November 26, 2011

Men's Basketball Ready For Lehigh On Monday Night

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Quinnipiac University Bobcats (2-2) at
Lehigh University Mountain Hawks (4-2)
Monday, November 28, 2011 – 7:00 p.m.
Stabler Arena - Bethlehem, Pa.

Bobcats Travel To Lehigh On Monday Night
After enjoying a few days off for Thanksgiving break, the Quinnipiac University men's basketball team returns to the hardwood on Monday, November 28, 2011 in Bethlehem, Pa. The Bobcats will take on Lehigh University, a talented team that was selected to win the Patriot League in the 2011-12 Preseason Coaches' Poll. The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Stabler Arena.

All-Time Against Lehigh
The Bobcats hold a 3-1 record all-time against the Mountain Hawks. The series began in November of 2006, where QU won in decisive fashion with a 16 point triumph in Hamden. In their second meeting, QU outlasted Lehigh in a double-overtime thriller, 92-88, in Bethlehem, Pa. The Bobcats had their lone setback in 2009 at Stabler Arena, but bounced back with a six-point win at the Bank last season. Senior James Johnson recorded 18 points and junior Jamee Jackson added 10 in the 84-78 decision. 

On The Air
Monday'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 Bob Tipson providing color commentary. Fans can also purchase live video at, www.lehighsports.com.

Scouting The Mountain Hawks
After two losses to open the 2011-12 campaign, Lehigh has rebounded with four consecutive wins. During their four-game win streak, the Mountain Hawks have defeated each of their opponents by double-digits, including a 25 point triumph against Eastern Kentucky in their last outing. Junior guard C.J. McCollum, who finished ninth in the nation in scoring a year ago, has once again spearheaded the Lehigh offense. He is averaging 19.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and just fewer than three assists per game. Fellow teammates Gabe Knutson (13.2 points per game) and Holden Greiner (11.7 points per game) are also in double-figures for the season, as the trio leads a team that averages close to 80 points per game. Usually the case, the Bobcats should have a major advantage on the glass, holding a plus-14 rebounding margin compared to a minus-0.8 margin of the hosting Mountain Hawks.

Last Time Out Against American
Sophomore Ike Azotam posted another double-double with 20 points and 15 rebounds on Tuesday night, but a free-throw with eight seconds left proved to be the difference for American University, as the Eagles defeated the Bobcats by the final score of 74-73 at Bender Arena in the nation's capital. Joining Azotam in double-figures was freshman Nate Gause and Jamee Jackson. Gause finished with 14 points and Jackson chimed in with 13, going 5-of-10 from the floor. James Johnson finished with eight points and sophomore Alex Jackson added six in the team's first road game of the year. Quinnipiac totaled 33 fouls in the contest, eight more than the hosting Eagles. AU went to the line 48 times, compared to 32 for the Bobcats, and made nine fewer field goals as well. Quinnipiac also held American to just 25 percent shooting in the first half and 37 percent overall. The Bobcats continued their rebounding dominance, controlling a plus-20 margin on the boards (45-25). 

Movin' On Up
With his three-point bucket at American on Tuesday night, James Johnson surpassed Robert Vacca for 17th on the all-time career points list. Johnson, now with 1,269 points, trails Joe Trimarchi who finished up his four-year career with 1,291 in the 1998 season.

Milestone Approaching
Junior Jamee Jackson put together his best-performance of the young season at American on Nov. 22. His line consisted of 13 points and three rebounds in a game where he connected on 50 percent of his shot attempts. He is now four rebounds shy of 300 for his career, a stint that already consists of 371 points.

Sharp-Shooter
Freshman Nate Gause granted the Bobcats a much needed spark off the bench at American on Nov. 22. Gause reset his career-high in points with 14 on 6-of-12 shooting, including 2-of-4 from behind the arc. He has now recorded double-digits in his three of his first four games and ranks 30th in the league in scoring (9.8 points per game). Fellow teammate James Johnson began his career by scoring double-digits in four of his first seven games.

Among The Elite
Quinnipiac has once again established itself as a national power on the boards. The Bobcats rank third in the nation in rebounds per game (47.3) and sixth in offensive rebounds per game (17.3). 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, Ike Azotam leads the nation in rebounds per game (14.3). He has posted double-doubles in his first four games, including new careers-highs with 17 points and 18 rebounds against Yale on Nov. 15. Furthermore, with his performance on Tuesday night at American, he has moved into sole-possession of fourth place in career double-doubles among active NEC players. He collected his sixth career double-double, when he netted a career-high 20 points and hauled in 15 rebounds.

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.

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. 

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
Their game against Lehigh will mark the final tune-up game before Northeast Conference play begins. The Bobcats play host to Sacred Heart on Thursday, December 1st at the TD Bank Sports Center. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. Live video, audio and stats will all be available at, www.quinnipiacbobcats.com.

Contact: Tony Distasio; Ardistasio@quinnipiac.edu