November 23, 2012

GAME PREVIEW - Mount Union and Hiram Renew Men's Basketball Rivalry Saturday

Mount Union takes the short drive to Hiram for a non-conference men's basketball game Saturday, Nov. 24 at 1 pm at Price Gymnasium in Hiram, Ohio.

The Purple Raiders (1-2) are coming off their first win of season -- an 81-70 victory over Pitt-Greensburg this past Tuesday in the home opener.

Sophomore Nate Jacubec (Struthers/Struthers) had a season-high 19 points and five assists while freshman Taylor Moore (North Canton/Hoover) had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds to lead Mount Union.

Freshmen Kyle Scelza (Stow/Stow) and Jarrett Ruffin (Northfield/Nordonia) also were in double figures with 14 and 11 respectively as the Raiders scored a season-high in points.

Mount Union is averaging 71.7 points per game with four players -- Jacubec, Moore, Scelza and freshman Cody Dillon (Newton Falls/Newton Falls) each averaging double figures.  Jacubec is also the team's leading rebounder at 6.7 per game.

This will be the regular season opener for Hiram and the Terriers return three starters and 13 letterwinners from a squad that went 14-12 a year ago.

Hiram will be led by five seniors in guards Tom Herchek, Alan Sheppard, Justin Wisniewski with forwards Justin Lonis and Steve Zivoder.

Mount Union stays on the road and plays next Wednesday, Nov. 28 at Adrian (Mich.) before opening Ohio Athletic Conference play next Saturday at 2 pm at Capital.

SERIES

Hiram has won the last two meetings but Mount Union has won three of the last five. The Terriers won 86-72 a year ago and the last Mount Union win at Hiram was a 74-69 victory in 2008.

COACHES

Mike Fuline (Kent State '98) is 12-17 in his second season as head coach at Mount Union after a successful career at the high school level that included winning the 2010 OHSAA Division I State Championship at Massillon Jackson. 

Steve Fleming (Hiram '94) is 57-73 in his seventh year as head coach at Hiram. Fleming also had assistant coaching stints at both Ashland and Tiffin.  He was also the head coach at Tiffin for three season and his combined head coaching record is 90-120.

MOUNT UNION PLAYER NOTES

Nate Jacubec - So., 5-11, G, Struthers/Struthers

  • Has started all three games this season
  • Leads team in scoring (16.7), rebounds (6.7) and steals (5)
  • Season-high 19 points and five assists vs Pitt-Greensburg (11/20/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 10 rebounds at Westminster (11/16/12)
  • 2012 OAC Freshman of the Year
  • 2012 Buzz Ridl All-Tournament Team
  • Career-high 21 points at Otterbein (1/21/12) and at John Carroll (1/25/12)
  • Career-high 5 three-pointers at John Carroll (1/25/12)
  • Career-high with 5 assists at Heidelberg (2/18/12)

Taylor Moore - Fr., 6-6, F, North Canton/Hoover

  • Has played in all three games with one start (vs. Thiel)
  • Second on the team in scoring (12.3) and rebounding (5.7)
  • Had first double-double with season/career-high 12 points and 10 rebounds vs Pitt-Greensburg (11/20/12)

Kyle Scelza - Fr., 6-1, G, Stow/Stow

  • Has come off the bench in all three games
  • Tied for team lead in three-pointers made (9)
  • Season-high/Career-high 14 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists vs Pitt-Greensburg (11/20/12)

Jarrett Ruffin - Fr., 6-6, F, Northfield/Nordonia

  • Has started two games this season
  • Season-high/Career-high 11 points and 3 rebounds vs Pitt-Greensburg (11/20/12)

Matt Kiger - Sr., 6-5, F, Williamstown, W.Va./Williamstown

  • Has played in all three games with one start (vs. Pitt-Greensburg)
  • Leads team in field goal percentage (.688)
  • Season-high 19 points and seven rebounds vs. Thiel (11/16/12)
  • Career-high 20 points at Otterbein (12/4/10) and vs. Waynesburg (12/30/10)
  • Career-high 9 rebounds vs. Waynesburg (12/30/10)

Justen Little - Sr., 5-10, G, Galion/Galion

  • Has started all three games this season
  • Leads team with 11 assists
  • Season-high 6 points and 7 assists vs Pitt-Greensburg (11/20/12)
  • Career-high 15 points at Heidelberg (2/18/12)
  • Career-high 7 rebounds at Ohio Northern (1/7/12)
  • Career-high 7 assists three times last vs Pitt-Greensburg (11/20/12)

Jimmy Darnley - Jr., 6-5, F, Canton/GlenOak

  • Has played in three games with two starts
  • Season-high 3 points vs Westminster (11/16/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 8 rebounds vs Westminster (11/17/12)
  • Career-high 5 points at Ohio Northern (2/12/11)

Cody Dillon - Fr., 6-4, G, Newton Falls/Newton Falls

  • Has started all three games this season
  • Second on the team in scoring (12.3)
  • Season-high/Career-high 21 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists vs Thiel (11/17/12)

Evan Keeslar - Fr., 6-3, G, Uniontown/Green

  • Has came off the bench in three games this season
  • Season-high/Career-high 6 points, 2 rebounds at Westminster (11/16/12)

T.J. Gillespie - Jr., 5-11, G, Toledo/Toledo St. John's

  • Has came off the bench in one game this season
  • Career-high 20 points vs. Ohio Northern (1/8/11)
  • Career-high 5 assists vs. Otterbein (1/22/11)

Jerrod Lane - Jr., 6-6, F, North Canton/Hoover

  • Has came off the bench in two games this season
  • Season-high 3 points and 3 rebounds at Westminster (11/16/12)
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