Friday, February 9, 2018

PREVIEW: Men's Hoops Looks To Clinch Postseason Berth Saturday Against Millersville

(Photo courtesy of Bloomsburg University Sports Information)
Men's Basketball
STARTING FIVE ...
- Millersville leads the all-time series against Bloomsburg, 94-91, but the Huskies have cut into the Marauders' advantage recently as Bloomsburg has won five straight and eight of the last ten between the two schools. The Huskies' last loss to the Marauders came on February 21, 2015 - a 73-60 setback in Millersville. A win by the Huskies on Saturday would clinch a postseason berth for the third consecutive season.

- With 18:54 left in regulation on January 31 against Kutztown, Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) became the program's all-time leading scorer as he passed Mike Ellzy's total of 1,911 from 1993-97. He needs 48 points to become the 12th player in PSAC history to record 2,000 career points. He currently ranks 15th on the PSAC's all-time scoring list with 1,952 points and trails Edinboro's Tyrone Mason (1993-96) by two points and West Chester's Ramzee Stanton (1999-03) by five points to move into 13th place.

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 moved into third place on the school's all-time list with 125 career blocks and needs five blocks to tie Lee Gump (1992-96) for second on the career list. He is third in the PSAC, and 12th in the country, in blocks per game (2.55).

- The Huskies have made at least one three-pointer in 203 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 four times this season but has made at least five in 18 of its 22 games. The Huskies are sixth in the PSAC, averaging 7.5 threes per game and fifth in percentage (36.9%).

- Speaking of three-pointers, Mortellite has made 297 triples in his career and ranks eighth on the PSAC's all-time list. With three more threes, he can become the eighth player in PSAC history to reach 300 career made three-pointers. He trails Lock Haven's Mike Shue (1993-97) by 11 to move into seventh place on the PSAC's all-time list.

THE SERIES ...
Millersville leads the all-time series against Bloomsburg, 94-91, but the Huskies have cut into the Marauders' advantage recently as Bloomsburg has won five straight and eight of the last ten between the two schools. The Huskies' last loss to the Marauders came on February 21, 2015 - a 73-60 setback in Millersville.

LAST TIME OUT ...
Four players finished in double figures on Wednesday night as Bloomsburg pulled away late for a 75-58 victory at Cheyney. Senior Kyle-Michael Rose (Middletown, Del./Sanford School) led the Huskies with 19 points while also pulling down 11 rebounds for his third double-double of the season. Sophomore Austin Harriott(Philadelphia, Pa./Hun School) had 11 points and 11 rebounds for his first career double-double. Redshirt senior Christian Mortellite(Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) added 18 points as he inched his way closer to two more milestones while freshman Ethan Houston(Carlisle, Pa./Carlisle) chipped in 10 points in just 13 minutes off the bench. The Huskies led by only nine, 54-45, with 8:40 left before going on a 16-2 run to push the lead to 23 with 4:10 left. The lead grew to as many as 24 before Bloomsburg settled for the 17-point victory. The Huskies turned the ball over 19 times and shot only 41.0% from the field but held a significant 52-30 edge in rebounding.

For the second year in a row, a nationally-ranked and streaking Shippensburg team came to Pucillo Gymnasium, and for the second year in a row, the Millersville sent the Raiders home with a loss, 87-84. Millersville scored on its first possession of the game and held the lead for all but 17 seconds, ending Shippensburg's nine-game winning streak. Marcus Adkison led the Marauders with 25 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Adkison drilled 7-of-8 threes and made each of his first six shots. Jordan Greene added 21 points, scoring 20 or more for the third consecutive game. Millersville sank a season-high 14 three-pointers, going 12-of-19 in the first half. Adkison led the Marauders to a 54-45 halftime lead with 20 points in the opening 20 minutes. His 15th point, scored on a three-pointer with 7:15 left, put him at 1,001 for his career.

