Men's Basketball Hopes to Carry Momentum Into OAC Tournament Game at John Carroll

Men's Basketball Hopes to Carry Momentum Into OAC Tournament Game at John Carroll

No. 7 seed Mount Union travels to No. 2 seed John Carroll for a quarterfinal game in the 2011 Ohio Athletic Conference Men's Basketball Tournament Tuesday at 7:30 pm in University Heights.

The game will be broadcast on the radio on WDPN AM 1310 and simulcast online right here along with a LIVE STATS game tracker.  John Carroll will also be providing LIVE VIDEO of the game.

The Purple Raiders (10-15, 8-10 OAC) will try to carry the momentum from a solid 74-67 win over Heidelberg Saturday in the regular season finale.  Mount Union built a double digit lead early in the second half when Heidelberg rallied to within a point before the Raiders responded with a 13-2 run to put the game away.

Junior forward Jimmy Wood (Wintersville/Indian Creek) scored a season and game-high 23 points and hauled down eight rebounds, while senior forward Dave Pellerite (Olmsted Falls/Olmsted Falls) had 22 points, nine rebounds and three steals for Mount Union. 

In his final home game as a Purple Raider, Pellerite moved to third place on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,444 points.

Mount Union averages 70.2 points per game on offense led by Wood, who is fifth in the conference in scoring at 15.4 points per game.  Pellerite is second in scoring at 14.4 points per game and third in conference in rebounding at 8.4 points per game.

John Carroll (17-8, 12-6 OAC) lost Saturday at the buzzer to OAC regular season champ Marietta, 82-81.  The Blue Streaks are the OAC's highest scoring team at 84.8 points per game and have six players that average double figures in scoring.  Forward Maurice Haynes leads the team at 14.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game inside while the guard tandem of Joey Meyer (14.0 ppg) and Corey Shontz (13.0 ppg) handle things outside.


John Carroll swept the season series with a 90-65 win in Cleveland and an 80-78 win in Alliance as The Blue Streaks have won three straight in the overall series.  This is the 72nd meeting between the teams with John Carroll holding a 36-35 lead in the series.  The last Mount Union win in the series came in a 67-62 victory last year in Alliance last season against the then No. 2 in the nation ranked Blue Streaks.

Projected Mount Union Starters:

4 - Jimmy Wood, F - 15.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg

5 - Dave Pellerite, F - 14.4 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 3.1 apg

1 - Ben Hodkinson, G - 9.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 2.9 apg

44 - Matt Wier, F - 9.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg

3 - Justen Little, G - 1.0 ppg, 0.8 rpg


Lee Hood (Ohio Northern '82) is 249-248 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. 

Mike Moran (Xavier '73) is 345-198 in his 19th season at John Carroll.  Moran's teams have won nine OAC regular season titles, four OAC Tournament titles and made 10 trips to the NCAA Tournament.  His 2003-04 team finished third in the nation.

OAC Tournament History:

Mount Union is making its 51st OAC Tournament appearance which ties Capital for the most in conference history.  The Purple Raiders are 23-49 in tournament games and won its only tournament title in 1997.  The last Mount Union win in the tournament was as the No. 7 seed in the 2005 quarterfinals when they beat No. 2 seed Capital, 95-75 in Columbus.

John Carroll is making its 22nd OAC Tournament appearance and has a 20-19 record with three titles (2009, 2004 and 2003) and a pair of runner-up finishes.

The teams have just three previous meetings in the tournament with the last one coming in the 2004 championship game when then top-seeded John Carroll beat No. 6 seed Mount Union 76-74 in University Heights.

