Be There Bobcats!
No. 2 Quinnipiac University Bobcats (22-8, 13-5 NEC) vs.
No. 3 Robert Morris University Colonials (17-13, 12-6 NEC)
Northeast Conference Tournament Semifinals
Sunday, March 5, 2011 - 2 p.m.
TD Bank Sports Center - Hamden, Conn.
Fox College Sports (FCS), ESPN3.com, ESPN Full Court
QU Looks To Stop Playoff Skid vs. RMU
The second-seeded Quinnipiac University men's basketball team plays host to No. 3 Robert Morris in NEC Tournament Semifinal action Sunday at the TD Bank Sports Center. The game can be seen live on Fox College Sports (FCS), ESPN3.com and ESPN Full Court. The Bobcats defeated No. 7 Mount St. Mary's, 78-59 on Thursday, while RMU edged No. 6 Wagner, 78-74. Quinnipiac took the only meeting of the season between the two teams, a 69-61 victory Jan. 27 in Hamden. The teams will have a different look this time around, as Justin Rutty was playing his first game since elbow surgery first time around, and the Colonials had leading scorer Karon Abraham, who sustained a season-ending knee injury two weeks ago. The Colonials have ended the Bobcats' NEC title hopes in each of the last two seasons, defeating QU, 75-48, in the 2009 semifinals, before edging the Bobcats, 52-50, in the championship game last season. RMU holds a 15-9 advantage in the all-time series.
The Bobcats lead the nation in offensive rebounds per game (16.2) and are second in rebounds per game (42.4). They also rank fourth nationally in rebound margin (+9.2). Quinnipiac is the only team in the nation ranked in the top five in all three categories.
Scouting the Robert Morris Colonials
Without the injured Karon Abraham's 13.9 points per game, the Colonials are led by Velton Jones' 11.8 points, 3.9 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Russell Johnson also averages in double figures with 10.5 per game to go along with a team-high 6.7 rebounds per game. Lijah Thompson also chips in 8.2 points and 4.4 rebounds per game.
NEC Tournament History
Quinnipiac has compiled an 8-7 record in the NEC Tournament, reaching the championship game twice. Quinnipiac will make its sixth semifinal appearance in eight chances Sunday.
Last Time Out Against Mount St. Mary's
Justin Rutty compiled his 41st career double-double with 22 points and 16 rebounds as the Bobcats defeated seventh-seeded Mount St. Mary's, 78-59, Thursday night at the TD Bank Sports Center. James Johnson (13), Deontay Twyman (10) and Dave Johnson (10) also finished in double figures. After the Mountaineers jumped out to an 8-0 lead to start the game, the Bobcats outscored the Mount, 78-51.
Last Time Against Robert Morris
James Johnson erupted for a career-high 38 points, including seven three-pointers, as the Bobcats defeated Robert Morris, 69-61, Jan. 27 at the TD Bank Sports Center. The Bobcats got a boost of energy from Justin Rutty's unexpected early return from injury. Rutty scored six points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 19 minutes in his return.
Follow the Bobcats
Sunday's game can be seen live on Fox College Sports (FCS), ESPN3.com and ESPN Full Court. Paul Dottino will have the play-by-play call, while Terry O'Connor will provide color commentary and Tara Petrolino will have sideline reports. The game can also be heard live on AM 1220 WQUN. Bill Schweizer will have the play-by-play call, while Bill Mecca and Bob Tipson will provide color commentary. Free live video and live stats will also be available on www.quinnipiacbobcats.com.
Rutty Enters Exclusive 1,000-1,000 Club
With 16 rebounds, March 3 against Mount St. Mary's, Justin Rutty became just the third player in QU history to score 1,000 points and grab 1,000 rebounds. Rutty now stands at 1,499 points and 1,015 rebounds for his career. Rutty joined Harold Driver '78 (1,813 points, 1,147 rebounds) and Ed Skwara '69 (1,159 points, 1,082 rebounds) in the exclusive club.
Rocket Scientist: "QU Would Rather Have Rutty."
The Bobcats are 19-4 in games Justin Rutty has played, while they were 3-4 in the seven games he missed due to an elbow injury.
Bobcats Honored By NEC
Justin Rutty and James Johnson were named to the All-NEC First Team by the league's coaches, the conference office announced March 1. The award is the third straight for Rutty and the first for Johnson. Tom Moore has now placed a player on the All-NEC First Team in each of his four years in Hamden, and has had two on the team in each of the past two years.
Another Impressive QU Rebounding Stat
The Bobcats have grabbed at least 50 rebounds in six games this season, including a program Division I record 60 against Lehigh on Dec. 7. Most recently, the Bobcats grabbed 54 boards against Fairleigh Dickinson, Feb. 26. Quinnipiac had three 50-rebound games in all of 2009-10, and never had three 50-rebound games in 11 prior seasons at Division I. Quinnipiac has corralled 50 rebounds in a game 12 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.
