March 12, 2012

CBI First Round - Men's Basketball Travels To Penn Wednesday Night

2012 College Basketball Invitational - First Round
Quinnipiac University Bobcats (18-13, 10-8 NEC) at
University of Pennsylvania Quakers (19-12, 11-3 Ivy League)
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 – 7:30 p.m.
The Palestra – Philadelphia, Pa.
QU Last Five: 3-2
Penn Last Five: 4-1

2012 College Basketball Invitational Release
2012 College Basketball Invitational Bracket
QU Men's Basketball Homepage
QU Men's Basketball Schedule
NEC Men's Basketball Homepage
QU Ticket Information Homepage
Complete Game Notes (PDF)
Live Stats
Live Audio
ESPN.Com Live Stats
Tickets

CBI First Round – Quinnipiac Travels To Penn Wednesday Night
The Quinnipiac University men's basketball team (18-13, 10-8 NEC) travels Philly to take on Pennsylvania in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) First Round on Wednesday night. The second meeting between the two schools will tip-off at 7:30 p.m. with all the action taking place at the Cathedral of College Basketball, The Palestra. QU fell to LIU Brooklyn in the Northeast Conference Semifinals, while the Quakers were defeated in their regular-season finale to Princeton. This will be the Bobcats third national postseason appearance.  

All-Time Against Penn
The Bobcats and the Quakers have only met one other time leading into Wednesday night's showdown. Despite a strong half from the visiting Bobcats, Penn held on for a 74-60 victory back in the 2004-05 campaign in the First Round of the Preseason NIT Tournament.  Penn used a strong first half of basketball to separate the two teams by 21 points at break, a lead the Quakers would never relinquish. Kevin Jolly and Rob Monroe led the Bobcats with 12 points and nine points, respectively. Penn was led by a game-high 22 points from Tim Begley.   

Scouting The Quakers
Penn finished the 2011-12 regular season with a 19-12 overall record, its best win total since the 2006-07 campaign when the Quakers went 22-9. Penn compiled an 11-3 mark in Ivy League play and claimed second place in the conference standings. Penn had a chance to force an Ivy League Championship game with Harvard, but fell short to Princeton in its Ivy League finale, 62-52. The play-in game would have been hosted by Quinnipiac at the TD Bank Sports Center this past weekend. The CBI bid is Penn's 25th postseason appearance. The Quakers have previously played in 23 NCAA Tournaments as well as a National Invitational Tournament (NIT) bid in 1981. This will be Penn's third game against a Northeast Conference team this season; as the Quakers defeated Robert Morris 66-60, but lost to Wagner, 71-65, three days later. Penn is led by senior guard Zack Rosen who is averaging 18.5 points, 3.3 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game. Fellow backcourt members senior Tyler Bernardini and sophomore Miles Cartwright also score in double-figures with 12.2 and 10.3 points, respectively. Senior Rob Belcore leads the team in rebounding with 4.8 rebounds per outing.  

Last Time Out Against LIU Brooklyn
James Johnson and Ike Azotam each scored 17 points apiece last Sunday, but the Bobcats were outlasted by top-ranked LIU Brooklyn, 78-75, in the Northeast Conference Tournament Semifinals at the Wellness, Recreation and Athletic Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Blackbirds used a 12-4 run in the waning minutes to pull away for their second consecutive trip to the NEC Finals. For the game, Quinnipiac outshot LIU, 46.4 percent to 43.3 percent, from the floor, 46.2 percent to 21.1 percent, from long-distance and edged the Blackbirds in the paint, 36-34. Conversely though, LIU became the just the fifth team on the season to outrebound QU, descending the Bobcats to 1-4 when failing to control the glass. The foul discrepancy also may have contributed to the outcome of the game. Quinnipiac was charged with 28 fouls on the night, resulting in 30 free-throw attempts for the Blackbirds. LIU Brooklyn committed 17 fouls, sending the Bobcats to the charity stripe just 10 times. 

On The Air
Wednesday's game 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 play-by-play call, with Bill Mecca's insight on color commentary. Fans can also tune into live stats as well.

Best Of The Best
James Johnson netted 22 points in the NEC Quarterfinals against St. Francis (N.Y.) on March 1, leaving the senior guard atop the QU Division I Scoring List. Now with 1,713 points, he surpassed 2005 graduate Rob Monroe's 1,685 point total with his first field goal in the second half. Furthermore, with his 17 points on Sunday night, Johnson became just the seventh player to score 1,700 points in QU men's basketball history.

