Saturday, February 24, 2018

Bloomsburg University Men's Basketball Drops Regular Season Finale At Shippensburg, 85-74

(Photo courtesy of Bloomsburg University Sports Information)
Men's Basketball | Box Score

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. - The Bloomsburg University men's basketball team dropped its regular season finale, , 85-74, at Shippensburg University on Saturday afternoon at Heiges Field House. The Huskies, who will head to Kutztown University on Monday for the opening round of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) tournament, wrap up the regular season with a 15-11 overall record and an 11-11 mark in the PSAC Eastern Division. The Raiders improved to 21-6 overall and 17-5 in league play.

Four Huskies finished in double figures, led by sophomore Khary Mauras (Reading, Pa./Reading) who finished with 21 points. The point guard with 7-of-12 from the field (2-of-3 from three-point range) and 5-of-5 from the foul line. Senior Kyle-Michael Rose(Middletown, Del./Sanford School) added 16 points and a team-high nine rebounds.

Freshman Nicholas King (Easton, Pa./Freedom) scored a career-high 12 points, including a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe, in a career-high 16 minutes. The Huskies also received 10 points from freshman Matthew Kachelries (Macungie, Pa./Emmaus) and a team-high three steals off the bench.

Redshirt senior Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) was held in single digits for just the second time this season. He scored nine points and grabbed seven rebounds in the loss.

The Raiders got off to a hot start as they built up a 20-6 lead after a three-pointer from John Castello with 11:40 left in the opening half. Bloomsburg, in fact, did not get into double figures on the scoreboard until Kachelries knocked down a jumper to cut the lead to 22-11 with nine minutes left in the opening twenty minutes.

Despite the slow start, the Huskies battled back and outscored the Raiders, 15-9, over the final nine minutes to trim the lead to 31-26 at the break.

Rose scored the first points of the second half on a layup off of an assist from Mauras to cut Shippensburg's advantage to 31-28 with 19:29 left. That, however, would be as close as the Huskies would get. The Raiders scored the next eight points, jump-starting a 15-4 run, to build up a 46-32 lead with 16:25 left.

Shippensburg's lead got to as high as 18 points midway through the second half and, after Dustin Sleva knocked down a three-pointer with 1:58 left, the Raiders still led 80-63.

But, Bloomsburg would not go down without a fight as the Huskies went on an 11-1 run over the next 90 seconds to cut the Shippensburg advantage to 81-74 with 27 seconds left. Seven of Bloomsburg's points came during a 24-second span. The Raiders, however, iced the game at the foul line to end thoughts of a miraculous comeback.

The Huskies shot just 39.1% from the field (25-of-64) and was only 3-of-18 (16.7%) from long range. Bloomsburg was 21-of-25 (84.0%) from the foul line. Shippensburg, meanwhile, shot 46.3% from the field and made 10-of-21 (47.6%) from beyond the arc. The Raiders were 25-of-29 at the line (86.2%).

Justin McCarthur led Shippensburg with 23 points, including a perfect 15-of-15 from the foul line. Sleva had 19 points while Castello had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

The Huskies will travel to Kutztown University on Monday, February 26, to open the PSAC tournament. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Bloomsburg has not won a postseason game since a first round, 82-71, home victory over the Golden Bears on March 1, 2014. Kutztown swept the season series against the Huskies, winning each game by five points (97-92 in Kutztown on January 3; 76-71 in Bloomsburg on January 31).

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