December 29, 2011

QU Hosts Boston University On Saturday; Game Broadcasted Live On NESN/SNY At Noon

Quinnipiac University Bobcats (7-5, 1-1 NEC) vs.
Boston University Terriers (4-9, 0-0 AE)
Saturday, December 31, 2011 – 12:07 p.m.
TD Bank Sports Center – Hamden, Conn.

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QU Hosts Boston University On Saturday; Game Broadcasted Live On NESN/SNY At Noon
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team (7-5) will host its final regular-season non-conference game on Saturday, December 31 at the TD Bank Sports Center. The Bobcats are scheduled to take on Boston University (4-9) at 12:07 p.m., a game that will be broadcasted live on the New England Sports Network (NESN) and SportsNet New York (SNY). QU has fared well of late, now winners in five of its last six games. The showdown with BU kicks off a NESN day-doubleheader, which will also feature Samford at Maryland following the final whistle.

All-Time Against Boston
The Bobcats hold a 1-1 record all-time against the Terriers. The two teams first met back in November of 2000, where the Terriers captured a 66-60 triumph in Boston, Mass. Following the 10-year gap, the Bobcats leveled the all-time mark with a thrilling victory last season at the Bank.

Scouting The Terriers
Boston University has dropped five straight after falling to La Salle, 70-53, on Thursday night. The Terriers have scattered four wins through the first two months, most notably a triumph against ACC opponent Boston College. Darryl Partin, a 6-foot-6 guard out of Seattle, Wash., leads the team in scoring at 20.2 points per game, ranking him second in the America East. D.J. Irving, a 6-foot sophomore point guard, also scores in double-figures with 12.6 points per game. However, he recently missed the last two games due to a concussion and is listed as day-to-day. The Terriers are coming off an America East Championship and NCAA bid in 2011. First year head coach Joe Jones replaced Pat Chambers, who left for Penn State in the offseason.

Last Time Against BU
Last season, QU outlasted the Terriers in an absolute thriller at Case Gym in Boston, Mass. Dominique Langston tipped in a missed Bobcats shots with 3.8 seconds left in regulation, as Quinnipiac collected its fifth straight win in the 82-81 decision. Justin Rutty led the Q with his 36th career double-double of 26 points and 10 rebounds, whereas three others posted double-figures in the triumph. John Holland led BU with 31 points and nine rebounds.

On The Air
Saturday's game will be broadcasted live on NESN/SNY and can be heard live on AM 1220 WQUN by clicking the appropriate links posted on www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com. The voice of the Bobcats, Bill Schweizer, will have the NESN/SNY play-by-play call, with Bill Mecca providing color commentary and Jayme Parker providing insight from the sideline. Bob Mortali will have the play-by-play call for WQUN, with Bob Tipson alongside for color commentary. Fans can also tune into live stats as well.

Last Time Out Against Colgate
Four members of Quinnipiac registered double-figures in the scoring column on Wednesday evening, as the Bobcats handed Colgate University an 80-70 defeat at Cotterell Court in Hamilton, N.Y. The Bobcats shot 57 percent from the floor in the second half and connected on 28-of-31 from the free-throw line, two statistics that proved to be difference-makers in the final result. QU outshot Colgate 42 percent to 40 percent from the field, 90 percent (28-31) to 82 percent (14-17) from the free-throw line and controlled the glass with a plus-20 rebounding margin (45-25). 18 of the 45 rebounds came on the offensive end, which led to 19 second-chance points.

Games On TV
QU has been a part of four televised games this season. James Johnson and Ike Azotam have certainly enjoyed the attention, as the duo has combined for nearly half of the team's total offense when on TV. Johnson is averaging 20.7 points and 2.3 rebounds, while Azotam is just fewer than 18 points and 13 rebounds per game.  

Double-Double Machine
Ike Azotam posted his eighth double-double of the season with 20 points and 14 rebounds against Colgate on Dec. 28. He is currently tied for third in the nation in the category and has moved closer to fourth place in career double-doubles among active NEC players. He has 10 career double-doubles, just one behind Alex Francis of Bryant University. Azotam leads the Northeast Conference and is 10th in the nation in rebounding (11.2 per game), and leads the NEC and is eighth in the country in offensive rebounding (4.3 per game).

Success From The Stripe
Quinnipiac shot 90.3 percent (28-31) from the free-throw line in the win against Colgate on Dec. 28. It marked the first time that the Bobcats made 90 percent from the line in at least 15 attempts since 2007. They went 17-of-19 (90 percent) in an 88-87 win against FDU on March 1.