National Postseason History
With two national postseason games under their belt, the Bobcats are in search for their first national postseason win on Wednesday. QU attended its first tournament back in 2010 with a first round game against ACC member Virginia Tech. Last year, the Bobcats hosted Buffalo in the first round of the CIT, serving as the first national postseason game of the season.

NEC Tournament History
Quinnipiac has compiled a 9-9 record in the NEC Tournament, reaching the championship game twice. The Bobcats have now reached the semifinals five times in their last seven tournament appearances. 

Balanced Attack
In the NEC Semifinals, four Bobcats registered double-figures in the scoring column. Jamee Jackson and Zaid Hearst joined James Johnson and Ike Azotam in category with 12 and 10 points, respectively. They accounted for 75 percent of the total offense and combined for 17 rebounds.

Bobcats Honored By NEC
James Johnson and Ike Azotam were named to the All-NEC Second Team by the league's coaches, as announced by the conference office on Feb. 28. The award is the second straight for Johnson and first for Azotam. Tom Moore has now placed a player on the All-Conference Team in each of his five seasons with the program.  

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 (16.9) and are second in total rebounds per game (43.5) and rebounding margin (10.4). 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) 

Double-Double
Ike Azotam has been a force underneath for the Bobcats this season and currently leads the Northeast Conference in double-doubles. He collected his 14th double-double of the campaign against St. Francis (N.Y.) on March 1 and now remains just three behind the QU single-season mark set by Justin Rutty in 2010. With his performance against the Terriers, he moved into a tie for fourth place in career double-doubles among active NEC players. Azotam has reached double-figures in two statistical categories 16 times for the Bobcats, sitting alongside of Bryant's Alex Francis. 

Heating Up In February
With six wins in the month, the Bobcats improved to 25-7 (.781) in the month of February over the last four seasons. Quinnipiac has managed to hold opponents to just 38 percent from the floor, while shooting at a 46 percent clip.  

Rebounding Margin Factors In
Rebounding has become the identity of the Bobcats under the direction of Head Coach Tom Moore. Through 157 games with Moore at the helm, Quinnipiac has only failed to out-rebound an opponent 27 times. In 45 of the 157 games, QU has posted a plus-10 or better rebounding margin, including 11 with plus-20 or better. The Bobcats hold a remarkable 43-2 mark when holding a plus-10 edge and a 10-1 record with plus-20.    

Making Adjustments
Under Head Coach Tom Moore's tutelage, QU seems to make the necessary adjustments when playing a team for the second time around. The Bobcats are 25-13, a .658 winning percentage, over the last four years in the backend of the regular-season twinbill. This also includes seven wins in which the team follows a loss in the first meeting. 

Just Like Ike
Ike Azotam leads the Northeast Conference and is 30th in the nation in rebounding (9.5 per game), and leads the NEC and is 15th in the country in offensive rebounding (3.6 per game). He also has the nation's sixth best rebounding performance (18 rebounds against Yale, Nov. 15) and 13th best scoring performance (32 against Niagara, Dec. 22). 

Second Time Around
Quinnipiac's hunger on the offensive glass has them ranked first in the nation for the category. The Bobcats are averaging 15.4 second-chance points per outing through 31 games this season. Opponents have been held to just 9.2 second-chance points per game, which includes holding BU (12/31), SHU (12/3) and FDU (2/4) to just three. Furthermore, the Bobcats have registered at least 15 second-chance points 20 times this season, boasting 20 points or more on six separate occasions.   

150 Under His Belt
Head Coach Tom Moore appeared in his 150th game this season on the sideline for the Bobcats. Through 150 games with Quinnipiac, he accumulated an 89-61 record, which results in nearly a .600 winning percentage. Furthermore, Coach Moore fared even better in Northeast Conference competition, holding a 56-29 mark (.659) in five seasons.  

Breaking Rookie Records
Ousmane Drame has been a force on the glass in his rookie season for the Bobcats. Drame hauled in 10 rebounds against Monmouth on Feb. 4, setting a new freshman record for rebounds in a single-season. He hauled in his 167th rebound, surpassing Justin Rutty (144) and Ike Azotam (166), who previously owned the top two slots. He is averaging 7.4 rebounds per game this year, a mark that ranks him eighth in the league and first amongst the NEC's freshman class. In addition to his 228 rebounds, he also owns the rookie record for blocks in a season (27).

On Deck
With a win on Wednesday night, the College Basketball Invitational would resume on Monday, March 19 with the quarterfinals. The Bobcats would take on the winner of the Delaware/Butler game, with the site to be determined based on the remaining teams. For all the latest news, scores and highlights, please visit www.QuinnipiacBobcats.com.   

Contact: Tony Distasio; ardistasio@quinnipiac.edu