Friday, January 26, 2018

Huskies Men's Basketball Hopes To Snap Modest Skid Saturday At West Chester


FIVE ...
- Bloomsburg has won three of the last four meetings against West Chester to even the all-time series at 67-67 between the two schools. The Huskies will be looking for the regular-season sweep over the Golden Rams as Bloomsburg handed West Chester its first loss of the season - 98-90 - on January 8 at the Nelson Field House.

- With 29 points against West Chester on January 6, Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) moved into second on the school's all-time scoring list and he now has 1,862 career points. Mortellite now trails only the school's all-time leading scorer, Mike Ellzy (1993-97), who scored 1,911 career points. With eight games left in the regular season, Mortellite needs to average 6.3 points per game to break the record. He also needs 138 points to become the 12th player in PSAC history to record 2,000 career points.

Kyle-Michael Rose (Middletown, Del./Sanford School) became the seventh player to record 100 career blocks with three swats against Cheyney on January 6. He has now moved into third place on the school's all-time list with 118 career blocks. With four blocks at East Stroudsburg on January 13, he broke a tie with Elwood Vines and passed both Chris Parker and Matt Jefferson to move into third. He needs 12 blocks to tie Lee Gump (1992-96) for second on the career list. He is third in the PSAC, and seventh in the country, in blocks per game (2.7).

- The Huskies have made at least one three-pointer in 199 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 has reached double digits only three times this season but has made at least five in 15 of its 18 games. The Huskies are sixth in the PSAC, averaging 7.6 threes per game and tied for fifth in percentage (37.1%).

Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) became the school's all-time leader in career threes made with his 238th career make at IUP on November 19. Mortellite now has 282 for his career. The all-time Bloomsburg record (men or women) is held by Dana Wieller (Bethlehem/Liberty) (2009-13) who hit 332 during her career.

THE SERIES ...
Saturday's matchup will be the 135th meeting in the all-time history with the series split evenly down the middle, 67-67. The Huskies have won three of the last four meetings between the two schools including a 98-90 victory over the Golden Rams at the Nelson Field House on January 8. That setback proved to be the first loss of the season for West Chester.

LAST TIME OUT ...
Shippensburg jumped out to an 11-0 lead in the opening three minutes and never looked back as the Raiders came in to the Nelson Field House and defeated Bloomsburg, 75-65, on Wednesday night. It marked the fifth straight win by the Raiders over the Huskies in the all-time series. Sophomore Khary Mauras(Reading, Pa./Reading) continued to have the hot hand for the Huskies as he led the way with 21 points, six rebounds, and five assists. He added a blocked shot and two steals in 37 minutes of action. Senior Kyle-Michael Rose (Middletown, Del./Sanford School) added 15 points while redshirt senior Christian Mortellite(Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) chipped in with 14 - all in the second half. The Huskies shot 26-of-62 from the field (41.9%) but made only 4-of-21 (19.0%) from three-point range. Bloomsburg was also just 9-of-13 from the charity stripe (69.2%) which was aided by Mortellite's 5-of-5 performance from the line. Shippensburg shot worse from the field (39.7%) but connected on 11 three-pointers and shot better from the foul line (12-of-15, 80%).

Despite entering Wednesday's game with one of the best defensive units in the league, West Chester struggled to slow down Pitt-Johnstown's offensive attack inside the UPJ Sports Center. Fueled by 33 points from reigning PSAC West Athlete of the Week, Isaac Vescovi, UPJ downed West Chester 102-85 on Wednesday. The Mountain Cats' 102 points allowed marked the most surrendered by West Chester this season and is the largest point total for a WCU opponent since January 3, 2017. Jackson Hyland led the Golden Rams with 18 points on 5-of-10 shooting from the field and Frank Rokins logged a double-double with 13 points and a team-high 10 rebounds in the loss. Tyrell Long chipped in 12 points in 32 minutes played, while Steve Smith and Mike Jolaoso each contributed nine points off the bench.

