Wednesday, January 24, 2018

PREVIEW: Huskies Men's Basketball Looks To Bounce Back Wednesday Against Shippensburg


STARTING FIVE ...
- Bloomsburg leads the all-time series against Shippensburg, 104-69. However, the Raiders have won the last four meetings, and five of the last six, between the two schools. The Huskies' last victory over Shippensburg came on January 27, 2016 - an 81-70 win in Bloomsburg.


- 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 1,848 career points. Mortellite now trails only the school's all-time leading scorer, Mike Ellzy (1993-97), who scored 1,911 career points. With nine games left in the regular season, Mortellite needs to average 7.1 points per game to break the record. He also needs 152 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 116 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. He needs 14 blocks to tie Lee Gump (1992-96) for second on the career list. He is second in the PSAC, and sixth in the country, in blocks per game (2.8).

- The Huskies have made at least one three-pointer in 198 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 17 games. The Huskies are sixth in the PSAC, averaging 7.8 threes per game and third in percentage (38.2%).

- Speaking of three-pointers, 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 281 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 ...
The Huskies leads the all-time series against Shippensburg, 105-69. However, the Raiders have won the last four, and five of the last six, between the two schools. Bloomsburg's last victory over Shippensburg came on January 27, 2016 - an 81-70 victory at the Nelson Field House. Five of Shippensburg's last six wins over the Huskies have been decided by single-digits.

LAST TIME OUT ...
Trailing by 21 points to visiting Mansfield with 9:11 left in regulation, Bloomsburg went on a 20-4 run to trim the lead to five points with just over three minutes remaining. However, the Huskies could get no closer and the Mountaineers held on for a 92-85 victory on Saturday afternoon at the Nelson Field House. Graduate student Hashim Moore (Sunrise, Fla./Hun School)paced the Huskies with a game-high 21 points, shooting 10-of-14 from the field on the afternoon. He also added a career-high, and game-high, nine rebounds while tying career-bests in both assists (4) and steals (4). Redshirt senior Christian Mortellite(Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) and sophomore Khary Mauras(Reading, Pa./Reading) added 17 points apiece while senior Kyle-Michael Rose (Middletown, Del./Sanford School) and redshirt sophomore Sam Saxton (York, Pa./Central York) also reached double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Shippensburg raced out to an 18-point halftime lead Saturday over #18 West Chester and led by as many as 24 points in the second half en route to its 10th win in the last 11 games, defeating the Golden Rams 93-83. Shippensburg got all 93 points from its starters, with four of the five posting double figures. Dustin Sleva finished with 31 points on 10-of-16 shooting to go along with eight rebounds, five assists, and two blocks while tying a career high with three steals. Justin McCarthur finished with 20 points. John Castello scored 22 points, one off his career high, while grabbing a season-high 11 rebounds. Antonio Kellem was the fourth Raider to reach double figures in the win, scoring 11 points while Clay Conner scored nine points and had three steals.

SCOUTING BLOOMSBURG ...
The Huskies enter Wednesday's contest with a 10-7 overall record and a 6-7 mark in the PSAC Eastern Division standings. The Huskies have won four of their last six, and six of their last nine contests after starting the year with a 4-4 record. Bloomsburg is fourth in the PSAC in scoring at 83.9 points per game but ranks 12th in the league in scoring defense at 78.9. The Huskies have allowed at least 90 points three times in the last five games. The team is seventh in the league in rebounding margin (+0.9) and tenth in the league in turnover margin (+0.29). 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 fifth in the PSAC, in scoring by averaging 21.4 points per game. He has scored at least 25 points seven times and has reached double figures in 16 of the 17 contests. Mortellite also leads the team in rebounding (7.1) and in steals (1.5) and is second in assists (3.1). He is tops in the PSAC in threes-per-game (3.2) and is second in the league in free-throw percentage (91.9%; 68-of-74). 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 1,848 career points and trails Mike Ellzy (1993-97) by 64 points to become Bloomsburg's all-time leading scorer. He needs 152 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 13.1 points per game. He leads the team in assists with 65 and averaged 19.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists in the two games last week. Senior Kyle-Michael Rose (Middletown, Del./Sanford School) is third on the team in scoring, averaging 12.6 points per game after averaging 5.6 points per game through his first two seasons. Rose leads the team with 47 blocked shots and is second in the PSAC, and sixth in the country, in blocks per game (2.8). Rose is third on the school's all-time list with 116 career swats. Graduate student Hashim Moore (Sunrise, Fla./Hun School) has really stepped up over the last 14 games. He has reached double figures in ten times and is averaging 12.9 points while shooting 75-of-116 (64.7%) 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 of the season.

