Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Huskies Men's Hoops Entertains Kutztown Wednesday In Pivotal PSAC Contest

STARTING FIVE ...
- Wednesday's matchup with Kutztown will be the 165th meeting between the two schools with the Huskies leading the all-time series, 108-56. However, the Golden Bears have owned the Huskies in recent years having won six of the last seven - and 11 of the last 14 - against Bloomsburg. Kutztown won the first meeting this season - a 97-92 win in Kutztown on January 3. It was Kutztown's 16th straight home win over the Huskies dating back to a 70-61 Bloomsburg win on January 23, 2002.

- A mere 13 points now separates Christian Mortellite(Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) from becoming the program's all-time leading scorer. He exploded for 37 points (12-of-12 FG, 6-of-6 3PT, 7-of-9 FT) in the Huskies' 86-78 win at #20 West Chester on Saturday to move him to within striking distance of the school's all-time leading scorer, Mike Ellzy (1993-97), who scored 1,911 career points. Mortellite, sitting at 1,899 career points, needs 101 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 121 career blocks. He needs nine blocks to tie Lee Gump (1992-96) for second on the career list. He is second in the PSAC, and seventh in the country, in blocks per game (2.74).

- The Huskies have made at least one three-pointer in 200 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 16 of its 19 games. The Huskies are sixth in the PSAC, averaging 7.6 threes per game and fourth in percentage (37.1%).

- Mortellite became the school's all-time leader in career threes made with his 238th career make at IUP on November 19. Mortellite now has 288 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 ...
Wednesday's matchup with Kutztown will be the 165th meeting between the two schools with the Huskies leading the all-time series, 108-56. However, the Golden Bears have owned the Huskies in recent years having won six of the last seven - and 11 of the last 14 - against Bloomsburg. Kutztown won the first meeting this season - a 97-92 win in Kutztown on January 3.

LAST TIME OUT ...
Redshirt senior Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) was nearly perfect en route to a season-high 37 points - two shy of his career-high - as he lifted Bloomsburg to an 86-78 victory at 20th-ranked West Chester in front of more than 1,100 fans at the Hollinger Field House on Saturday. The win completed a regular-season sweep of the Golden Rams and, more importantly, moved the Huskies to 11-8 overall and 7-8 in the PSAC Eastern Division. It was Mortellite's third 30-point game of the season and it was his eighth career 30-point effort. It marked the third time in his career that he scored at least 37 points in a game - the second time against West Chester. He went a perfect 12-of-12 from the field, including 6-of-6 from long range which added up to his season-high in points. Ironically, the only two shots he missed came at the free-throw line where he went 7-of-9 on the day. He entered as the PSAC leader in free-throw percentage (92.4%). Graduate student Hashim Moore (Sunrise, Fla./Hun School) was the only other Huskies' player in double figures as he chipped in with 13 points. Senior Kyle-Michael Rose(Middletown, Del./Sanford School) and sophomores Khary Mauras (Reading, Pa./Reading) and Austin Harriott (Philadelphia, Pa./Hun School) added eight points apiece.

Kutztown had all five starters score in double-figures, but the cold outside shooting doomed the Golden Bears as they dropped an 88-80 decision on Saturday at Heiges Field House at Shippensburg. Entering the game, Kutztown was shooting 36.3 percent from three, including Anthony Lee's NCAA Division II leading 55.6 percent. Lee finished 0-for-4 from three and scored only 11 points, but also had five rebounds, five assists, two blocks and one steal. Senior Rafiq Marshall led the team in scoring with 18 points. Ethan Ridgeway had 14 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Moe Williams and Max Wagner were the two other starters that reached double-digits, both scoring 11 points. Williams also had nine rebounds, three assists, one block and one steal, and Wagner grabbed six rebounds.

SCOUTING BLOOMSBURG ...
The Huskies enter Wednesday's affair with an 11-8 overall record and a 7-8 mark in the PSAC Eastern Division standings. With Saturday's win at West Chester, the Huskies are now two games clear of both Mansfield and Millersville for fifth place in the east. Bloomsburg trails Kutztown by 3.5 games for fourth. Bloomsburg is fourth in the PSAC in scoring at 83.0 points per game but ranks 12th in the league in scoring defense at 78.6. The team is seventh in the league in rebounding margin (+0.4) and 11th in the league in turnover margin (+0.11). The Huskies average just 13.2 turnovers per game - the fifth-best mark in the PSAC.

