Robert Morris (22-11) at Quinnipiac (23-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 10th, 7:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: TD Bank Sports Center (3,570) -- Hamden, Connecticut. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: Robert Morris 12-3, Quinnipiac 14-0. Away Record: Robert Morris 9-7, Quinnipiac 8-8. Neutral Record: Robert Morris 1-1, Quinnipiac 1-0. Conference Record: Robert Morris 15-3, Quinnipiac 15-3. Series Record: Robert Morris leads, 14-8.
GAME NOTES: The top-seeded Quinnipiac Bobcats and the second-seeded Robert Morris Colonials are set to collide in the championship game of the 2010 Northeast Conference Tournament, and the winner will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Robert Morris has won the NEC Tournament title six times, more than any other active member of the league, and one of the six crowns was earned last season. In the 2008 championship game, the Colonials knocked off Mount St. Mary's by a 48-46 final. Robert Morris is 22-11 this season, and after defeating seventh- seeded Central Connecticut State in Thursday's quarterfinal round, the Colonials knocked off third-seeded Mount St. Mary's in impressive fashion on Sunday, 80-62.
As for Quinnipiac, it has never won this event. The Bobcats defeated eighth- seeded Monmouth by nine points on Thursday and squeaked by fourth-seeded Long Island on Sunday, 83-78. Quinnipiac, which owns a 23-8 overall record, did reach the NEC Tournament title tilt in 2002, but it fell by seven points to Central Connecticut State.
Quinnipiac beat Robert Morris by an 87-79 final during the regular season, but the Colonials still hold a 14-8 advantage in the all-time series.
Robert Morris is not an explosive offensive team, as it is averaging a modest 69.0 ppg on 43.8 percent shooting from the floor. Fortunately, the Colonials have been able to limit foes to 66.2 ppg on 41 percent field goal efficiency. Karon Abraham leads the team with 13.3 ppg, and he is a 44.9 percent shooter from three-point range. The only other double-digit scorer in the fold is Rob Robinson with his 10.1 ppg on 51.6 percent shooting. In the 18-point romp over Mount St. Mary's in the semifinal round, Abraham scored 19 points, while Robinson tallied 14 points. Dallas Green pitched in 11 points for the Colonials, and Velton Jones contributed 10 points. Robert Morris connected on 53.7 percent of its field goal attempts and turned the ball over only eight times.
Quinnipiac is posting 74.3 ppg while permitting 66.5 ppg to opponents. The top offensive performer for the Bobcats is James Feldeine, who is netting 17.1 ppg to go along with 6.0 rpg, 79 assists and 46 steals. Justin Rutty is a monster on the boards, as he is ripping down 11.0 rpg in addition to scoring 15.2 ppg on 53.7 percent shooting from the floor. James Johnson is the third and final double-digit scorer on the roster with his 12.2 ppg. Rutty scored 22 points and ripped down 16 boards in the five-point win over Long Island in the semifinals. Deontay Twyman contributed 16 points off the bench for Quinnipiac, which received 13 points from Feldeine and 10 points from Jonathan Cruz. A 25-8 advantage in points from the foul line was the most obvious key to victory.
Expect Quinnipiac to get the job done in what should be a competitive and entertaining championship game. Rutty's toughness in the paint will be the difference.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Quinnipiac 70, Robert Morris 65
03/10 10:31:51 ET