, 2009, the Bobcats tied their second-greatest total on the offensive glass with 24 against UMass, Dec. 1, 2010. Quinnipiac also took 24 offensive caroms against Yale, Nov. 16, 2009. Justin Rutty led the way with seven offensive boards in the latest installment against UMass.
Stealin' and Stuffin'
Dominique Langston established an early career high of four steals, including the theft and breakaway dunk that completed the Bobcats' comeback from down 19 against UMass, Dec. 1.
Defense Offensive...Then Gets Defensive
After a first half against Maine in which the Bobcats allowed the Black Bears to shoot 52.2 percent (12-23), the Bobcats buckled down in the second half, holding Maine to 25.9 percent (7-27) from the floor.
Up In Here!
Jamee Jackson had three second-half blocks against Maine, each leading to Bobcats offensive production. After his first block just less than two minutes in, James Johnson hit a three on the ensuing possession. Immediately following his block at the 11:53 mark, Dave Johnson nailed one from long range. Finally, following his rejection at the 5:08 mark, James Johnson hit a jumper on the next time down on offense.
Lot To Like With Ike
Ike Azotam went 7-for-7 from the floor for 15 points to go along with seven rebounds, Nov. 23, at Dartmouth. The 100 percent performance was the first of five or more attempts for the Bobcats since Karl Anderson went 5-for-5 at Monmouth on Feb. 21, 2008. For his effort, Azotam was named the NEC Co-Rookie of the Week on Nov. 29.
Dominique Langston has emerged as a solid contributor off the bench, averaging 13.0 points, 7.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game over two games against Hartford and Vermont.
James Johnson scored a game-high 23 points Nov. 16 against Hartford. He also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out three assists.
Deontay Twyman tied his then-career-high with 16 points against Yale at the Connecticut 6 Classic, Nov. 13. James Johnson matched Twyman's 16 points on 5-for-10 shooting and 4-for-4 from the line.
Dominique Langston made both of his three-point attempts in his collegiate debut against Yale, Nov. 13, to account for his six points.
The Bobcats took a 10-day trip to The Netherlands, Belgium and France this past August. In four games, Quinnipiac went 3-1.
Moore of the Same
Head Coach Tom Moore has won the season opener in each of his four years at QU, the first three coming against Hartford, while the most recent came this season against Yale. 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 11 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 as many as four straight at any point. Kahn won six straight from 1967-68 through 1972-73.
The Northeast Conference's coaches selected the Bobcats as the league's first unanimous favorite since 1997-98 (Long Island). In addition, The Sporting News, Athlon, Lindy's and the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Report also picked the Bobcats as the NEC favorite.
Picked Second In CT6 Poll
Quinnipiac was picked second in the Preseason Connecticut 6 Coaches' Poll. Fairfield claimed the top spot, while Central Connecticut immediately followed the Bobcats in third. Sacred Heart, Yale and Hartford rounded out the poll.
Eight Is Enough
Quinnipiac returns eight players from the 2009-10 squad, and also welcomes eight new players in 2010-11. Six of the eight new players are currently available for play (Azotam, Baskin, Brown, Gabriel, Harrison, Langston), while Austin Alecxih and Garvey Young must sit the year out due to NCAA transfer rules.
With 23 wins in 2009-10, including 15 NEC victories, the Bobcats set a new program record. The marks edge the 1999-2000 QU team (18-10, 12-6 NEC) for the most wins at D-I, and passed the 1972-73 and 1979-80 teams for the all-time program record.
State of Mind
Quinnipiac was 18-1 in games played in Connecticut, including a 14-1 mark at home in 2009-10. In starting 14-0 at home, the Bobcats established the best start at home in program history.
Keeping Good Company
Quinnipiac was one of just four teams in the NCAA ranked in the top 10 nationally in both rebound margin and rebounds per game in 2009-10. The Bobcats ranked second in rebound margin and 10th in rebounds per game. Quinnipiac joined nationally-ranked Kentucky (4th - rebound margin, 5th - rebounds per game) and Kansas (9th - rebound margin, 7th - rebounds per game), as well as Radford (7th - rebound margin, 1st - rebounds per game) in the exclusive club. Quinnipiac also ranked 14th in offensive rebounds (14.61).
Twelve In Fourteen
Justin Rutty compiled his Quinnipiac Division I record 24th, 25th, 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th and 30th career double-doubles in seven consecutive games, Feb. 18-Mar. 10, 2010, and had 12 double-doubles in his last 15 games of the season. Rutty began the streak with five straight double-doubles, Jan. 24-Feb. 6. After a two-game stretch when he missed a double-double by two rebounds against St. Francis (N.Y.) and two points against LIU, Rutty reeled off seven more consecutive double-doubles.
Bobcats Experience Historic 2009-10 Season
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team experienced a historic season of firsts in 2009-10. Jim Phelan NEC Coach of the Year Tom Moore led the Bobcats to a program-record 23 wins, the first Northeast Conference Regular Season Championship in team history, and a berth into the National Invitation Tournament, the first national postseason tournament appearance in program Division I history. Junior forward Justin Rutty was named the NEC Player of the Year, becoming the first player in program history earn the award. Both Rutty and senior wing James Feldeine were named to the All-NEC First Team Moore's recognition as Coach of the Year was also a first in program history.
It's Free, It's For Me
The Bobcats enjoyed marked improvement from the free-throw line in the latter portion of the 2009-10 season. After seeing its season free-throw percentage dip to 65.1 percent through 15 games, QU shot 76.7 percent (358-467) over the last 18 games to raise its free-throw percentage to 72.1 percent.
Rutty Grabs Quinnipiac DI Rebound Record
With 11 rebounds against Wagner on Jan. 9, Justin Rutty took over the Quinnipiac Division I Rebound lead from Bill Romano '02 (580).
Rutty's Keeping Good Company
At 15.3 points and 10.9 rebounds per game, Justin Rutty was one of just 20 players nationally to average a double-double in 2009-10.
Rutty Finds Free-Throw Stroke
Justin Rutty, a career 50.0 percent free-throw shooter, shot 79.4 percent (54-68) from the charity stripe in the last 14 games of the 2009-10 season. Included in the mark were two separate strings of at least 11 consecutive successful attempts. Rutty went 6-for-6 at Sacred Heart, the first 100 percent game of more than three attempts in his career. He followed with a 4-for-4 effort against SHU, and an 8-for-8 performance at Saint Francis (Pa.).
Quinnipiac was outrebounded just three times in 2009-10, and owned a +8.5 rebounding margin, second-best in the nation.
Quinnipiac, Rutty Grab Top Rankings
The Bobcats ranked 14th in the nation in offensive rebounds per game (14.6) in 2009-10. Individually, Justin Rutty ranked second nationally at 4.9 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.
The Bobcats return to NEC action Jan. 8, when they travel to Hackensack, N.J., to take on Fairleigh Dickinson. Opening tip from Stratis Arena is scheduled for 4 p.m.