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ON CAMPUS A look at the area college sports scene

Friday, January 28, 2011

Notes from the Quinnipiac men's press conference

The Quinnipiac men’s basketball team defeated Robert Morris 69-61 on Thursday.

Here are some of coach Tom Moore’s comments.

On Justin Rutty’s return:“Every time I talked to him since the surgery, and it’s probably been four times, he said he’s always felt great. I knew he was coming along and I knew he was eager but the doctor looked at him and felt comfortable with us throwing him out there to see how it reacts.
“Tonight will be important. He hit the deck a couple of times and anytime with an elbow that you go up and grab a rebound with two hands there might be some shock in that area, too.
“It was comforting at the end of the game to have him out there. He was engaged. He looked winded at times and we put some little nuances into the game.
“He was a little behind offensively.”

On James Johnson’s performance:
“James Johnson is a really tough-minded kid. He came in here and shot 300 3’s on Monday with the rest of the guards. On Tuesday they shot 200 3’s and on Wednesday they shot 100 more.
“We talked in the locker room that who knows how many of those 600 3’s got him into the groove tonight. When you beat Robert Morris and stay ahead of them all night you need your perimeter guys to make shots.
“If you remember in the 52-50 game last year in the championship Justin had a really rough night against them because their defense is really geared to stopping the ball at the basket. You can’t dribble a ball in there and make a move.
“But what they give up is the kick back out. We worked a ton on the perimeter guys. Most of James’ 3-pointers came off a kick in the lane. Some came off transition.

James Johnson scored 38 points in the win.
Here are his thoughts:
“If those shots don’t go down it would have been a lot different. I knew I wanted these guys. I needed this win to close the book from last year.
“I’ve been using them beating us 52-50 (in the NEC Championship) as motivation. Coach was talking about getting that big win and getting that train rolling in the right direction. This was a big win and we got Justin back.
“It’s a win to turn our season around. We’re not in first place yet so hopefully if we keep practicing hard and keep playing with the amount of focus we did today then we should be all right.”

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