Redshirt senior Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) leads the Huskies, and is tied for fifth in the PSAC, in scoring by averaging 21.8 points per game. He has scored at least 25 points eight times and has reached double figures in 18 of the 19 contests. Mortellite snapped a four-game "drought" with his 37-point outburst at West Chester on Saturday. Prior to the effort, he had not reached 20 points in the four games prior and was averaging only 14.5 points during the stretch. Mortellite also leads the team in rebounding (7.1), is tied for the team lead in steals (1.4), and is second in assists (3.0). He leads the PSAC in threes-per-game (3.21) and is fourth in the league in free-throw percentage (90.9%; 80-of-88). He ranks second on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,899 career points and trails Mike Ellzy (1993-97) by just 13 points to become Bloomsburg's all-time leading scorer. He needs 101 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 13.2 points per game. Mauras is averaging 17.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.8 assists over the last four games. He leads the team in assists with 74 and is tied for sixth 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 12.5 points per game after averaging 5.6 points per game through his first two seasons. Rose leads the team with 52 blocked shots and is second in the PSAC, and seventh in the country, in blocks per game (2.74). Rose is third on the school's all-time list with 121 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 12.4 points and 5.4 rebounds, while shooting 81-of-130 (62.3%) from the field over the last 16 games. For the year, he is averaging 11.0 points and 5.3 rebounds.

SCOUTING KUTZTOWN ...
The Golden Bears enter with an 14-4 overall record and a 10-4 mark in the PSAC Eastern Division. Kutztown, however, is just 4-4 away from home this season. The team is second in the PSAC in scoring at 87.8 points per game but is 13th in the league in points allowed (78.8). Kutztown comes in ranked sixth in the league in rebounding margin (+1.3) and third in turnover margin (+1.78). The Golden Bears force opponents into 17.2 turnovers per game - third-most in the conference.

Anthony Lee leads the team, and is fourth in the PSAC in scoring at 22.1 points per game. He shoots 56.8% from the field and leads the country in three-point percentage at 53.4% (55-of-103). He also seldom misses at the foul line as he leads the PSAC in that department (92.5%; 74-of-80). Ethan Ridgeway is having a monster year at point guard as he averages 17.7 points per game while leading the league in assists per game (7.7). Dan Cuevas is the other Golden Bear in double figures as he averages 16.2 points on 59.7% shooting from the field. Moe Williams is the team's leading rebounder (7.2) and leading shot-blocker with 17.

A GAME FOR THE AGES ...
Redshirt senior Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) just would not allow the Huskies to lose on Saturday afternoon as Bloomsburg completed the season sweep of nationally-ranked West Chester after an 86-78 road win. Mortellite scored 37 points - his third 30-point game of the season and eighth of his career. It marked the third time in his career that he scored at least 37 points in a game - the second time against West Chester. Mortellite was a perfect 12-of-12 from the field including 6-of-6 from three-point range. Ironically, the only two shots he missed came at the free-throw line where he went 7-of-9 on the day. Mortellite had missed only six foul shots all season (73-of-79) and entered the game as the PSAC leader in free-throw percentage (92.4%). He scored 24 points in the second half, 12 of which came in the final 5:22 after the Huskies fell behind by seven.

BROKEN RECORDS ...
Mortellite 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 (288), most career free throws made (417), most three-point attempts in a season (255), and most career three-point attempts (678). He could still break several other records by season's end including most career points (needs 13), most career field goals made (needs 96), most career free throws attempted (needs 66), 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 1,899 career points. Mortellite has 53 career 20-point efforts (98 games) and eight career 30-point games. He has hit double figures in 80 of his last 84 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 just 13 points to become the school's all-time leader.

THAT'S OFFENSIVE ...
Bloomsburg posted 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 (13.2) and leads the team - 12th in the PSAC - in assists (3.9). Moore is averaging 11.0 points and 5.3 rebounds. After opening the season by averaging 3.7 points in his first three games, Moore is averaging 12.4 points, while shooting 81-of-130 (62.3%) from the field over the last 16 games. Harriott averages 7.1 points while ranking tied for third on the team in rebounding (5.3).

DOWNTOWN WITH THE HUSKIES ...
The Huskies have made at least one three-pointer in 200 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 16 of its 19 games. The Huskies are sixth in the PSAC, averaging 7.6 threes per game and fourth in percentage (37.5%).

GETTING TO THE STRIPE ...
Bloomsburg is shooting 75.3% from the free throw line this season - tied for third in the PSAC - and has outscored its opponents from the stripe in 16 of the 19 games. The Huskies are +86 from the foul line this season (317-231). Bloomsburg features three of the top 13 foul shooters, and four of the top 20, in the PSAC this season - Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) (4th, 90.9%), Kyle-Michael Rose (Middletown, Del./Sanford School)(10th, 84.7%), Khary Mauras (Reading, Pa./Reading) (13th, 81.0%), and Austin Harriott (Philadelphia, Pa./Hun School) (20th, 76.0%). 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 52 blocks this season, senior Kyle-Michael Rose(Middletown, Del./Sanford School) has moved into third place on the school's all-time list with 121 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 second in the PSAC, and seventh in the country, in blocks per game (2.74). He needs nine blocks to tie Lee Gump (1992-96) for second.

UP NEXT ...
Bloomsburg will be back home on Saturday, February 3, to host Lock Haven at 3:00 p.m. The Huskies won the first meeting between the two schools, 87-76, in Lock Haven on December 30.

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