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Men’s basketball enjoys early NEC success
While most students were enjoying their winter break relaxing, the Quinnipiac University men’s basketball team was hard at work putting together an impressive start to their NEC schedule. Heading into Saturday’s contest against Sacred Heart, Quinnipiac sat atop the NEC with a 6-1 record. After the 75-74 nail biting loss to the Pioneers, the Bobcats sit a half game behind conference leader Wagner.
With 10 games remaining in their conference schedule, the Bobcats will look to continue their winning ways and stay atop the NEC.
Because of their early season success, Quinnipiac was featured in ESPN’s Joe Lunardi’s Bracketology for the first time. Each week Lunardi updates his field of 65 and picks who he believes will be representing each conference. On Monday Jan. 21, Lunardi had the Bobcats predicted to be in a first round match-up against the undefeated Kansas Jayhawks.
So far, the Bobcats have been led by talented senior DeMario Anderson. Anderson has been recognized as NEC Player of the Week for the last two weeks, and he looks to be the front runner for NEC Player of the Year. Anderson has averaged 20.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists. In conference play he has elevated his game, averaging 23.1 points and grabbing 7.6 rebounds. It has been Anderson’s well-rounded play that has ignited the Bobcats to a hot start.
But Anderson isn’t the only reason the Bobcats have enjoyed success this season. He has consistently drawn double and triple teams and his teammates have stepped up and hit big shots. Quinnipaic features a balanced attack in which eight players are averaging seven or more points per game.
The Bobcats second leading scorer, freshman Evann Baker, has averaged just under 12 points a game and has shot a stellar 55 percent from behind the arc. Like Anderson, Baker’s scoring has also increased during conference games; he’s averaging 13.3 points per game.
The Bobcats have also received big contributions from James Feldeine. During a Jan. 19 game against Long Island University, Feldeine scored eight points in the closing minutes during the Bobcats’ 84-80 victory. Feldeine, who only appeared in 12 games last season and averaged only 2.8 minutes per game, has become an important contributor throughout the season. The sophomore often guards the other team’s best player and has hit key threes when the team needs a bucket.
The other six players in the rotation who also see at least 19 minutes of action per game have also made some big contributions. Bryan Geffen has a stellar 3.2 assist-to-turnover ratio this season and like Feldeine has hit some big shots for the Bobcats.
The Bobcats have a home tilt against St. Francis (PA) on Jan. 31. Quinnipiac will get their first crack at conference-leading Wagner on Monday Feb. 11 at the TD Banknorth Sports Center.