Friday, December 8, 2017

PREVIEW: Huskies Men's Basketball Looks For First PSAC Win Of Season Saturday


STARTING FIVE ...
Bloomsburg and Clarion will meet on Saturday in a battle of the final two winless teams in the PSAC. The Huskies went a perfect 4-0 against non-league opponents this season but have not gotten over the hump against league foes to date. Clarion, meanwhile, enters with a 2-7 overall record and an 0-4 mark in the PSAC West. The teams met last December in Clarion with the Golden Eagles posting a 77-70 victory over the Huskies.


- Since the 2012-13 season, the Huskies are just 8-27 against opponents from the PSAC Western Division. However, six of the eight wins (6-11) have come at the Nelson Field House. Bloomsburg is just 2-16 in games played on the road against such opponents. Four of the eight wins during the stretch came during the 2015-16 season when Bloomsburg went 4-2 against PSAC West foes - 2-1 on the road.

- With 5:49 left in the first half during the overtime loss at IUP, redshirt senior Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton)became the school's all-time leader in career three-pointers made with his 238th career make, surpassing Lorenzo Christmas(Norristown/Norristown)' previous record of 237 from 2010-14. Mortellite now has 254 made threes for his career. The all-time Bloomsburg record (men or women) is held by Dana Wieller who hit 332 during her career from 2009-13.

- Mortellite has moved into third on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,663 career points. He trails only the school's all-time leading scorer, Mike Ellzy (1,911) and Jerry Radocha (1,778). Mortellite set the Bloomsburg single-season school-record last season with 613 points. With 18 games left in the regular season, Mortellite needs to average 13.8 points per game to break the record.

- Senior Kyle-Michael Rose (Middletown, Del./Sanford School) has recorded 89 career blocked shots. He needs one to tie Adam Bohman (1999-03) for eighth and four to tie Moustapha Noumbissi (Upper Darby/Delaware County Christian School) (2011-14) for seventh on the school's all-time list.

THE COACHES ...
John Sanow is in his 12th season as head coach of the Huskies and sports an overall record of 137-167. Over the last six seasons, Sanow has guided the Huskies to a PSAC Tournament berth five times and a share of the PSAC Eastern Division regular season championship in 2011-12. He was also named the PSAC East Coach of the Year that season. Overall, Sanow has more than 25 years of experience with previous coaching stops at the University of Vermont along with Division II schools Gannon University and Pitt-Johnstown. He also spent 11 years as an assistant coach at Division I St. Francis of Pennsylvania.

Marcess Williams is currently in his fourth season as the head coach of Clarion. He has an overall mark of 33-60. In 2015-16, Williams guided the Golden Eagles to the program's first PSAC tournament berth since the 2009-10 season and then upset Edinboro on the road before falling in the quarterfinals. He came to Clarion after nine seasons as the head coach at Penn State-Beaver. He guided PSU-Beaver to six PSUAC Western Division titles and the league championship in 2009, 2010, and 2011. Williams is the fourth all-time leading scorer in La Roche history with 1,359 points. He was inducted into the school's Hall of Fame in 2013.
 
THE SERIES ...

Bloomsburg leads the all-time series against Clarion, 15-14. However, the Golden Eagles narrowed the gap last season with a 77-70 victory over the Huskies, in Clarion, on December 10. Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) (21) and Donell Diggs (19) combined for 40 of Bloomsburg's 70 points. BJ Andrews paced Clarion with 22 points in the victory.

LAST TIME OUT ...
Bloomsburg dropped a 77-74 decision to visiting Slippery Rock last Sunday at the Nelson Field House. Sophomore Khary Mauras(Reading, Pa./Reading) led the Huskies with a career-high 21 points while grabbing five rebounds and dishing out three assists. Graduate student Hashim Moore (Sunrise, Fla./Hun School) chipped in with 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting from the field. Redshirt senior Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) was held in check by the Slippery Rock defense for much of the afternoon but did finish with 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds in a losing effort. However, the Huskies had no answer for Slippery Rock's Micah Till who finished with 32 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. The game was closely contested throughout as it featured 14 ties and 13 lead changes. In fact, neither team led by more than six points with the visitors holding that margin on four separate occasions. Bloomsburg's largest lead of the game was five points, three times, early in the opening half.

