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SHU vs. Quinnipiac: The 10 best games

Updated 12:18 am, Wednesday, February 20, 2013
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Since making their moves to the NCAA Division I ranks as members of the Northeast Conference, Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart, who joined one year apart in 1998 and 1999, respectively, have been joined at the hip.

However, Thursday night's game at the Pitt Center will mark the final time the men's basketball teams will meet in a regular-season conference game. Quinnipiac is moving to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference next season, and the future of the Merritt Parkway rivalry seems to be in jeopardy.

Only one game separates Quinnipiac (12-13, 8-5 NEC) and SHU (9-15, 7-6) in the standings as the conference heads into its final two weeks of regular-season play.

Sacred Heart, which won the first game this season 80-74 to even the D-I series at 14-14, holds a 40-22 all-time lead in the series.

Here's a look at the 10 most memorable meetings between the teams since 1999:

10. Quinnipiac 66, SHU 64 (Feb. 5, 2009): After losing three straight times to Dave Bike since taking over at QU, Tom Moore finally posts his first win in the series. James Feldeine had 12 points and 10 rebounds to lead the five Bobcats who scored in double figures in the road win. Trailing 44-37 with 11:55 to play, QU went on an 8-0 run, taking a 45-44 lead, to climb back into it. The Bobcats' 79.2 percent (19-for-24) foul shooting paid off in the end. SHU had two players post double-doubles with Joey Henley (21 points,11 rebounds) and Corey Hassan (20 points, 13 rebounds).

9. SHU 68, Quinnipiac 55 (Dec. 1, 2011): The Pioneers ended a five-game losing skid vs. QU with a victory at the TD Bank North Center in the first NEC game of the season. Shane Gibson scored 21 points and Femi Akinpetide scored a career-high 11, with nine coming in the second half. SHU was 5 of 9 on 3-pointers in the first half to build a 34-24 lead. Ike Azotam finished with 18 points and 16 rebounds for the Bobcats.

8. SHU 76, Quinnipiac 74 (Jan. 31, 2004): Maurice Bailey went 6-for-6 from the foul line in the final 21 seconds and finished with 22 points at the Pitt Center. QU had won the first game that season with a 90-62 rout, but the Pioneers were ready in the rematch. Bailey would make 16-of-17 foul shots and SHU made 25-for-35 for the game. Kason Mims had 23 points in the loss.

7. Quinnipiac 83, SHU 70 (Dec. 8, 1999): In the first NEC meeting between the schools, coach Joe DeSantis and the host Bobcats were led by 19 points apiece from Jared Grasso and Nate Pondexter in front of 1,368 fans at the Burt Kahn Center. QU shot 57.9 percent from the field, including 7-for-12 on 3-pointers. Grasso made five of them. SHU was led by 15 points from Donte Lloyd.

6. Quinnipiac 79, SHU 75 (Feb. 8, 2007): DeMario Anderson scored 31 points off the bench to give the host Bobcats their first win in the series at the TD Bank North Center, which opened two weeks earlier. Anderson hit a jumper with 1:28 left to give QU a 75-74 and they held SHU to one point the rest of the way. Brice Brooks scored 19 points in the loss.

5. Quinnipiac 90, SHU 87 (Feb. 6, 2010): In a scheduling quirk, the schools met twice in three days, with the Bobcats completing the sweep in Hamden. QU blew out the Pioneers in the first meeting, 86-71, but SHU jumped out to a 17-6 lead in the rematch. Jerrell Thompson scored a career-high 30 points, and SHU made 12 3-pointers and led 45-42 at the half. None of it could have stopped the Bobcats, who grabbed a 67-66 lead with 9:04 to play on James Feldeine's jumper and never lost it. Feldeine had 22 points while big man Justin Rutty finished with 16 points and 13 rebounds. QU went on to take the top seed in the NEC tournament, but lost in the title game to Robert Morris.

4. SHU 75, Quinnipiac 74 (Jan. 26, 2008): Drew Shubik made two free throws with 25 seconds left to give SHU a one-point lead at the Pitt Center, which drew a building-record crowd of 2,012 fans. The Bobcats' DeMario Anderson missed a potent game-winning jump shot with one second left. Anderson scored 30 points in the loss and helped QU erase a 10-point second-half deficit. Shubik led SHU with 20 points.

3. SHU 87, Quinnipiac 84 (Feb. 26, 2007): The second-to-last regular season game turned out to have a huge impact since it helped SHU lock up the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament. Adam Gonzalez scored 37 points, but it wasn't enough for the Bobcats to win at the Pitt Center. Shubik scored 22 points and Jarrid Frye added 19 as SHU -- which had five players score in double figures -- recovered from a 31-28 halftime deficit.

2. Quinnipiac 88, SHU 83 in OT (Feb. 3, 2005): Rob Monroe poured in 40 points, but the Bobcats needed extra time to win at home and end a five-game skid. Monroe dominated the OT with 11 points, including a 3-pointer and 8-for-8 performance at the foul line. He scored 36 points in the second half and OT combined to post his second 40-point game of the season. Sacred Heart held the Bobcats to one point in the final five minutes of regulation and came back from eight points down, tying it on Joey Henley's layup with 57 seconds left. Mike Parker missed a layup at the buzzer that could have won it for SHU. Henley finished with 19 and Eugene Pettway added 16, including a 3-pointer on that second-half run.

1. SHU 83, Quinnipiac 69 (March 4, 2007): The NEC semifinal game would change the history of both programs as the schools met for the first and only time in the postseason. Freshman Ryan Litke and Shubik each scored 16 points to lead the host Pioneers to their first conference championship game. After leading 35-33 at halftime, SHU would never trail once it went on an 8-2 run to start the second half. The Pioneers would go on to lose to Central Connecticut in the title game, but proved it had finally arrived in the conference as a contender. Meanwhile, the Bobcats would fire DeSantis after the season and hire Jim Calhoun protege Moore.

wpaxton@ctpost.com: @wspaxton

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