Rutty Sets New QU D-I Field Goals Record
Justin Rutty connected on his 600th career field goal at Sacred Heart, Feb. 14, becoming the Quinnipiac Division I record holder in career field goals made. Rutty (638) jumped ahead of Bill Romano '02 (599).
Not Even Close
Quinnipiac has outrebounded its last three opponents, Monmouth, Fairleigh Dickinson and Mount St. Mary's, by a combined 145-73 margin. The Bobcats followed a +25 game against Monmouth, 48-23, with a +28 performance, 54-26, against FDU. The +28 rebound margin is a season high. Last time out, QU outrebounded the Mount, 43-24.
Quinnipiac has won 20 games in each of the past two seasons under Tom Moore, the only 20-win seasons in QU Division I history.
Justin Rutty reverted back to 2010 NEC Player of the Year form with 17 points and 17 rebounds, including seven on the offensive glass, against Monmouth on Feb. 24. He followed with 14 points and 10 rebounds against Fairleigh Dickinson on Feb. 26 and 22 points and 16 rebounds against Mount St. Mary's, pushing his career total to 41 double-doubles, a QU Division I record. In his last five games, he has four double-doubles.
Starting Off Strong
At 22-8, the Bobcats are off to the best 30-game start to a season in program Division I history. The 2009-10 squad also went 22-8 through 30 games.
Ike Azotam's rebounding numbers are comparable to Justin Rutty's as a freshman. Rutty averaged 5.1 rebounds per game through 30 games in the 2007-08 season, while Azotam stands at 5.4. Rutty averaged 2.29 offensive boards per game, while Azotam averages 2.38.
With a start against Sacred Heart, Feb. 14, James Johnson eclipsed Kason Mims' QU Division-I record 88-game consecutive starts streak. Johnson has started each of Quinnipiac's 94 games to begin his career. His 72nd consecutive start broke Jared Grasso's '02 program record for consecutive starts (71) from the outset of his Bobcats' career at Division I. 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.
Doing More With Less
QU leads the nation in offensive rebounds per game (16.20) and is second in rebounds per game (42.4) despite having the sixth-least height in the nation. According to kenpom.com, the Bobcats are 340th of 345 teams in the nation in average height (74.7 inches).
Bobcats Helping Bobcats
The Bobcats are tied for first in the NEC at 15.33 assists per game, good for 35th in the nation. Their 1.23 assist-to-turnover ratio leads the NEC and is 42nd in the nation.
What Can Brown Do For Q?
Lance Brown has emerged as a versatile contributor for the Bobcats in the last nine games, averaging 8.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. He had highs of 13 points and 13 rebounds, including seven on the offensive glass, against Sacred Heart on Feb. 9.
Johnson & Johnson No Turnover Solution
James Johnson (2.44) and Dave Johnson (2.27) rank second and fourth in the NEC in assist-to-turnover ratio. James ranks 25th in the nation, while Dave is 43rd. James ranks 10th in the NEC at 3.67 assists per game, while Dave is 16th at 3.33. Deontay Twyman is also 15th in the NEC in assists (3.43 apg.) and 207th nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.61).
Bo Knows The 1,000 Mark
James Johnson became 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. He then leapfrogged Mike Buscetto '93 (1,165), Jim Freund '81 and Rashaun Banjo '04 (1,166) for 19th place with 13 points against FDU, Feb. 26. He now stands 26 points behind Troy Adams '89 (1,214) for 18th place.
Shoot Better And Win
The Bobcats are 17-0 this season when outshooting their opponent. By contrast, they're 5-8 when being outshot.
Bo Knows (Insert Statistical Category Here)
James Johnson's name is listed among the statistical leaders in the NEC in eight of 13 categories kept by the league. He's second in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.43) and third in both three-point field goals made per game (2.57) and steals per game (1.63). He ranks fourth in scoring (16.2), seventh in minutes per game (33.77), eighth in free-throw percentage (.821), 10th in assists (3.67) and 14th in three-point field-goal percentage (.379).
Rutty Moves Up QU Career Scoring List
With 1,499 career points, Justin Rutty now ranks 13th on the Quinnipiac career scoring list and second on the Quinnipiac Division I scoring list. With 17 points against Monmouth, Feb. 24, Rutty moved past Bill Romano '02 (1,450) on both the all-time and Division I lists.