Clarion outscored Shippensburg, 41-35, in the second half last Sunday but was unable to catch up from a slow start and ultimately fell, 78-65, against the Raiders. The Golden Eagles trailed, 43-24, at halftime. Clarion was led by freshman Mason Mraz who registered 14 points and seven rebounds. Freshman Israel Atkins chipped in 12 points and seven rebounds while senior Cameron Grumley finished with 10 points and nine rebounds.

SCOUTING BLOOMSBURG ...
Bloomsburg enters the matchup with a 4-4 overall record with all four of its losses coming against PSAC West opponents. The Huskies average 79.5 points per game on offense - sixth in the PSAC - and allow 75.9 points per game on defense - 12th in the conference. Bloomsburg ranks eighth in the league in rebounding margin (+1.5) but is just 12th in the league in turnover margin (-0.38).

Redshirt senior Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) leads the Huskies, and is second in the PSAC, in scoring by averaging 22.4 points per game. He has scored at least 25 points in five of the first eight games and has reached double figures in seven of the eight contests. Mortellite had back-to-back 31-point efforts at Felician and against California - the sixth and seventh 30-point games of his collegiate career. At IUP on November 19, Mortellite became the school's all-time leader in career three-pointers made as he has now made 254 for his career. Mortellite also leads the team, and is eighth in the PSAC, in rebounding (8.5). He also leads the team in steals (1.8) and is second in assists (3.5). Sophomore Khary Mauras (Reading, Pa./Reading) is second on the team in scoring, averaging 12.8 points per game. Mauras had a season-high 21 points in the loss against Slippery Rock on Sunday. He leads the team in assists with 31. Senior Kyle-Michael Rose (Middletown, Del./Sanford School) averages 11.1 points per game and leads the team with 20 blocked shots, including a career-high-tying six against California last Saturday. He is ninth on the school's all-time list with 89 career swats. Graduate student Hashim Moore (Sunrise, Fla./Hun School) has really stepped up over the last five games. He has reached double figures in each of the last five contests and is averaging 14.0 points while shooting 30-of-47 (63.8%) from the field during the stretch. He averaged 3.7 points on 4-of-17 (23.5%) from the field in the first three games. Sophomore Austin Harriott(Philadelphia, Pa./Hun School) is the first Husky off of the bench. He averages 7.9 points while ranking second on the team in rebounding (6.3).

SCOUTING CLARION ...
Clarion enters the contest with a 2-7 overall record and an 0-4 mark in the PSAC Western Division standings. The Golden Eagles can certainly score points - they average 82.3 points per game (fifth in the PSAC). However, Clarion is dead last in the conference in points allowed as it gives up an average of 94.2 points per game. Clarion has allowed at least 100 points three times and has given up 90 points in six of its nine games. The Golden Eagles are 14th in the league in rebounding margin (-2.4) and 13th in the conference in turnover margin (-0.44).

The Golden Eagles use a balanced scoring attack as seven different players average at least 6.3 points per game. Kyheim Hall leads Clarion in scoring as he averages 17.5 points per game while shooting a team-high 56.9% (33-of-58) from the field. He scored a career-high 36 points, including 22-of-25 at the foul line, at Winston-Salem State on November 10. Hall also ranks second on the team in rebounding (5.5). Cameron Grumley is averaging 15.1 points per game while leading the team in rebounding (6.2), assists (21), and steals (17). He also ranks second on the team in three-pointers with 13. Mason Mraz is also in double figures as he posts 12.9 points per contest. Mraz leads the squad with 17 triples.

KACH ATTACK ...
Freshman Matthew Kachelries (Macungie, Pa./Emmaus) was named the PSAC East Freshman of the Week as announced by the league office on Monday, November 27. Kachelries posted career-highs in points (18), steals (4), and blocked shots (3) as he helped the Huskies to an 86-67 victory over Holy Family on Tuesday, November 21, in the team's only game that week. His previous high in points was 10 against Penn State Hazleton in the season opener. He also tied a career-high with three rebounds in the victory.

ANOTHER RECORD ...
Redshirt senior Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) became the school's all-time leader in career three-pointers at IUP on Sunday, November 19, as he broke Lorenzo Christmas (Norristown/Norristown)' previous record of 237 from 2010-14. Mortellite now holds the school record for most career triples (254), most single-season triples (110), and most points in a single season (613).