SCOUTING BLOOMSBURG ...
The Huskies enter Saturday's contest with a 13-9 overall record and a 9-9 mark in the PSAC East. Bloomsburg is two games ahead of Millersville, 3.5 games ahead of Lock Haven, and four games clear of Mansfield for fifth in the division standings. A victory over Millersville on Saturday would clinch a postseason berth for the Huskies for the third straight season, and sixth time in the last seven seasons. Bloomsburg is fifth in the PSAC in scoring at 82.2 points per game and ranks 10th in the league in scoring defense at 77.5. The team is sixth in the league in rebounding margin (+1.7) and 12th in the league in turnover margin (-0.09). The Huskies average just 13.1 turnovers per game - the fifth-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 21.3 points per game. He has scored at least 25 points eight times and has reached double figures in 21 of the 22 contests. On January 31 against Kutztown, Mortellite became the school's all-time leading scorer as he surpassed Mike Ellzy (1993-97) who finished his career with 1,911 points. He needs 48 points to become the 12th player in PSAC history to record 2,000 career points and currently ranks 15th on the PSAC's all-time scoring list with 1,952 points. He also needs only three three-pointers to become the eighth player in conference history with 300 made threes. Mortellite also leads the team in rebounding (7.1), is second in steals (1.4), and is second in assists (2.9). He is third in the PSAC in threes-per-game (3.18) and is third in the league in free-throw percentage (90.4%; 94-of-104). Sophomore Khary Mauras (Reading, Pa./Reading) is second on the team in scoring as he averages 13.1 points per game. He recorded what is believed to be the program's first triple-double (21 pts, 11 reb, 13 ast) last Saturday against Lock Haven - three days after his first career double-double (12 pts, 10 reb) against Kutztown on January 31. Mauras is averaging 15.0 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 5.6 assists over the last seven games. He leads the team in assists (98) and steals (36) and ranks sixth in the PSAC in assists per game (4.5), tied for 11th in steals (1.6), and fourth in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.1). 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. He ranks second on the team in rebounding (5.8) and free-throw percentage (83.0%; 73-of-88). Rose leads the team with 56 blocked shots and is third in the PSAC, and 12th in the country, in blocks per game (2.55). He is third on the school's all-time list with 125 career swats. Sophomore Austin Harriott (Philadelphia, Pa./Hun School)posted his first career double-double on Wednesday and is averaging 7.0 points and 5.6 rebounds as the first player off the bench.

SCOUTING MILLERSVILLE ...
Millersville is 9-15 overall and 7-11 in the PSAC East and it enters having won two straight and three of its last four. The Marauders are 11th in the league in scoring offense (77.8) and 14th in the PSAC in scoring defense (80.3). Millersville struggles on the glass as it is dead last in the conference in rebounding margin (-8.1). However, the Marauders are second in the league in turnover margin (+4.67). Millersville features three players averaging double digits in scoring the season. Marcus Adkison is the player to watch as he leads the team in scoring at 19.1 points per game - tenth in the PSAC. He also leads the team in assists (69) and steals (54) and is the main threat from beyond the arc as he has made 69 of the team's 176 triples. Jordan Greene is second on the team in scoring at 12.4 points per game. He also leads the team in rebounding (5.5). Conrad Chambers is third on the team in scoring at 10.3 points per game. He is second on the team in assists with 65. Chambers and Adkison have combined to make 142-of-162 from the foul line (87.7%) - the rest of the team is 207-of-319 (64.9%). Caden Najdawi is another player to watch as he averages 9.7 points, 5.4 rebounds, and leads the team with 20 blocked shots.

HISTORIC WEEK ...
Last week was a week to remember for the Bloomsburg men's basketball program as two historic accomplishments were achieved in the span of three days at the Nelson Field House. On Wednesday, January 31, Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) became the school's all-time leading scorer after a driving layup with 18:54 left in regulation against Kutztown. The basket gave him 1,913 points for his career, surpassing Mike Ellzy's previous record of 1,911 from 1993-97. Then, on Saturday, February 3, sophomore Khary Mauras (Reading, Pa./Reading)recorded what is believed to be the program's first-ever triple-double in an eight-point win over Lock Haven. Mauras had 21 points, 11 rebounds, and 13 assists, recording the 19th triple-double in Division II this season and only the second by a PSAC player (Seton Hill's Spencer Casson had the first).

