Bobcats (12-7, 4-4 NEC) vs.
Robert Morris University Colonials (9-10, 5-3 NEC)
Thursday, January 27, 2011 - 7 p.m.
TD Bank Sports Center - Hamden, Conn.
TV - MSG
Bobcats Play Robert Morris On MSG Thursday
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team looks to exact revenge on Robert Morris for last year's loss in the NEC Tournament Championship Game, Thursday at the TD Bank Sports Center. The Bobcats also seek to snap a three-game losing skid, having dropped road contests at Brown, Wagner and Mount St. Mary's in their last three games. Robert Morris has won four out of its last five games, falling only this past Thursday to NEC-leading Long Island. The Colonials won at Mount St. Mary's and earned home wins against Fairleigh Dickinson, Monmouth and St. Francis (N.Y.). Robert Morris owns a 15-8 advantage in the all-time series, including a 52-50 victory in last year's NEC Tournament Championship Game. James Feldeine led all scorers with 17 points in the contest, while Karon Abraham led the Colonials with 16 points. Meanwhile, James Johnson scored a career-high 28 points in an 87-79 Bobcats win at RMU, Feb. 20, 2010.
The Bobcats lead the nation in offensive rebounds per game (16.5) and are fourth in rebounds per game (41.9). They also rank 14th nationally in rebound margin (+7.3). QU is one of five teams in the nation ranked in the top 15 in all three categories, joining Pittsburgh, Kansas State, Drexel and Old Dominion.
Scouting the Robert Morris Colonials
The Colonials (9-10, 5-3 NEC) are led by Karon Abraham, whose 15.4 points per game, 41.0 percent shooting from long range and 84.9 percent from the free-throw line are all team highs. Russell Johnson has added 12.1 points and a team-high 7.5 rebounds per game. Velton Jones narrowly misses out on double figures at 9.9 points to go along with 3.3 assists and 1.8 steals per game. Anthony Myers has dished out a team-best 4.0 assists per game. The Colonials feature a suffocating defense, allowing opponents to shoot just 41.1 percent from the floor, tops in the league.
Time Out Against Mount St. Mary's
James Johnson scored his 1,000th career point, but the Bobcats were defeated at Mount St. Mary, 72-63, Saturday in Emmitsburg, Md. Deontay Twyman scored a team-high 16 points and Jamee Jackson added 13. Shawn Atupem led all scorers with 17 points for the Mount.
Time Against Robert Morris
James Feldeine scored a game-high 17 points, but the Bobcats came up just short against Robert Morris, 52-50, in the NEC Tournament Championship Game, March 10, 2010, at the TD Bank Sports Center. Karon Abraham scored a team-high 16 points for Robert Morris.
Follow the Bobcats
Thursday's game can be seen live on MSG. Dave Popkin will have the play-by-play call, with Tim Capstraw on color and Paul Dottino providing sideline reports. It can also be heard on AM 1220 WQUN. Bill Schweizer will have the play-by-play call, while Bill Mecca and Bob Tipson will provide color commentary. Live Video will be available on www.quinnipiacbobcats.com, at a cost of $9.99. Live stats will also be provided free of charge.
Knows The Century Mark
James Johnson become the 35th player in Quinnipiac history and the ninth at Division I to reach the 1,000-point plateau, Jan. 22, at Mount St. Mary's.
Doing More With Less
The Bobcats lead the nation in offensive rebounds per game (16.53) and are second in rebounds per game (41.9) despite having the 13th-least height in the nation. According to kenpom.com, the Bobcats are 333rd of 345 teams in the nation in average height (75.0 inches).
Bobcats Helping Bobcats
The Bobcats lead the NEC at 15.21 assists per game, good for 47th in the nation. Their 1.19 assist-to-turnover ratio is 48th in the nation.
Starting Off Strong
At 12-7, the Bobcats are off to the second-best 19-game start to a season in program Division I history. The 2009-10 team went 13-6, while the 1999-2000 team also went 12-7 through 19 games.
Knows (Insert Statistical Category Here)
James Johnson's name is listed among the statistical leaders in the Northeast Conference in seven of 13 categories kept by the league. He's second in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.55) and ranks third in steals per game (1.84). He's fourth in scoring (16.1), sixth in three-point field goals made per game (2.26), seventh in assists (3.89), eighth in minutes per game (33.58) and ninth in free-throw percentage (.836).