Backcourt Steps Up
The backcourt stepped up against the Raiders on Dec. 28, recording 68 percent of the team's total offense. James Johnson led the way with 18 points; Zaid Hearst added a career-high 16 points and Dave Johnson chimed in with 10. Garvey Young and Nate Gause combined for 10 points off the bench, as the Bobcats cracked 80 points for the third time this year.

Johnson Crosses 1,400-Point Plateau
James Johnson's 18 points against Colgate on Dec. 28 and pushed him over the 1,400 career point plateau. He is just the 14th player in the history of the program to accomplish the feat. Johnson, now with 1,408 points, surpassed Kason Mims' 1,320 mark against Hartford on Dec. 6, which also moved him into fourth place in QU's Division I scoring leaders category.

CollegeHoops.Net Honors Ike Again
Ike Azotam was tabbed to the CollegeHoops.Net All-Northeast Conference Pre-League Play Team, announced by Jon Teitel on Dec. 28. Azotam has led Quinnipiac in several statistical categories through the first 12 games. He has averaged 16.3 points, 11.2 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and one steal per outing for the Bobcats, which includes career-highs in points (32) and rebounds (18).

Among The Elite
Quinnipiac has once again established itself as a national power on the boards. The Bobcats lead the nation in offensive rebounds per game (17.6) and are second in rebounds per game (44.8) and in rebounding margin (12.3). 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)

Rebounding Margin Factors In
Rebounding has become the identity of the Bobcats under the direction of Head Coach Tom Moore. Through 138 games with Moore at the helm, Quinnipiac has only failed to out-rebound an opponent 23 times. In 35 of the 138 games, QU has posted a plus-10 or better rebounding margin, including eight with plus-20 or better. The Bobcats hold a remarkable 35-1 mark when holding a plus-10 edge and an 8-1 record with plus-20.  

10 And 10 For Two
Dave Johnson and Ousmane Drame each recorded their first-career double-doubles against Niagara on Dec. 22. Johnson matched a career-high with 10 assists to go along with 13 points and Drame finished with a career-high 13 points and 10 rebounds. The duo also combined to go 13-of-14 from the charity stripe. Furthermore, Azotam was one rebound shy of joining Johnson and Drame with at least 10 in two statistical categories. Two players with double-doubles occurred last season when Ike Azotam and Lance Brown accomplished the rare feat against Sacred Heart on Feb. 9.

Human Highlight Reel
Ike Azotam poured in a career-high against Niagara on Dec. 22, a game that was featured on ESPN's SportsCenter later that evening. Azotam stole the show on the court and in the SportsCenter clip, as the power forward finished 13-of-18 (72 percent) from the floor, 6-of-8 from the free-throw line, grabbed nine rebounds and tallied two blocks.

20-20
James Johnson and Ike Azotam each scored 22 points against UMass, Dec. 17, a game that was televised on NESN. Johnson finished 8-of-16 from the floor, including 5-of-9 from behind the arc, while Azotam posted another double-double with 13 boards; as the duo accounted for 65 percent of the team's total offense. Last season, Johnson and Justin Rutty accomplished the 20-20 coup at Long Island, Feb. 5.

Stellar D All Around
The Bobcats held the Catamounts to just 7.7 percent from behind the arc, Dec. 11. That figure marked the lowest three-point field goal percentage by an opponent since January 27, 2002, when QU held Wagner to just 6.2 percent (1-16) from long distance. Furthermore, the Bobcats held Vermont two just two field goals over the final 10:42 of the second half. The Catamounts managed just 12 points on 2-of-10 shooting during the stretch. Eight of the 12 points came from the free-throw line.

Lights, Camera, Jackson
Jamee Jackson was dominant in all facets of the game at Vermont, Dec. 11. He compiled 20 points, seven rebounds and two steals on the afternoon. He finished 8-of-15 from the floor, 4-of-5 from the charity stripe and was stellar behind the ball as well.  Two games earlier against Bryant on Dec. 3; he netted 21 points going 8-of-13 from the floor to lead the Bobcats to the team's 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 collected his 400th point against Hartford, Dec. 6, and 300th rebound against Sacred Heart, Dec. 1. 

Big Night For "Z"
Zaid Hearst tossed in a career-high 14 points and grabbed six rebounds in the triumph at Hartford, Dec. 6. 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 third career start for the Bobcats.

Nothing Short Of Perfect
Junior Dave Johnson made all eight of his free-throw attempts against Bryant, 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.

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.

Sharp-Shooter
Freshman Nate Gause granted the Bobcats a much needed spark off the bench at American, 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.

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, 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, 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.

On Deck
QU will open the New Year with Northeast Conference play on Thursday, January 5. The Bobcats travel to St. Francis (N.Y.) for a 7 p.m. tip-off. For all information pertaining to the men's basketball program, please visit www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.

Contact: Tony Distasio; Ardistasio@quinnipiac.edu