HAMDEN, Conn. - James Johnson (Queens, N.Y.) erupted for seven three-pointers and a career-high 38 points and added eight rebounds as the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team defeated Robert Morris, 69-61, Thursday night at the TD Bank Sports Center. Justin Rutty (Newburgh, N.Y.) returned to the court after missing seven games due to an elbow injury, contributing six points and 10 rebounds. With the win, the Bobcats improve to 13-7 (5-4 NEC), while the Colonials fall to 9-11 (5-4 NEC). The game was the first meeting between the two teams since the Colonials nipped the Bobcats, 52-50, in the 2010 NEC Tournament Championship Game, last March 10.
Deontay Twyman (Olney, Md.) also added 14 points and five assists for the Bobcats, while Dave Johnson (Jackson, N.J.) had a game-high six assists. Ike Azotam (Boston, Mass.) had a game-high 11 rebounds for the Bobcats.
Velton Jones shot just 2-for-10 from the floor for Robert Morris but finished with a team-high 18 points on the heels of 14-for-16 shooting from the free-throw line. Karon Abraham added 10 points for the Colonials.
The Bobcats immediately jumped out in front of the Colonials and never trailed in the game. Back-to-back three-pointers from James Johnson and Twyman opened a 6-0 Quinnipiac lead. After RMU closed to within four points, 9-5, with just under 16 minutes remaining in the first half, James Johnson went on an 8-0 run of his own, hitting two three-pointers and another two-point jumper by the 12-minute mark.
Another James Johnson three-pointer at the 10:29 mark made it a 13-point Quinnipiac lead before Robert Morris scored nine of the next 11 points to close to within six points, 22-16, at the 7:53 mark. The Bobcats took a seven-point lead into the break, 30-23.
Johnson led all scorers with 20 points at halftime, while Twyman added eight points. Jones led Robert Morris with seven points.
Robert Morris drew to within two points on a Lijah Thompson jumper and Russell Johnson three-pointer in the opening minute of the second half. But the Bobcats gradually built up an 11-point cushion and never relinquished the advantage.
For the game, the Bobcats outshot the Colonials, 41.1 percent (23-56) to 35.1 percent (20-57) from the floor and 40.7 percent (11-27) to 17.4 percent (4-23) from long range. Quinnipiac also outrebounded Robert Morris, 43-37. The Colonials took a 73.9 percent (17-23) to 60.0 percent (12-20) edge from the free-throw line.
Quinnipiac returns to action Saturday, when its plays host to Saint Francis (Pa.). Opening tip from the TD Bank Sports Center is scheduled for 2 p.m.