Lookin' Up At QU
The Bobcats are in the top four in 12 of 19 statistical categories kept by the NEC, including the top spot in five. They're first in rebounding offense (41.9), rebounding margin (+7.3), assists (15.21), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.19) and offensive rebounds (16.53). QU ranks second in scoring offense (73.6), rebounding defense (34.6) and defensive rebounds (25.37). They rank third in scoring margin (+2.5) and blocked shots (3.53), and fourth in three-point field-goal percentage defense (.325) and turnover margin (+1.32).
'Tay-king On A Larger Role
In seven games without Justin Rutty, Deontay Twyman has stepped up to the tune of 15.4 points and 3.7 assists per game, both team highs. He highlighted the stretch with a career-high 23 points, 18 in the first half, against CCSU, Jan. 15.
Shoot Better And Win
The Bobcats are 9-0 this season when outshooting their opponent. By contrast, they're 3-7 when being outshot.
High For Dom
Dominique Langston scored 15 points at Wagner, establishing a new season high. He had scored 14 points on two prior occasions.
The Bobcats had won 18 straight games when scoring 80 points or more, prior to a 90-80 loss at Wagner, Jan. 20.
Alright On The Road
The Bobcats won their first five road games this season, becoming the first team in NEC history to win its first five road contests. The streak was snapped, Jan. 17, as the Bobcats fell at Brown.
Rutty Eyes Exclusive 1,000-1,000 Club
Justin Rutty stands at 1,357 points and 917 rebounds in his career. Just two QU players have reached both 1,000 points and rebounds.
Three Streak Extended
With eight threes against Mount St. Mary's, QU extended its streak of making at least one three-pointer in each of the last 303 contests. The last time QU didn't knock down a three was Dec. 19, 2000, at Dartmouth (0-11).
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.
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.
Another Impressive QU Rebounding Stat
The Bobcats have grabbed at least 50 rebounds in four games this season, including a program Division I record 60 against Lehigh on Dec. 7. Most recently, the Bobcats grabbed 50 boards against Bryant, Jan. 13. Quinnipiac had three 50-rebound games in all of 2009-10, and never had three 50-rebound games in 11 prior years at Division I. Quinnipiac has corralled 50 rebounds in a game 10 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.
Johnson Dishes Out Number 300
James Johnson dished out his 300th career assist, Dec. 22 at Niagara. He now stands at 333 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 83 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.
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).
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 130 career steals, passing former teammate James Feldeine '10 (124) for ninth all-time and third at Division I at QU.
Much-heralded freshman Tevin Baskin had a break-out performance with 13 points, nine rebounds and two steals against CCSU on Jan. 15. Five of his nine boards were on the offensive glass.
Depth The Difference
Quinnipiac's bench outscored Central Connecticut's reserves, 23-4, Jan. 15.
Chairman of the Boards
Ike Azotam had his first double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds against Bryant, Jan. 13.
Jamee Jamee Jamee
Jamee Jackson has blocked three shots on four different occasions this season, including twice in two games against Fairleigh Dickinson and Bryant, Jan. 8 and 13, respectively.
Dealing A Drought
The Bobcats held Bryant without a field goal until the 6:24 mark of the first half, Jan. 13.
Jackson's Potential Pours Out At Monmouth
Playing without Justin Rutty on the opposite block due to injury, Jamee Jackson stepped up in a big way with a career-high 20 points on 8-for-12 shooting, Jan. 6 at Monmouth. He also made what proved to be the game-winning free throw with 14.3 seconds left.
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 had seven points and four rebounds in his Bobcats debut at Dartmouth, but missed the next four games due to injury. He returned, Dec. 11 against Rhode Island.
Dom-inating the Boards
Dominique Langston grabbed 14 rebounds against Lehigh, Dec. 7, the most by a Quinnipiac player so far this season.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dominique Langston 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.
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.
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.
State of Mind
Quinnipiac was 18-1 in games played in Connecticut, including a 14-1 home mark in 2009-10. QU established its best start at home (14-0) in school history.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Quinnipiac was outrebounded just three times in 2009-10, and owned a +8.5 rebounding margin, second-best in the nation.
The Bobcats play host to Saint Francis (Pa.) on Saturday. Opening tip is scheduled for 2 p.m.