SCOUTING SHIPPENSBURG ...
The Raiders come in to Wednesday's matchup with a 13-3 overall record and a 9-2 mark in the PSAC East. Shippensburg has won five straight but is just 3-3 away from home this season (10-0 at the Heiges Field House). Shippensburg does most everything quite well - it is sixth in the PSAC in scoring offense (81.9), third in scoring defense (69.3), third in field goal percentage (48.2%), first in three-point percentage (38.9%), first in free throw percentage (79.1%), fifth in rebounding margin (+2.9), seventh in turnover margin (+0.88), and tied for first in fewest turnovers per game (11.2).

The offense runs through senior Dustin Sleva who is fourth in the PSAC in scoring average (22.3) and second in the league in rebounding (10.6). He has reached double figures in scoring in 56 of his last 57 games and has 46 career double-doubles, including ten this season. Sleva is 103 points away from becoming Shippensburg's all-time leading scorer as he has 1,722 career points (Chuck Davis holds the record with 1,825 from 2003-07). Justin McCarthur is also having a solid season for the Raiders as he is second on the team in scoring at 16.7 points per game. He is Shippensburg's all-time leader in career three-pointers with 238 and ranks 11th on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,357 career points. John Castello is second on the team in rebounding (7.6) and is averaging 10.6 points per game (tied for third on the team). Antonio Kellem averages 10.6 points while Clay Conner averages 8.4 points. Conner leads the team with 71 assists.

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 (281), most career free throws made (405), most three-point attempts in a season (255), and most career three-point attempts (669). He could still break several other records by season's end including most career points (needs 64), most career field goals made (needs 112), most career free throws attempted (needs 80), 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 1,848 career points. Mortellite has 52 career 20-point efforts (96 games). He has hit double figures in 78 of his last 82 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 64 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 (13.1) and leads the team - 12th in the PSAC - in assists (3.8). He scored a career-high 22 points and pulled down a career-best nine boards at Seton Hill last Wednesday. Moore is averaging 11.2 points and 5.4 rebounds. Over his last 14 games, Moore is averaging 12.9 points while shooting 75-of-116 (64.7%) from the field during the stretch. Harriott averages 7.1 points while ranking fourth on the team in rebounding (5.1).

DOWNTOWN WITH THE HUSKIES ...
The Huskies have made at least one three-pointer in 198 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 17 games. The Huskies are sixth in the PSAC, averaging 7.8 threes per game and third in percentage (38.2%).

GETTING TO THE STRIPE ...
Bloomsburg is shooting 75.7% from the free throw line this season - fourth in the PSAC - and has outscored its opponents from the stripe in 15 of the 17 games. Bloomsburg gets to the line an average of 22.2 times per game. The Huskies are +83 from the foul line this season (286-203). 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)(2nd, 91.9%), Kyle-Michael Rose (Middletown, Del./Sanford School) (12th, 84.8%), Khary Mauras (Reading, Pa./Reading)(13th, 82.7%), and Austin Harriott (Philadelphia, Pa./Hun School)(18th, 78.9%).

COMING UP ROSES ...
With his 47 blocks this season, senior Kyle-Michael Rose(Middletown, Del./Sanford School) has moved into third place on the school's all-time list with 116 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 sixth in the country, in blocks per game (2.8). He needs 14 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 head to West Chester on Saturday, January 27 for a 3:00 p.m. tip-off against the Golden Rams. Bloomsburg defeated West Chester, 98-90 back on January 8 at the Nelson Field House.

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