Men's Basketball Hosts No. 24 Marietta Wednesday in OAC Matchup

Matt Kiger
Matt Kiger

ALLIANCE, Ohio -- Mount Union hosts the hottest team in the Ohio Athletic Conference in undefeated and No. 24 in the nation Marietta Wednesday at 7:30 pm at The MAAC.

The game will be broadcast LIVE on the radio on WDPN 1310 AM in Alliance.

The Pioneers, 12-0 overall, 5-0 in the OAC, are ranked for just the second time in school history and for first time in 11 seasons.  They are the OAC's top shooting team (52.6-percent), top three-point shooting team (41.7-percent) and are second in scoring at an impressive 82.5 points per game.

Junior Kevin Knab at 15.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game along with fellow junior and Malvern native Trevor Halter at 15.2 points per game lead Marietta, but the addition of freshman point guard Tyler Hammond has been a key difference for the squad.  Hammond averages 12.2 points per game, has a team-best 49 assists and leads the conference in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.23). 

The Purple Raiders, 5-7 overall and 3-2 in the OAC, have been pretty good themselves the last two weeks as they have won three of their last four games with the only loss coming in a 68-65 overtime loss to LaRoche (Pa.).

Mount Union has four players averaging double figures in scoring led by junior Jimmy Wood (Wintersville/Indian Creek) at 14.5 points per game.  

Senior Dave Pellerite (Olmsted Falls/Olmsted Falls) is averaging 12. 8 points per game and is among conference leaders in rebounding with a team-best 8.2 per game.

Senior Ben Hodkinson (Tippecanoe/Harrison Central) averages 12.0 points per game, is one of the conference's best three-point shooters (45.9-percent) and is coming off a career-best 22 point effort in the Raiders 98-92 double overtime win over Waynesburg (Pa.) last week.

Matt Wier (New Castle, Pa./Mohawk) rounds out the double digit scorers at 10.3 points per game.

The last time Mount Union hosted a nationally ranked team was a year ago when they upset then No. 2 ranked John Carroll, 67-62.

The current four-game homestand continues Saturday as the Raiders host Ohio Northern at 4 pm in the second half of an OAC men's and women's doubleheader.