GAME PREVIEW: Men’s Basketball Tries For Third Straight Victory When They Travel To Otterbein

Senior Justen Little (Galion/Galion) is first on the team in assists (3.1 apg)
Senior Justen Little (Galion/Galion) is first on the team in assists (3.1 apg)

Mount Union's men's basketball team (3-5, 2-1 OAC) travels to Westerville, Ohio Saturday (Dec. 15), to face Otterbein (4-3, 1-1 OAC) in an Ohio Athletic Conference matchup, Saturday evening (Dec. 8) at 7:30 p.m.


The Purple Raiders are coming off its second straight victory, when they defeated Heidelberg 68-63 Saturday afternoon (Dec. 8) in the McPherson Academic and Athletic Center.

The Raiders battled Heidelberg for much of the game, as both teams combined for seven lead changes. The second half featured much of the same, as the biggest lead for either team was five points.

Nate Davis scored a layup and converted the free-throw with 1:17 to go in the game to tie the game at 67. Freshman Taylor Moore (North Canton/Hoover) was fouled with 44 seconds left, and hit one of two free-throws to give the Raiders a 68-67 lead.

The Student Princes had the last possession, but the Raiders defense proved too strong as Davis put up a shot as time expired, but it fell short, and Mount Union would come out with the victory 68-67.

Sophomore Nate Jacubec (Struthers/Struthers) leads the Raiders with 14.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 1.8 steals.

Senior Matt Kiger (Williamstown, W. Va./Williamstown) has gone 27-36 (0.750) on field goals this season, which is tops in the conference.

Projected Starters

Justen Little, Sr., G, Galion/Galion - 1.6 ppg, 3.1 apg

Cody Dillon, Fr., G, Newton Falls/Newton Falls – 10.4 ppg, 4.5 rpg

Nate Jacubec, So., G, Struthers/Struthers - 14.8 ppg, 5.1 rpg

Jarrett Ruffin, Fr., F, Northfield/Nordonia – 7.7 ppg, 4.4 rpg

Matt Kiger, Sr., F, Williamstown, W. Va./Williamstown – 8.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg


Otterbein is currently on a two game win streak, as it has defeated Muskingum 72-60  and Wooster 85-80.

Last season, the Cardinals finished the season with a 9-17 overall record and went 6-12 in conference play. They faced Wilmington in the first round of the OAC tournament, but were defeated 76-65.

Max Van Meter leads the Cardinals with 14.1 points and 8.1 rebounds.


Team Stats

Mount Union


Points per game

70.5 (7th)

70.9 (6nd)

Points Allowed per game

72.2 (8th)

70.0 (5th)

Field Goal %

41.6% (7th)


3 Point %

34.8% (6th)

33.3 (7th)

Free throw %

74.4 (5th)

70.2 (7th)


37.6 (2nd)

40.6 (1st)


12.2 (6th)

15.3 (2nd)


14.5 (7th)

17.1 (10th)



Mike Fuline (Kent State '98) is 14-20 is 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.  Prior to coach at Massillon, he was the head coach at Rootstown high school (2003-2005). At Rootstown, his 2003-04 team posted a 16-6 record and won a sectional championship while his 2004-05 team went 20-4, shared the league title and won a district championship. Fuline was named 2004 Ohio's Division III Co-Coach of the Year.

Todd Adrian (Kansas'95) is 4-3 in his first season as head coach of the Cardinals. He comes to Otterbein from Edgewood College, Madison Wisc., where he served as the head men's basketball for seven seasons and compiled a record of 97-65.


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

  • Has started all eight games this season
  • Season-high 23 points at John Carroll (12/5/12)
  • 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 24 points vs Baldwin Wallace (2/24/12)
  • Career-high 5 three-pointers at John Carroll (1/25/12) and at Hiram (11/24/12)
  • Career-high 7 assists at Hiram (11/24/12)
  • Career-high 10 rebounds at Westminster (11/16/12)

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

  • Has played in all eight games with one start (vs. Thiel)
  • Second on the team in rebounding (4.9 rpg)
  • 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 eight games
  • Second on the team in three pointers made (17)
  • Season-high/Career-high 16 points at Hiram (11/24/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 6 rebounds and 4 assists vs Pitt- Greensburg (11/20/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 4 three-pointers vs Pitt-Greensburg (11/20/12) and at Hiram (11/24/12)

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

  • Has started in seven games this season
  • First on the team in blocks (1.1 bpg)
  • Season-high/Career-high 20 points and 8 rebounds at Hiram (11/24/12)

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

  • Has played in all eight games with two starts 
  • Leads team and OAC in field goal percentage (.750)
  • Season-high 19 points and 7 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 eight games this season
  • First on the team in assists (3.2 apg)
  • Tied for second on the team in steals (1.1 spg)
  • 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 all eight games with three starts
  • Season-high/ Career-High 6 points vs Heidelberg (12/8/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 8 rebounds vs Westminster (11/17/12)

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

  • Has started all eight games this season
  • Second on the team in scoring (10.4 ppg)
  • First on the team in free throw attempts (4.4 attempts/game)
  • 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 come off the bench in all eight games this season
  • Season-high/Career-high 10 points at Adrian (11/28/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 5 rebounds, and 2 assists at Hiram (11/24/12)

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

  • Has come off the bench in five games 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 come off the bench in seven games this season
  • Season-high 5 points vs Heidelberg (12/8/12)
  • Season-high 3 rebounds at Westminster (11/16/12)