BROKEN RECORDS ...
Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) became the school's all-time leading scorer against Kutztown on January 31 - just another added to the laundry list of records he currently owns. Mortellite now holds the school record for most career points (1,952), most points in a season (613), most threes in a season (110), most career threes made (297), most career free throws made (431), most three-point attempts in a season (255), and most career three-point attempts (703). He could still break several other records by season's end including most career field goals made (needs 81), most career free throws attempted (needs 50), 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%). Mortellite is currently 15th on the PSAC's all-time scoring list and needs 48 points to become the 12th player in conference history to reach 2,000 for his career. Meanwhile, he is eighth in PSAC history in career three-pointers made with 297 and is three away from joining seven other PSAC players with 300 career triples.

DOWNTOWN WITH THE HUSKIES ...
The Huskies have made at least one three-pointer in 203 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 four times this season but has made at least five in 18 of its 22 games. The Huskies are sixth in the PSAC, averaging 7.5 threes per game and fifth in percentage (36.9%).

GETTING TO THE STRIPE ...
Bloomsburg is shooting 74.6% from the free throw line this season - fifth in the PSAC - and has outscored its opponents from the stripe in 18 of the 22 games. The Huskies are +104 from the foul line this season (370-266). Bloomsburg features three of the top twelve foul shooters in the PSAC this season - Christian Mortellite(Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) (3rd, 90.4%), Kyle-Michael Rose(Middletown, Del./Sanford School) (8th, 83.0%), and Khary Mauras (Reading, Pa./Reading) (12th, 80.6%). Last Saturday's win over Lock Haven marked the first time this season that Bloomsburg won despite being outscored (1-3) and out-attempted (1-5) from the foul line.

COMING UP ROSES ...
With his 56 blocks this season, senior Kyle-Michael Rose(Middletown, Del./Sanford School) has moved into third place on the school's all-time list with 125 career blocks. The 56 blocks this season are the most by a Bloomsburg player since Larry Webster(Hagerstown, MD/Elkton) swatted 61 shots during the 2009-10 campaign. Rose became the seventh player in school history to record 100 blocked shots with three against Cheyney on January 6. He is currently third in the PSAC, and 12th in the country, in blocks per game (2.55) and needs five blocks to tie Lee Gump (1992-96) for second on the school's all-time list.

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 - sixth in the PSAC - in assists (4.5). He posted what is believed to be the program's first-ever triple-double (21 pts, 11 reb, 13 ast) against Lock Haven last Saturday. Moore is averaging 10.4 points and 5.0 rebounds. After opening the season by averaging 3.7 points in his first three games, Moore is averaging 11.5 points, while shooting 89-of-147 (60.5%) from the field over the last 19 games. Harriott averages 7.0 points while ranking third on the team in rebounding (5.6) and second in blocks (18). He posted his first career double-double (11 pts, 11 reb) at Cheyney on Wednesday.

A GAME FOR THE AGES ...
Redshirt senior Christian Mortellite (Hammonton, N.J./Hammonton) just would not allow the Huskies to lose on January 27 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. 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. He scored 24 of his points in the second half, 12 of which came in the final 5:22 after the Huskies fell behind by seven.

MORE ON MORTELLITE ...
Mortellite has 54 career 20-point efforts (101 games) and eight career 30-point games. He has hit double figures in 83 of his last 87 games and has been held to under 10 points in a game only 11 times in his career. The redshirt senior now needs 48 points to become the 12th player in PSAC history to record 2,000 career points. He currently ranks 15th on the PSAC's all-time scoring list with 1,952 points and trails Edinboro's Tyrone Mason (1993-96) by two points and West Chester's Ramzee Stanton (1999-03) by five points to move into 13th place.

THAT'S OFFENSIVE ...
Bloomsburg posted 110-59 victory over visiting Cheyney on 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.

UP NEXT ...
Bloomsburg will return to the Nelson Field House for its final home game of the regular season on Wednesday, February 14, against East Stroudsburg. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. The Huskies will be looking to avenge a 98-62 loss at East Stroudsburg back on January 13.

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