By Kevin Lo
HAMDEN – It was business as usual for Justin Rutty, who finished with his 19th career double-double (26 points and 14 rebounds) as Quinnipiac defeated Central Connecticut State University 75-62 on Sunday afternoon.
Rutty led all scorers and was one of three Bobcats who finished in double figures. James Johnson recorded 13 points and James Feldeine chipped in with 12.
After a tumultuous first half that resulted in a three-point halftime deficit for the Bobcats, 28-25, the Bobcats began a 10-2 run over the next four minutes. The rest of the half was more of the same, as Quinnipiac scored 50 points in the second half as opposed to their 25-point output in the first.
“We talked a lot at halftime about being a little more mature and stronger with the ball and finishing our shots, making shots in the second half,” said Quinnipiac Head Coach Tom Moore.
Quinnipiac shot 55.3% in the second half after shooting just 29% in the first.
After playing only 10 minutes in the first half due to foul trouble, James Feldeine led the second half surge finishing a tough fast-break lay-up, followed by a trip to the free-throw line for two points the next possession.
The Bobcats continued to score much more effectively in the second half as James Johnson orchestrated an up-tempo offense.
“To our guys’ credit, we really executed well in the second half. James Johnson is evolving into a very, very good transition point guard – extremely good. He’s getting his bigs and his wings to run along with him too. He made a few plays that got us easy baskets and when we had to play in the half court, our guys executed really well.
Deontay Twyman contributed nine points off the bench and played a much bigger role in the second half taking the place of Jeremy Baker, who struggled offensively (1-9), alongside the rest of the original starting lineup.
Twyman’s three-pointer at the 12:32 mark extended the Quinnipiac lead to 14 points, 51-37. The lead reached its peak of 19 points at the 7:55 mark after a bucket by Jamee Jackson.
The Bobcats return to NEC action Thursday, when they travel to Staten Island, N.Y. to face Wagner. Opening tip from the Spiro Sports Center is scheduled for 7 p.m.