Payback Time

John Healy

It’s been almost 11 months since the Quinnipiac men’s basketball team fell to Robert Morris in the NEC Championship game at the TD Bank Sports Center. Tonight, the Bobcats have an opportunity for revenge in the highly anticipated rematch.

However, the Bobcats are a different team than the one that took a 7-2 overall record into winter break.

Since then, the Bobcats have gone 5-5, lost reigning NEC Player of the Year Justin Rutty to an elbow injury, and are currently on a three-game losing streak.

“We didn’t expect to be in a situation where we are 4-4 in the NEC, but we put ourselves in this situation and we’re going to have to figure out ways to dig ourselves out,” Quinnipiac head coach Tom Moore said.

Rutty’s injury has had the biggest effect on the Bobcats as they have gone 3-4 in his absence and have transformed into a different type of team.

“We’ve become more of a perimeter offense team and unfortunately, we’ve become a little bit more of a jump shooting team. Against good defenses the jump shots can come and go,” Moore said. “We’ve missed [Rutty] on a lot of different levels. We’ve missed the 17 points, the 10 rebounds, the senior leadership, and the 35 minutes he was playing.”

The timetable on Rutty’s return is still uncertain, and the Bobcats will have to continue to find a way to win without him in today’s Robert Morris game. Moore said there are more urgent matters at hand in this game than seeking revenge from a game a year ago.

“The fact that it’s going to say Robert Morris on their uniforms is needed now because of how the last couple of weeks we’ve hit a real rough patch,” Moore said.