Rich Kelly scores 1000th NCAA point in 81-67 Bobcats victory


Jacob Shiffer

With the familiar nothing-but-net 3-pointer that Quinnipiac Bobcats fans have grown accustomed to seeing, junior guard Rich Kelly scored his 1,000th career point in the Bobcats’ 81-67 victory over the Fairfield Stags.

It took just 76 career games for Kelly to become the 15th player in Bobcats Division I program history to achieve the feat. While the moment will be a highlight in Kelly’s career, he may have been one of the last to realize what he had accomplished.

“I didn’t know until everyone started cheering a little extra and then I was like, ‘Alright, I probably scored 1,000 there,’” Kelly said. “But yeah, that was a cool moment.”

The scoring play was quintessential Kelly. The junior guard inbounded the ball to redshirt junior forward Kevin Marfo, who handed it back to Kelly as he set the screen. Kelly found himself open for the 3-pointer like he has time and time again, but this one put him in the record books.

“That’s one of our basic baseline out-of-bounds plays,” Kelly said. “They went under it and then I just sat back. He gave me a good handoff and it was low on the shot clock so I just let it go.”

Play continued for another minute before the Stags called timeout and the home crowd gave a standing ovation to the Shelton, Connecticut native. Kelly achieved the accolade in front of his home fans and his parents, but also his brother, John Kelly, a freshman forward on the opposing Stags. But even in the midst of a big moment, Rich Kelly maintained his calm on-court mentality.

“I didn’t really think about it too much in the moment,” Kelly said. “I was trying to stay locked in for the win. I guess I get to enjoy it a little bit tonight and then tomorrow, focus on Siena.”

Kelly was the first recruit to commit to the Bobcats when head coach Baker Dunleavy was hired in 2017. Almost three years later, Dunleavy didn’t seem the least bit surprised with Kelly’s success.

“I love Rich, I love our whole team. We all care about each other,” Dunleavy said. “Just the way we do things, those things are going to happen for certain guys as they score. It’s a great accolade.”

Amidst the celebration, there was still a game to be played. Kelly led the Bobcats with 27 points spread beynd the arc, at the rim and from the free throw line in a performance that proved why his name will be added to the 1,000 point banner hanging in the People’s United Center.

While Marfo had the assist to Kelly’s historic basket, he also continued his dominance on the boards, collecting 15 rebounds, extending his run as the only player in the NCAA with 10 or more rebounds in every game this season.

The Bobcats will look to keep hold of its lead in the MAAC as they take on the Siena Saints on the road on Sunday, Jan. 27. After effectively bouncing back from two straight losses, the team hopes the smart play and momentum from this win carries over through the rest of the season.

“If you just do the right things when you play in this program, guys are gonna get 1,000 points,” Dunleay said. “Kevin Marfo can lead the country in rebounding. You can win a championship if you just do the right things every day.”