Lookin' Up At QU
The Bobcats are in the top five in 14 of 19 statistical categories kept by the NEC, including the top spot in six. They're first in rebounding offense (42.4), rebounding defense (33.1), rebounding margin (+9.2), assists (15.33), assist-to-turnover ratio (1.23) and offensive rebounds (16.20). QU ranks second in scoring offense (72.2), scoring margin (+4.9), field-goal percentage defense (.417) and defensive rebounds (26.17). They rank third in blocked shots (3.53) and fourth in turnover margin (+1.00). QU ranks fifth in field-goal percentage (.430) and three-point field-goal-percentage defense (.335).
Three Streak Extended
With two three-pointers against Mount St. Mary's, QU extended its streak of making at least one three-pointer in each of the last 314 contests. The last time QU didn't knock down a three was Dec. 19, 2000, at Dartmouth (0-11).
Movin' On Up
With 1,015 rebounds, Justin Rutty ranks second all-time in NEC history and third at QU. Rutty passed LIU's Carey Scurry (1,013) for second on the NEC list with 16 rebounds against Mount St. Mary's, while passing George McDowell '72 (991) for third on the QU list with 10 rebounds against FDU. CCSU's Ron Robinson (1,022) is the only remaining player left on Rutty's climb up the NEC list, while Dave Tuthill '65 (1,082) is next on the QU list.
Johnson Dishes Out Number 300
James Johnson dished out his 300th career assist, Dec. 22 at Niagara. He now stands at 369 career assists, good for fourth on the QU Division I list.
21 For The Third Time
The Bobcats dished out a season-high 21 assists for the third time this season, Feb. 26 against FDU. Dave Johnson led the way with six dimes.
That Feeling Of Rejection
Led by two blocks apiece from Lance Brown and Dominique Langston, the Bobcats blocked seven shots against FDU on Feb. 26, the third game of at least seven blocks for the Bobcats this season. QU blocked a season-high eight shots against Lehigh on Dec. 7.
Bobcats Control Paint
The Bobcats owned a 36-10 advantage in points in the paint against FDU on Feb. 26.
Second Half Trifecta Tossing
Led by James Johnson's 12-for-17 showing, the Bobcats shot 54.5 percent (18-33) from long distance in the second halves of a three-game road stretch at Sacred Heart, Bryant and Central Connecticut. Johnson made 4-of-6 in the second half at SHU, before making 5-of-6 at Bryant and 3-of-5 at CCSU.
Dave Dials Up Career Day
Dave Johnson scored a career-high 17 points on 5-for-6 shooting from the floor and 6-for-8 shooting from the free-throw line in the Bobcats' 68-67 victory at Central Connecticut, Feb. 19.
No. 3 Likes The 3, 7 Times, Times 3
James Johnson connected on 7-of-11 three-point field goals at Bryant, his third seven-trifecta outing of the season. Johnson made 7-of-11 at Niagara on Dec. 22 and 7-of-13 against Robert Morris on Jan. 27.
Rutty Reconnects With Double-Double
Justin Rutty completed his first double-double since returning from injury on Jan. 27 with 16 points and 10 rebounds, Feb. 17 at Bryant. Rutty now has eight double-doubles on the year and a QU Division I record 38 for his career.
Despite not taking part in a single team practice in three weeks, Justin Rutty managed six points and 10 rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench in his return to the line-up following elbow surgery, Jan. 27, against Robert Morris.
Ho Hum, Bo's Clutch Again
James Johnson knocked down four second-half three-pointers, including two in the final minutes to give Quinnipiac the lead for good, as the Bobcats defeated Sacred Heart, Feb. 14, in Fairfield.
Bobcats Steal A Win At Sacred Heart
Quinnipiac tied a season-high with 10 steals while forcing a season-high 24 turnovers, Feb. 14 at Sacred Heart. Dave Johnson led the way with three steals, while Deontay Twyman, James Johnson and Lance Brown had two steals apiece.
I'll Take All Three of These
The Bobcats responded to an 0-for-8 performance from long range in the first half at Sacred Heart with a 7-for-12 showing in the second half. None was bigger than James Johnson's with 1:47 left to break a 48-48 tie and put the Bobcats on top for good.
That Clinched It
The Bobcats clinched a berth in this year's NEC Tournament with their Feb. 14 win at SHU.
If At First You Don't Succeed...
The Bobcats turned 19 offensive rebounds into 23 second-chance points against Sacred Heart, Feb. 9. Quinnipiac outrebounded the Pioneers, 44-25, including a 19-6 edge on the offensive glass.
Ike Azotam and Lance Brown each compiled double-doubles, Feb. 9 against Sacred Heart. Azotam had a career-high 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Brown had 13 points and a career-high 13 rebounds. The double-double was Azotam's second of the season, while Brown compiled the first of his career.
