Men's Basketball Tries to Reel in Muskies

Jimmy Wood (Wintersville/Indian Creek)
Jimmy Wood (Wintersville/Indian Creek)

Mount Union's men's basketball team looks to snap a three-game skid when they host Muskingum in an Ohio Athletic Conference matchup Wednesday at 7:30 pm at The McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex in Alliance.

Admission to everything is FREE but Mount Union is collecting donations for charity.

The game will be broadcast locally on the radio on WRMU 91.1 FM and WDPN AM 1310 and simulcast online along with LIVE STATS game tracker.

Mount Union (8-11, 6-6 OAC) is alone fifth place in the OAC standings, two games behind John Carroll and Heidelberg in third place and a game ahead of sixth place Otterbein and Ohio Northern.

The Purple Raiders have dropped three-straight home games including a 77-65 loss to Capital this past Saturday.

Mount Union averages 71.0 points per game with four players averaging in double digits.  Junior forward Jimmy Wood (Wintersville/Indian Creek) tops the team with 14.3 points per game and senior forward Dave Pellerite (Olmsted Falls/Olmsted Falls) averages 13.7 points, 8.5 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.

Muskingum (6-13, 2-10 OAC) has lost seven straight games including a 76-68 loss at Heidelberg last Saturday.  The Muskies last win was a 57-56 victory over Kenyon on Jan. 2.

The Muskies are the OAC's No. 1 defensive team allowing opponents 64.7 points per game. 

Muskingum is led by junior forward Kyle Clinedinst, who is the OAC's second-leading rebounder at 9.5 rebounds per game and among the scoring leaders at 15.4 points per game.  He also leads the Muskies in steals (35) and is second in assists (25).

Mount Union stays home to host Wilmington Saturday (Feb. 5) at 4 pm at The MAAC.

Last Meeting

Down 34-24 with 13:46 to go, Mount Union senior guard Ben Hodkinson nailed three straight three-pointers to spark a 20-2 run that made the score 44-36 with 7:12 to play as the Purple Raiders went on to a 57-51 win.  

Jimmy Wood scored 14 of his game-high 19 points in the second half, Hodkinson had 14 and  Matt Wier tallied 10 to lead Mount Union, while Muskingum got 16 points and a career-best 17 rebounds from Kyle Clinedinst.

Projected Mount Union Starters:

4 - Jimmy Wood, F - 14.3 ppg, 4.1 rpg

5 - Dave Pellerite, F - 13.7 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 3.5 apg

44 - Matt Wier, F - 10.3 ppg, 3.9 rpg

1 - Ben Hodkinson, G - 10.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.1 apg

12 - T.J. Gillespie, G - 6.8 ppg, 2.2 rpg


Lee Hood (Ohio Northern '82) is 242-236 in his 19th season at Mount Union.  Hood was the 1997 OAC Coach of the Year as he led the Raiders to a school-record 25 wins, an OAC title and the school's first NCAA Tournament appearance that season. 

Gene Ford (Muskingum '74) is 39-51 in his 4th season as head coach at Muskingum.  Ford was at Muskingum as an assistant coach for his son, Geno, currently head coach at Kent State.  Prior to returning to his alma mater, Ford was the head coach for 25 years at Cambridge High School where he amassed a 400-183 (.687) and led his teams to 18 sectional titles, eight district crowns and five regional titles, leading to five state tournament appearances. 


Mount Union's win early this year snapped a seven-game losing streak to the Muskies.  Muskingum has won seven of the last 10 meetings.  Mount Union last swept the season series back in the 2005-06 season.

Mount Union Player Notes

Jimmy Wood - Jr., F, Wintersville/Indian Creek

  • Leads team in scoring at 14.3 ppg and blocks (8).
  • Second on the team in rebounds (4.1) and third in steals (18)
  • Scored in double figures 15 times and last five games in a row.
  • Season-high 22 points vs. Capital (1/29/11).
  • Season-high/career-high 9 rebounds at Muskingum.
  • Career-high 30 points at Wilmington (1/30/10).
  • Dad (Jim) played basketball at Georgia Tech.