SCOUTING BLOOMSBURG ...
The Huskies enter Saturday's contest with a 10-8 overall record and a 6-8 mark in the PSAC Eastern Division standings. The Huskies have dropped two straight and three of their last four but still hold a one-game lead over Mansfield for fifth place in the East. Bloomsburg is fourth in the PSAC in scoring at 82.8 points per game but ranks 12th in the league in scoring defense at 78.7. The team is seventh in the league in rebounding margin (+0.7) and 11th in the league in turnover margin (+0.17). The Huskies average just 13.0 turnovers per game - tied for the fourth-best mark in the PSAC.

Redshirt senior Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) leads the Huskies, and is sixth in the PSAC, in scoring by averaging 21.0 points per game. He has scored at least 25 points seven times and has reached double figures in 17 of the 18 contests. However, he has not reached 20 points in each of the last four games and is averaging only 14.5 points during the stretch. Mortellite also leads the team in rebounding (7.1) and in steals (1.4) and is second in assists (3.1). He is third in the PSAC in threes-per-game (3.06) and leads the league in free-throw percentage (92.4%; 73-of-79). Mortellite recorded his 500th career rebound at Kutztown on January 3 and posted his 200th career assist in the win over West Chester on January 8. He ranks second on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,862 career points and trails Mike Ellzy (1993-97) by 50 points to become Bloomsburg's all-time leading scorer. He needs 138 points to become the 12th player in PSAC history to record 2,000 career points. Sophomore Khary Mauras (Reading, Pa./Reading) is second on the team in scoring as he averages 13.5 points per game. Mauras is averaging 20.0 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 3.7 assists over the last three games. He leads the team in assists with 70 and is tied for seventh in the league in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.8). Senior Kyle-Michael Rose (Middletown, Del./Sanford School) is third on the team in scoring, averaging 12.8 points per game after averaging 5.6 points per game through his first two seasons. Rose leads the team with 49 blocked shots and is third in the PSAC, and seventh in the country, in blocks per game (2.7). Rose is third on the school's all-time list with 118 career swats. After opening the season by averaging 3.7 points and 5.0 rebounds in his first three games, graduate student Hashim Moore(Sunrise, Fla./Hun School) is averaging 12.3 points and 5.3 rebounds, while shooting 77-of-120 (64.2%) from the field over the last 15 games. For the year, he is averaging 10.9 points and 5.2 rebounds.

SCOUTING WEST CHESTER ...
The Golden Rams are ranked 20th in the country but have lost back-to-back games to Shippensburg and Pitt-Johnstown to fall to 15-3 overall and 11-3 in the PSAC Eastern Division. West Chester is sixth in the PSAC in points per game (81.6) and ranks sixth in the league in scoring defense (72.8). The Golden Rams are third in the league in rebounding margin (+6.0), trailing only Slippery Rock (+12.9) and Gannon (+9.3), and are tied for tenth in turnover margin (+0.33).

Tyrell Long leads West Chester in scoring, averaging 18.8 points per game - tenth in the PSAC. He has reached double figures in 17 of the team's 18 games. Long is also second on the team in rebounding (6.9), assists (47), and blocks (12). Jackson Hyland averages 16.2 points per game and is second on the team with 23 three-pointers. Frank Rokins scores 11.6 points per game and leads the team in rebounding (7.3). He is also the team leader in blocked shots with 14 and is tied for the team lead in steals with 26. The offense runs through point guard Matt Penecale who scores 11.2 points per game. He leads the team, and is tied for ninth in the PSAC in assists per game (4.1). Steve Smith is the team's leader in three-pointers as he has hit 26-of-68 from beyond the arc (38.2%).

BROKEN RECORDS ...
Redshirt senior Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) owns numerous school records and continues to assault the Bloomsburg record books. Mortellite now holds the school record for most points in a season (613), most threes in a season (110), most career threes (282), most career free throws made (410), most three-point attempts in a season (255), and most career three-point attempts (672). He could still break several other records by season's end including most career points (needs 50), most career field goals made (needs 108), most career free throws attempted (needs 75), highest career scoring average (Richard Lloyd - 19.4), highest career three-point percentage (Joe Stepanski - 43.0%), and highest career free throw percentage (Glenn Noack - 84.6%).