MORE ON MORTELLITE ...
All eyes are on Mortellite as he tries to become the school's all-time leading scorer. The sharpshooter currently sits in third place on the school's all-time list with 1,663 career points. Mortellite has 47 career 20-point efforts in 87 collegiate games. He has hit double figures in 69 of his last 73 games and has been held to under 10 points in a game only 11 times in his career. Mortellite needs 116 points to pass Jerry Radocha (1973-77) for second and needs 249 points to become the school's all-time leader. Mike Ellzy (1993-97) currently holds the record with 1,911 career points.

WELCOME TO DIVISION II ...
Bloomsburg has three Division I transfers on this year's roster - sophomore Austin Harriott (Philadelphia, Pa./Hun School) (Loyola (Md.)), sophomore Khary Mauras (Reading, Pa./Reading) (Old Dominion), and graduate student Hashim Moore (Sunrise, Fla./Hun School) (Princeton) - and all three have made impacts early. Mauras, the starting point guard, is second on the team in scoring (12.8) and leads the team in assists (3.9). Moore also starts and, after a slow beginning, is averaging 10.1 points and 5.0 rebounds. Moore is averaging 14.0 points over his last five games while shooting 30-of-47 (63.8%) from the field during the stretch. Harriott is the first player off of the Huskies' bench and averages 7.9 points while ranking second on the team in rebounding (6.3).

DOWNTOWN WITH THE HUSKIES ...
The Huskies have made at least one three-pointer in 189 consecutive games. The last time Bloomsburg did not make a three in a game was on December 4, 2010 in a 54-51 loss at Lock Haven when it went 0-7 from beyond the arc. Bloomsburg made at least ten three-pointers in a game eight times last season after achieving that feat just one time last in 2015-16. Bloomsburg has reached double digits once this season but has made at least five in all eight games. Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) led all of Division II in threes-per-game (4.07) last season.

NOT FOUL AT THE LINE ...
Bloomsburg is shooting 72.4% from the free throw line this season and has outscored its opponents from the stripe in seven of the first eight games. The Huskies are +40 from the foul line this season (126-86). Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) is fourth in the country in free-throw percentage (97.1%) as he is 34-of-35 this season. Khary Mauras (Reading, Pa./Reading) is 26-of-28 (92.9%) but missed his last two against Slippery Rock on Sunday. Mortellite's miss in the second half of the win at Felician snapped a streak of 38 consecutive makes dating back to last season. All told, the Huskies are 126-of-174 from the line which includes Hashim Moore (Sunrise, Fla./Hun School), who has gone just 13-of-38 (34.2%) from the stripe. If Moore's numbers are taken out, the other 11 players have combined to go 113-of-136 (83.1%).

IT'S ROUGH OUT WEST ...
Since the 2012-13 season, the Huskies are just 8-27 against opponents from the PSAC Western Division and just 2-16 in games played on the road against such opponents. Bloomsburg went 4-2 against PSAC West foes during the 2015-16 season - 2-1 on the road.

COMING UP ROSES ...
With his 20 blocks through the first eight games of the season, senior Kyle-Michael Rose (Middletown, Del./Sanford School) has moved into ninth on the school's all-time list with 89 career blocks. He is 11 blocks away from becoming the seventh player in school history to record 100 career blocks. Larry Webster (Hagerstown, MD/Elkton) holds the career record with 175. Rose currently ranks second in the PSAC in blocks per game (2.5)

YOUTH MOVEMENT ...
The Huskies have just three seniors and no juniors on this year's roster and returned only three players from last year's team that finished 15-12. One of the three seniors - Hashim Moore (Sunrise, Fla./Hun School) - transferred in from Division I Princeton and is in his first season with the Huskies. Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) and Kyle-Michael Rose (Middletown, Del./Sanford School) are the other two seniors on the team while redshirt sophomore Sam Saxton (York, Pa./Central York) joins the duo as the only returning player from last year's team. Redshirt freshman Peyton Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) was on last year's roster but did not play.

UP NEXT ...
Bloomsburg will have three weeks off before playing its first inter-divisional contest of the year. The Huskies will travel to Lock Haven to take on the Bald Eagles on Saturday, December 30. Tip-off is at 4:00 p.m.


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