Dave Pellerite - Sr., F, Olmsted Falls/Olmsted Falls

  • Second on team in scoring at 13.7 ppg.
  • Has 1,345 career points which is 6th all-time at Mount Union and 13 pts. behind 5th place (1,358 - Neal Richards, 1993-97) and 27 points behind 4th place (1,372 - Doug Mason - 1968-72).
  • Leads team and third in OAC in rebounding at 8.5 rpg.
  • Leads team and third in OAC in assists with 66.
  • Scored in double figures 16 times and last eight games in a row.
  • Six double-doubles (points-rebounds) this season.
  • Season-high 22 points twice (at Wilmington and vs. John Carroll).
  • Career-high 29 points vs. Pitt-Greensburg (11/18/08).
  • Season-high/Career-high 15 rebounds vs. John Carroll (1/26/11).
  • Played in 98 games and started 78.

Ben Hodkinson - Sr., G, Tippecanoe/Harrison Central

  • Fourth on team in scoring at 10.2 ppg.
  • Leads team in steals (23) and second in assists (58) .
  • Leads team in 3-pt. shooting at 42.2% (35-of-83)
  • Eighth in OAC in 3-pt. shots made with 35.
  • Leads team in free throw shooting at .789 (30-of-38)
  • Scored in double figures in nine games.
  • Season-high/Career-high 22 points vs. Marietta (1/5/11).
  • Played one season (2007-08) at Wheeling Jesuit.

Matt Wier - Jr., F., New Castle, Pa./Mohawk

  • Third on the team in scoring at 10.3 ppg.
  • Third on the team in rebounding at 3.9 rpg.
  • Score in double figures in 10 games.
  • Season-high 20 points at Capital (12/11/10).
  • Career-high 28 points vs. Ohio Northern (12/12/09).
  • Season-high/Career-high 9 rebounds twice (at Hiram and vs. Waynesburg).
  • Played one season on a baseball scholarship at West Virginia.

T.J. Gillepsie - Fr., G., Toledo/Toledo St. John's

  • Played in all 19 games and has started 17.
  • Fifth on team in scoring at 6.8 ppg.
  • Third on the team in assists with 42.
  • Season-high/Career-high 20 points vs. Ohio Northern (1/8/11).
  • Season-high/Career-high 5 rebounds vs. Piedmont, Ga. (11/28/10).
  • Season-high/Career-high 5 assists vs. Otterbein (1/22/11).

Matt Kiger - So., F., Williamstown, W.Va./Williamstown

  • Played in all 19 games and has made one start.
  • Fifth on team in scoring at 6.8 ppg.
  • Third on team in rebounding at 3.9 rpg.
  • Scored double figures in five games.
  • Season-high 20 points twice (at Otterbein and vs. Waynesburg).
  • Career-high 27 points at Thomas More, Ky. (12/27/09).
  • Season-high/Career-high 9 rebounds vs. Waynesburg.

Tyler Fausnight - Fr., F., North Canton/Hoover

  • Played in 11 games and is out with an injury
  • Sixth on team in scoring at 6.3 ppg.
  • Leads team in field goal percentage at 65.9% (29-of-44).
  • Fifth on team in rebounding at 3.4 rpg.
  • Season-high/Career-high 12 points twice (at Westminster, Pa. and vs. Rust, Miss.).
  • Season-high/Career-high 8 rebounds at Hiram.

Justen Little - So., G., Gallion/Gallion

  • Has come off the bench in all 19 games
  • Season-high 4 points vs. Ohio Northern (1/8/11). 

Del'vonta Cheathem - Fr., G., Mansfield/Madison

  • Has played in 12 games and made one start
  • Season-high/Career-high 6 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists at Westminster, Pa. (11/19/10).