Thursday, January 4, 2018

Men's Basketball - Huskies Drop High-Scoring Contest At Kutztown

Men's Basketball | Box Score
KUTZTOWN, Pa. - The Bloomsburg University men's basketball team held an 86-78 lead with 4:30 left in regulation but Kutztown University stormed back to outscore the Huskies, 19-6, over the final minutes and earn a 97-92 victory to snap Bloomsburg's modest two-game winning streak. The Huskies dropped to 6-5 overall and 2-5 in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) Eastern Division standings while the Golden Bears improved to 9-2 overall and 5-2 in league play.
Bloomsburg built up its largest lead of the game with 4:30 left in regulation after redshirt sophomore Sam Saxton (York, Pa./Central York) hit back-to-back cutting layups on beautiful feeds from freshman Matthew Kachelries (Macungie, Pa./Emmaus). It was the end of a 7-0 run after the Golden Bears cut the advantage to 79-78 with 6:08 left. Redshirt junior Darius Robinson-Wallace (Philadelphia, Pa./Delaware Valley Charter), playing in his first game of the season, hit a clutch three-pointer to start the spurt.

But, the Golden Bears responded with an 11-2 run to take an 89-88 lead with 2:10 left. Kutztown's Anthony Lee, who finished with a game-high 34 points, had eight of the 11 points during the rally. Graduate student Hashim Moore (Sunrise, Fla./Hun School)answered with a layup at the other end to reclaim a one-point lead for the Huskies, 90-89, with 1:59 left. Kutztown came back with a mini 4-0 run to take a 93-90 lead - a lead it would not relinquish. Redshirt senior Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) converted a layup with 52 seconds left to cut the lead to one but Kutztown's Ethan Ridgeway went 4-of-4 from the line in the closing seconds to ice the game.

Mortellite led the Huskies with 24 points and eight rebounds. He finished 6-of-13 from the field (2-of-4 from long range) and made 10-of-11 from the charity stripe. His third rebound of the game gave him another milestone as it was his 500th career board in a Huskies' uniform.

Senior Kyle-Michael Rose (Middletown, Del./Sanford School)finished one rebound short of a double-double as he poured in a season-high 21 points to go along with a team-high nine rebounds. Saxton and sophomore Khary Mauras (Reading, Pa./Reading) added nine points apiece while Moore and Kachelries chipped in eight points each. Mauras added six rebounds and four assists while Kachelries stuffed the stat sheet with five rebounds, four assists, and three steals.

The teams went toe-to-toe in the opening minutes as the Huskies eventually captured a five-point lead, 29-24, with 8:21 left in the first half. But, the hosts stormed back with a 20-6 run over the next five minutes and, after Kutztown's Rafiq Marshall hit a layup with three minutes left, the Golden Bears had a 44-35 advantage. Kutztown would get the lead up to as many as ten points later in the half before settling for a 51-42 advantage as the teams went to their respective locker rooms.

Bloomsburg came out firing in the second half and opened the final stanza with a 15-6 run to tie the game at 57-57 after Mortellite knocked down a triple with 15:11 left. The teams exchanged blows over the next ten minutes until the Huskies grew their lead to eight with 4:30 left. During the stretch, the teams battled through seven ties and six lead changes. All told, there were 15 ties and 12 lead changes over the course of the contest.

The Huskies ended the night shooting 47.0% from the field (31-of-66) and 46.2% from three-point range (6-of-13). Bloomsburg had a strong night at the line as it converted 24-of-28 from the stripe (85.7%). The Huskies also held a 43-36 edge on the glass.

Kutztown, meanwhile, shot 48.6% from the floor (34-of-70) but just 33.3% from long distance (6-of-18) and 69.7% (23-of-33) from the foul line. Lee led the Golden Bears with 34 points, seven rebounds, and six assists. Max Wagner (14), Dan Cuevas (12), and Ridgeway (10) also finished in double figures for Kutztown.

The loss was the 16th consecutive setback for the Huskies at Keystone Arena as Bloomsburg has not won a game in Kutztown since a 70-61 victory on January 23, 2002.

Bloomsburg will look to bounce back on Saturday, January 6, when it returns home for the first time in nearly a month to host Cheyney University at the Nelson Field House. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

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