2004: #1 John Carroll 76, #6 Mount Union 74 (Championship game at John Carroll)
1994: #1 John Carroll 100, #8 Mount Union 72 (Quarterfinals at John Carroll)
1990: #8 Mount Union 98, #9 John Carroll 84 (First Round at Mount Union)

2011 OAC Tournament

OAC Quarterfinals: Tuesday, Feb. 22, 2011

Game 1: #8 Wilmington at #1 Marietta • 7:30 pm

Game 2: #7 Mount Union at #2 John Carroll • 7:30 pm

Game 3: #6 Otterbein at #3 Capital • 7:30 pm

Game 4: #5 Heidelberg at #4 Ohio Northern • 8:00 pm

OAC Semifinals: Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011 • All Game Times TBA

Game 5: Game 1 Winner vs. Game 4 Winner at Higher Seed
Game 6: Game 2 Winner vs. Game 3 Winner at Higher Seed

OAC Finals: Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011 • 7:30 p.m.

Game 7: Lowest Remaining Seed at Highest Remaining Seed

Mount Union Player Notes

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

  • Leads team in scoring at 15.4 ppg and blocks (9).
  • Second on the team in rebounds (4.6) and steals (24)
  • Scored in double figures 21 times and last 11 games in a row.
  • Over last seven games has averaged 19.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game.
  • Season-high 23 points vs. Heidelberg (2/19/11).
  • Season-high/career-high 9 rebounds in both games against 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 14.4 ppg.
  • Has 1,444 career points which is 3rd place all-time at Mount Union and is 52 points behind 2nd place Scott Gobley (1,496 - 1989-93).
  • Leads team and third in OAC in rebounding at 8.4 rpg.
  • Leads team and third in OAC in assists with 77.
  • Leads team in steals with 26.
  • Scored in double figures 22 times and last 14 games in a row.
  • Seven double-doubles (points-rebounds) this season.
  • Season-high 24 points twice at Baldwin-Wallace (02/16/11).
  • Career-high 29 points vs. Pitt-Greensburg (11/18/08).
  • Season-high/Career-high 15 rebounds vs. John Carroll (1/26/11).
  • Played in 104 games and started 84.

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

  • Fourth on team in scoring at 9.5 ppg.
  • Second on team in steals (24) and second in assists (71) .
  • Leads team in 3-pt. shooting at 41.0% (43-of-105)
  • Seventh in OAC in 3-pt. shots made with 43.
  • Scored in double figures in 11 games.
  • Season-high/Career-high 22 points vs. Marietta (1/5/11).
  • Played one season (2007-08) at Wheeling Jesuit.

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

  • Played in all 25 games and has made five starts.
  • Fifth on team in scoring at 6.8 ppg. and forth in rebounding at 3.7 rpg.
  • Scored double figures in seven 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.

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

  • Played in all 25 games and started 21
  • Third on the team in scoring at 9.9 ppg and rebounding at 3.9 rpg.
  • Score in double figures in 12 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. Gillespie - Fr., G., Toledo/Toledo St. John's

  • Played in 24 games and started 18.
  • Sixth on team in scoring at 6.4 ppg.
  • Fourth on the team in assists with 45.
  • 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).

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

  • Has played in all 2\5 games and started the last five games in a row.
  • Third on the team in assists with 46.
  • Season-high/Career-high 4 points vs. Ohio Northern (1/8/11) and at Ohio Northern (2/12/11).
  • Season-high/Career-high 3 rebounds at Marietta (2/9/11) and vs. Heidelberg (2/19/11).
  • Season-high/Career-high 6 assists at Baldwin-Wallace (2/16/11).

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

  • Played in 11 games and is out for remainder of season with an injury.
  • Averaged 6.3 points per game and shot 65.9% (29-of-44) from field.
  • Averaged 3.4 rebounds per game.
  • Season-high/Career-high 12 points twice (at Westminster, Pa. and vs. Rust, Miss.).
  • Season-high/Career-high 8 rebounds at Hiram (11/15/10). 

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

  • Has played in 15 games and made one start.
  • Season-high/Career-high 6 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists at Westminster, Pa. (11/19/10).

Jimmy Darnley - Fr., F., Canton/GlenOak

  • Has come off the bench in 15 games including last 13 in a row.
  • Season/Career-high 5 points at Ohio Northern (2/12/11).
  • Season/Career-high 4 rebounds against Wilmington (2/5/11).