Johnson Steals Milestone
With five steals Nov. 20 against UVM, James Johnson became the 13th QU 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 UVM team on the same Lender Court before a regional television audience on NESN. Johnson now stands at 140 career steals, passing Bobcats' great Rob Monroe '05 (137) for sixth all-time and second at Division I at QU.
Quinnipiac shot 51.9 percent (28-54) at St. Francis (N.Y.), Feb. 3, and also grabbed 50 rebounds. The Bobcats also shot 50 percent, Jan. 29 against Saint Francis (Pa.), giving them back-to-back 50-percent games for the first time this season. Quinnipiac has eclipsed the 50-percent mark four times this season.
.333 Three Times
The Bobcats held St. Francis (N.Y.) to 33.3 percent (21-63) shooting, Feb. 3. The defensive effort was the third of its kind this season, as Quinnipiac also held Bryant (17-51) and Niagara (21-63) to the same percentage.
Quinnipiac started its Jan. 29 victory against Saint Francis (Pa.) on a 22-0 run. Seven different Bobcats scored a point and QU had three blocks and three steals in the opening burst.
The Bobcats grabbed a season-high 38 defensive rebounds, Feb. 3 at St. Francis (N.Y.). Lance Brown had nine of his career-high 12 rebounds on the defensive glass, while all nine of James Johnson's career-high nine boards were defensive. Quinnipiac's previous season-high was 37, established in a 60-rebound effort against Lehigh, Dec. 7.
So Glad To See The Boys Getting Along
The Bobcats tied a season-high with 21 assists and 10 different Quinnipiac players scored a point in a game for the first time this season, Jan. 29 against Saint Francis (Pa.).
Dave Dishes Out 10 Dimes
Dave Johnson handed out a career-high 10 assists in the Bobcats' 75-55 victory against Saint Francis (Pa.), Jan. 29. In two games in the starting line-up, Johnson averaged 8.0 assists per game and had an 8.0 assist-to-turnover ratio.
James Johnson held Saint Francis (Pa.) guard Umar Shannon, the NEC's fourth-leading scorer entering the game, to just three points on 1-for-5 shooting and four turnovers without an assist, Jan. 29. Shannon was coming off a 30-point outburst, Jan. 27 at Sacred Heart.
'Cats Scratch Out 10 Steals
The Bobcats had a season-high 10 steals in forcing 21 Saint Francis (Pa.) turnovers, Jan. 29. Deontay Twyman and Dave Johnson had three steals each, while Tevin Baskin added two.
Johnson Takes NEC Player of the Week
James Johnson was named NEC Co-Player of the week after averaging 24.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists in a pair of Quinnipiac victories against Robert Morris and Saint Francis (Pa.). He made 10-of-19 three-pointers in earning his second career NEC award.
'Tay-king On A Larger Role
In seven games without Justin Rutty, Deontay Twyman 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.
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.
Anything Tay Can Do, Bo Can Do Better
After seeing Deontay Twyman go off for 18 of his career-high 23 points in the first half of their previous home game against CCSU, Jan. 15, James Johnson erupted for 20 of his career-high 38 points against Robert Morris, Jan. 27. The 38 points were the most scored by a Bobcat since Rob Monroe '05 scored 40 points against Sacred Heart, Feb. 3, 2005. Monroe is the only Bobcat in program Division I history to score more than 38 points, a feat he accomplished three times with a high of 41, Jan. 2, 2005. The 38 points were the most by an NEC player since Wagner's Joey Mundweiler had 39, Feb. 28, 2009.
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 offensive.
New High For Dom
Dominique Langston scored 15 points at Wagner, establishing a new season high. He had scored 14 points on two prior occasions.
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 five different occasions this season, including consecutive 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.
QU 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.
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.
Have A Day, Tay
Deontay Twyman established new career highs with 19 points (since eclipsed), 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.
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.
Free 'N' Easy
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.
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.
New (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.
Brown Provides Added Boost
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, then the most by a Quinnipiac player this season.
Jump and Run
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.
Dom 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Not 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.
A 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.
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.
The Bobcats took a 10-day trip to The Netherlands, Belgium and France this past August. In four games, Quinnipiac went 3-1.
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 (LIU). In addition, The Sporting News, Athlon, Lindy's and the Blue Ribbon College Basketball Report also picked QU.
On the Rebound
Quinnipiac was outrebounded just three times in 2009-10, and owned a +8.5 rebounding margin, second-best in the nation.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Should the Bobcats defeat Robert Morris, they'd advance to face an opponent to be determined by Sunday's other semifinal game in Wednesday's championship game. A Quinnipiac win paired with a CCSU win would give the Bobcats home court, while a Long Island victory would place the game in Brooklyn. Opening tip is scheduled for 7 p.m. on ESPN2. Stay posted on all the latest developments by visiting www.quinnipiacbobcats.com.