November 21, 2011

Bobcats Head To Nation’s Capital; Set To Take On American Tuesday Night

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Quinnipiac University Bobcats (2-1) at
American University Eagles (2-2)
Tuesday, November 22, 2011 – 7:30 p.m.
Bender Arena - Washington, D.C.

Bobcats Head To Nation's Capital
After back-to-back victories at the TD Bank Sports Center, the Bobcats will head down south for their first true road game this season. On Tuesday, November 22, QU will take on the Eagles of American University in Washington, D.C. at Bender Arena for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off. The meeting marks the first time that the two teams will face off, as the Bobcats look for their second consecutive triumph over a Patriot League team.

Scouting The Eagles
American University bounced back from a 0-2 start with consecutive victories last week, climbing back to the .500 mark at 2-2. Their schedule early on presented a daunting challenge for the Eagles, playing three of their first four games away from Bender Arena. AU is led by two senior class members, who have combined for over 50 percent of the team's offense this year. Charles Hinkle, a 6-foot-5 forward, has posted four straight 20-plus point games to open the campaign. Hinkle is averaging 23.2 points per game, good enough for ninth in the nation. Fellow classmate, Troy Brewer, is also off to a tremendous start offensively, averaging just over 13 points per outing. In his first game of the season, he went off for 22 points on 6-of-10 shooting from behind the arc at Richmond.

On The Air
Tuesday's game can be heard live on AM 1220 WQUN through a link posted on www.quinnipiacbobcats.com. The voice of the Bobcats, Bill Schweizer, will have the play-by-play call, with Tony Distasio providing color commentary. Fans can also purchase live video at, www.aueagles.tv/.

Last Time Out Against Navy
On Saturday afternoon, the Bobcats cruised past Navy, 78-54, on Lender Court at the TD Bank Sports Center. Senior James Johnson led all scorers with 18 points and sophomore Ike Azotam posted his third double-double in as many games, lifting QU to its second straight triumph at the Bank. The Bobcats forced 22 Navy turnovers that led to eight points on the other end and held a 47-32 edge on the glass, including 17 on offense which led to 10 second-chance points. Nate Gause registered 13 points, including three buckets from long-distance, as the freshman guard compiled his second double-digit outing of the season. Jamee Jackson finished with seven points and five boards, while Zaid Hearst and Dave Johnson each added five points for the Bobcats' backcourt. Dave Johnson also added a game-high five assists.

Among The Elite
Quinnipiac has once again established itself as a national power on the boards. The Bobcats rank seventh in the nation in rebounds per game (48.8) and sixth in offensive rebounds per game (18.3). This marks the third consecutive season that QU has cracked the top-10 in rebounding; including a second place finish (42.3 per game) in 2010-11. (Behind North Carolina – 42.5 per game)

Atop The Country
Through the first three games of the young season, sophomore Ike Azotam is tied for first in the nation in rebounds per game (14.0). He has posted double-doubles in his first three games, including new careers-highs with 17 points and 18 rebounds against Yale on Nov. 15. Furthermore, with his performance on Saturday against Navy, he has moved into a three-way tie for fifth in career double-doubles among active NEC players. He collected his fifth career double-double, when he netted 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds.

Climbing Up The Ladder
James Johnson crept closer to Robert Vacca's 1,265 career-point total, as the senior guard registered 18 points against Navy on Nov. 19. Johnson is now just four points shy of 17th on the all-time career scoring list. In two games this season, he is averaging 21.5 points per game, putting him in a three-way tie for 30th in all off NCAA Division I.

Depth Not An Issue
In the game against Navy on Nov. 19, all 16 members of the team saw time on the hardwood. 12 different members recorded at least one point, the first time since November 22, 2005 in a 106-57 win against Concordia. On the season, nine players are averaging more than 14 minutes per game, with three others accumulating at least seven minutes per outing.

On Lock-Down
QU held Yale to just 26.8 percent shooting overall and 22.6 percent in the second half of play on Nov. 15. The Bobcats have not had a more dominant display of defense since the 2008-09 campaign, when they limited the Terriers of St. Francis (N.Y.) to 25.4 percent shooting overall and just 21.9 percent in the first half.