MORE ON MORTELLITE ...
All eyes are on Mortellite as he attempts to become the school's all-time leading scorer. With 29 points against West Chester on January 8, he moved into second place on the school's all-time list and now has 1,862 career points. Mortellite has 52 career 20-point efforts (96 games). He has hit double figures in 79 of his last 83 games and has been held to under 10 points in a game only 11 times in his career. Mortellite passed Jerry Radocha (1973-77) for second and needs 50 points to become the school's all-time leader.

THAT'S OFFENSIVE ...
Bloomsburg posted a 110-59 victory over visiting Cheyney on Saturday, January 6. The Huskies had five double-digit scorers and all 12 players that appeared in the game scored at least two points in the victory. The 51-point margin of victory was Bloomsburg's largest since a 91-38 win over Penn State Wilkes Barre on December 7, 2009 and the 110 points scored marked the most by a Huskies' team in a single game since December 10, 1999 when Bloomsburg defeated the University of Bridgeport, 123-56. Prior to the 98-62 loss at East Stroudsburg on January 13, the Huskies had scored at least 90 points in four straight games - the longest streak in program history. Bloomsburg had done it in three straight games three times with the most recent coming in the 2010-11 season.

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). Mauras, the starting point guard, is second on the team in scoring (13.5) and leads the team - tied for 11th in the PSAC - in assists (3.9). Moore is averaging 10.9 points and 5.2 rebounds. After opening the season by averaging 3.7 points and 5.0 rebounds in his first three games, Moore is averaging 12.3 points and 5.3 rebounds, while shooting 77-of-120 (64.2%) from the field over the last 15 games. Harriott averages 7.0 points while ranking third on the team in rebounding (5.3).

DOWNTOWN WITH THE HUSKIES ...
The Huskies have made at least one three-pointer in 199 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 in 2015-16. Bloomsburg has reached double digits only three times this season but has made at least five in 15 of its 18 games. The Huskies are sixth in the PSAC, averaging 7.6 threes per game and tied for fifth in percentage (37.1%).

GETTING TO THE STRIPE ...
Bloomsburg is shooting 75.4% from the free throw line this season - third in the PSAC - and has outscored its opponents from the stripe in 15 of the 18 games. The Huskies are +80 from the foul line this season (295-215). Bloomsburg features three of the top 13 foul shooters, and four of the top 18, in the PSAC this season - Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) (1st, 92.4%), Kyle-Michael Rose (Middletown, Del./Sanford School) (11th, 85.1%), Khary Mauras (Reading, Pa./Reading) (13th, 81.5%), and Austin Harriott (Philadelphia, Pa./Hun School) (18th, 78.1%). Bloomsburg is 0-5 this season when the opponent gets to the free-throw line more often and 0-3 when outscored from the stripe.

COMING UP ROSES ...
With his 49 blocks this season, senior Kyle-Michael Rose(Middletown, Del./Sanford School) has moved into third place on the school's all-time list with 118 career blocks. He became the seventh player in school history to record 100 blocked shots with three against Cheyney on January 6. Rose is currently third in the PSAC, and seventh in the country, in blocks per game (2.8). He needs 12 blocks to tie Lee Gump (1992-96) for second.

MORTELLITE NAMED PSAC EAST CO-ATHLETE OF THE WEEK
Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) was named the PSAC East Co-Athlete of the Week on Tuesday, January 16 as he led Bloomsburg to a 2-1 record during the week, including a victory over previously-unbeaten and 23rd-ranked West Chester on January 8. Mortellite averaged 21.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 3.3 assists over the course of the three games. Mortellite shot 21-of-38 (55.3%) from the field, 11-of-21 (52.4%) from three-point range, and 11-of-11 from the foul line. He scored 29 points in the win over West Chester and 24 points in a victory at Millersville on January 10.

UP NEXT ...
The Huskies will return home on Wednesday, January 31, to host Kutztown University at the Nelson Field House. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Bloomsburg dropped a 97-92 decision at Kutztown on January 3.

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