Quinnipiac University Bobcats (4-4, 1-1 NEC) vs.|
University of Vermont (4-5, 0-0 AE)
Sunday, December 11, 2011 – 1:00 p.m.
Patrick Gym – Burlington, Vt.
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Bobcats Look For Third Straight At Vermont
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team will look to make it three straight wins when it heads up to Burlington, Vt. for a non-conference clash with the University of Vermont on Sunday, December 11. Fresh off back-to-back victories against Bryant and Hartford, QU climbed back to the .500 mark at 4-4 through its first eight games. Tip-off at UVM is set for 1 p.m. at Patrick Gym.
All-Time Against Vermont
The Bobcats and Catamounts first met back in 2006, where Vermont captured a road-victory in Hamden. Since then, the teams have encountered one another four more times, with each result going in favor of the Catamounts. Outside of the first meeting, the series has featured a very competitive match-up. The final score's margin has been five or less in each of the last three games.
Scouting The Catamounts
After a strong 4-2 start to the season, Vermont has lost four of its last six games, including three straight. The Catamounts' three-game skid started with back-to-back losses against Ivy League teams, Harvard and Yale, and was capped off by a loss at Saint Louis on Wednesday night. Despite the slide, the campaign has been highlighted by a pair of two impressive showings against Old Dominion and Siena. Both games resulted in two-point wins for UVM, including a 65-63 triumph in overtime against ODU, a 2010-11 NCAA Tournament contender. The Catamounts' offense, led by freshman guard Four McGlynn, features a balanced attack with three players averaging close to or above double-figures. McGlynn has provided a spark off the bench, scoring just over 11 points per game which includes a season-high 22 in a win at Marist. The front court has been led by two forwards in senior Matt Glass and sophomore Luke Apfeld. They each average around 10 points per game to go along with four rebounds per outing.
Last Season Against Vermont
Last season, James Johnson led a frantic comeback with 10 points and five steals in the second half alone, but Vermont was able to hold on for a 79-75 triumph at the TD Bank Sports Center on Saturday, November 20, 2010. Johnson finished with 18 points and six rebounds in the game, as QU nearly erased an 18-point deficit over the final 10 minutes of play. Three players registered double-figures for the Catamounts, including 11 from Matt Glass. UVM knocked down 55 percent of its field goal attempts in the contest.
On The Air
Sunday's game will be aired on CatamounTV and can be heard live on AM 1220 WQUN by clicking the appropriate link posted on www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com. Paul "The Jet" Pacelli will have the play-by-play call, with Bob Tipson providing color commentary. Fans can also tune into live stats as well.
Last Time Out Against Hartford
James Johnson and Ike Azotam each finished with 15 points on Tuesday evening, as the Bobcats leveled out their record with a 70-61 victory over in-state rival Hartford at Chase Arena. Johnson added three assists to his 15 points, which included two crucial buckets down the final stretch. Azotam returned to his double-double ways, as the power forward pulled down 10 rebounds in a 4-of-8 shooting performance. Quinnipiac controlled the points in the paint, 30-20, the glass, 41-28, turned 16 offensive rebounds into 17 second chance points and captured a plus-13 rebounding margin.
The Bobcats made it five straight victories against Hartford on Tuesday night. QU improved to 15-5 all-time against the Hawks and 12-1 over the last 13 meetings.
Big Night For "Z"
Zaid Hearst tossed in a career-high 14 points and grabbed six rebounds in the triumph at Hartford. He went 4-of-8 from the floor, 5-of-6 from the free throw line and snatched two steals. He recorded 10 points in the first half and also knocked down a three in his second career start for the Bobcats.
Johnson Moves Past Mason
James Johnson's 15 points on Tuesday against Hartford moved him into sole possession of 14th on the all-time career scoring list. Johnson (1,341) surpassed Kason Mims' 1,320 mark, which also moved him into fourth place in QU's Division I scoring leaders category.
Rebounding Margin Factors In
Rebounding has become the identity of the Bobcats under the direction of Head Coach Tom Moore. Through 134 games with Moore at the helm, Quinnipiac has only failed to out-rebound an opponent 23 times. In 33 of the 134 games, QU has posted a plus-10 or better rebounding margin, including seven with plus-20 or better. The Bobcats hold a remarkable 32-1 mark when holding a plus-10 edge and a 7-1 record with plus-20.
Just Like Ike
Ike Azotam is tied for fourth in the country in offensive rebounding (4.6 per game) and ranks ninth in total rebounding (11.4 per game). He has posted double-doubles in six of his first eight games, including careers-highs with 20 points and 18 rebounds against American on Nov. 22 and Yale on Nov. 15, respectively. Furthermore, with his performance against Hartford, he moved closer to fourth place in career double-doubles among active NEC players. He collected his eighth career double-double, when he netted 15 points and hauled in 10 rebounds.
Jamee Jackson went 8-of-13 from the floor against Bryant on Dec. 3 to lead the Bobcats to their first conference win. His 21 points marked a new career-high, as Jackson was one rebound shy of his first career double-double. The junior out of Newark, N.J. has reached two milestones this season. Jackson recently collected his 400th point against Hartford, Dec. 6, and 300th rebound against Sacred Heart, Dec. 1.
Nothing Short Of Perfect
Junior Dave Johnson made all eight of his free-throw attempts against Bryant on Dec. 3. About a year ago, former teammate Justin Rutty went 11-of-11 from the line, marking the last time a QU player was perfect through at least eight attempts. Johnson finished with 11 points and three assists in the triumph.
Among The Elite
Quinnipiac has once again established itself as a national power on the boards. The Bobcats lead the nation in rebounds per game (44.4), are tied for the lead in offensive rebounding (17.4) and third in rebounding margin (11.4). 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)
Johnson, Azotam Earn Monthly Accolades
James Johnson and Ike Azotam were tabbed to the CollegeHoops.Net November NEC All-Conference Team, announced December 1. Johnson averaged 19 points, four rebounds and 3.3 assists in four games through November. He shot 41 percent both overall and from three-point land, and totaled six steals in the month. Azotam also fared well throughout the month of November, aiding Johnson on the offensive end. He averaged 13.8 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in five games for the Bobcats, including individual career-highs in points (20) and rebounds (18) against American and Yale, respectively.
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 recorded double-digits in his three of his first four games and ranked 30th in the league in scoring during the stretch (9.8 points per game). Fellow teammate James Johnson began his career by scoring double-digits in four of his first seven games.
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.
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.
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.
The Bobcats return to action on Saturday, December 17 at UMass. Game time is set for 7 p.m. in Amherst, Mass., with a live broadcast available on the New England Sports Network (NESN). For all information pertaining to the men's basketball program, visit www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.
Contact: Tony Distasio; Ardistasio@quinnipiac.edu