50 Again
The Bobcats grabbed 54 rebounds in their home-opener against Yale on Nov. 15. QU nabbed 50 or more boards in six games last season, including a program Division I record 60 against Lehigh on Dec. 7, 2010. 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 years prior 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.

No Stage Fright Here
In their first career game with a Bobcats' uniform draped over their shoulders, freshmen Nate Gause and Zaid Hearst sparked the QU offense against Fairfield on Nov. 11. Gause dropped 12 points, including 2-of-4 from behind the arc and nabbed three rebounds in his inaugural game. Zaid Hearst made his first career start in the season-opener and fared well in the back court. Hearst had six points, seven rebounds and two assists in 32 minutes of action.

One More Time Around
Junior guard James Johnson emerged as a go-to scorer and a lethal three-point threat. The floor general joined Justin Rutty on the all-league first team in 2010-11, averaging a team-best 16.1 points to go along with 4.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. He shot a team-best 81.4 percent from the free-throw line and 38.5 percent from long range. Johnson's 84 three-point field goals made are the second-most in program history, trailing only Rick Barry's 99 in 1994-95. Johnson provided single-game heroics on several occasions, hitting seven three-pointers each against Niagara, Robert Morris and Bryant. Perhaps his most impressive accomplishment was his eight-point outburst in the final 57 seconds of regulation against Mount St. Mary's on Dec. 4. Johnson hit a pair of three-pointers, stole the ball with less than five seconds remaining, streaked down court and made a runner in the lane in the final seconds to clinch the victory.

In Good Company
Entering the 2011-12 season, James Johnson finds himself on a shortlist in one particular category. Johnson is one of four active Northeast Conference players with 12 or more 20-point outings. Furthermore, he joins nine athletes who have scored 30 or more points in a game during their careers.

Johnson & Johnson
Joining James Johnson in the back court will be Dave Johnson, who once again provided a spark off the bench last season. The diminutive guard contributed 5.7 points, 3.5 assists and 2.6 rebounds in 19.2 minutes per game. Perhaps the highlight of his season came at rival Central Connecticut. In a game that would likely decide the No. 2 seed in the NEC Tournament and the accompanying home-court advantage in two tournament games, Johnson scored a career-high 17 points on 5-for-6 shooting and 6-for-8 from the free-throw line in a one-point victory, 68-67, in New Britain. A true point guard, Johnson has become known for his quick dishes through miniscule passing lanes.

Bobcats Continue Winning Ways
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team continued to establish a winning tradition under Head Coach Tom Moore in 2010-11, winning more than 20 games and advancing to a national postseason tournament for the second straight year. The Bobcats won 22 games en route to a home game in the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament, the first home national postseason tournament game for the Bobcats in Division I program history. Included in the 22 wins was a milestone victory against the University of Rhode Island on Dec. 11 at the TD Bank Sports Center. The victory signified the Bobcats' first against an Atlantic-10 program. 

Cleaning The Glass
The Bobcats' success in 2010-11 was once again thanks in large part to supremacy on the boards. Quinnipiac finished first in the nation in offensive rebounding (16.3), second in rebounds per game (42.5) and fourth rebound margin (+9.3). All three marks led the Northeast Conference, while the Bobcats also led the league in rebounding defense (33.2), assists per game (15.56) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.25). Quinnipiac also finished second in scoring offense (71.7), scoring margin (+4.3) and defensive rebounds per game (26.25) and third in field goal percentage defense (.419). Rutty led the league in rebounding average (9.4) and offensive rebounding average (4.04), while Johnson made a league-best 2.63 three-point field goals per game.   

Moore Wins
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.

On Deck
The Bobcats return to action on Monday, November 28 in Bethlehem, Pa. QU will take on Lehigh at Stabler Arena for a 7 p.m. tip-off. Live video, audio and stats will all be available at, www.quinnipiacbobcats.com.

Contact: Tony Distasio; Ardistasio@quinnipiac.edu