January 1, 2013

GAME PREVIEW- Men's Basketball Hosts Ohio Northern Saturday

Mount Union's men's basketball team (5-7, 3-2 OAC) hosts Ohio Athletic Conference opponent Ohio Northern (6-6, 2-3 OAC), Saturday afternoon (Jan 5.) at 3:00 p.m. in the McPherson Academic and Athletic Center. 

The game will also be broadcast LIVE on the radio on WDPN 1310 AM (Alliance) starting at 2:50 pm. LISTEN LIVE

LINK TO LIVE STATS

THE SERIES

This will be the 86th meeting all-time between Mount Union and Ohio Northern. The Polar Bears hold a 55-30 overall advantage in the series and have won five of six meetings in the OAC Tournament all-time. Last season, the Raiders went 2-1 against the Polar Bears, winning both of the regular season meetings, but were defeated by the Polar Bears in the first round of the OAC Tournament. 

MOUNT UNION

The Purple Raiders split a pair of games at the Defiance Purple and Gold Tournament as they dropped a 73-63 decision to No. 12 Adrian (Mich.) then rebounded with a 105-82 win over Finlandia (Mich.).

In the victory over Findlandia, the Raiders set a school record with 16 three-pointers, and set season-highs in points (105), assists (22), free throws (25) and free throw percentage (92.6%). The 105 points was the most points scored in a game by the Raiders since the 2004-05 season, when they defeated Marietta 112-96.

STAT LEADERS

Points- Nate Jacubec- 14.5

 Rebounds- Nate Jacubec- 5.5

 Assists- Justen Little- 2.8

 Steals- Nate Jacubec- 1.9

Projected Starters

Justen Little, Sr., G, Galion/Galion - 2.4 ppg, 2.8 apg

Cody Dillon, Fr., G, Newton Falls/Newton Falls – 8.9 ppg, 3.8 rpg

Nate Jacubec, So., G, Struthers/Struthers - 14.5 ppg, 5.5 rpg

Stevie Griffin, So., F,Canton/ Massillon Jackson– 9.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg

Matt Kiger, Sr., F, Williamstown, W. Va./Williamstown – 8.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg

COACH

Mike Fuline (Kent State '98) is 16-22 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.

OHIO NORTHERN

Ohio Northern dropped a 67-61 overtime decision to Marietta this past Wednesday, in fact the Polar Bears have lost three of their last four games with two of them in overtime. 

STAT LEADERS

Points- Brandon Rushton – 17.0 (2nd in OAC)

Rebounds- Jared Horstman- 5.4

Assists- Brandon Rushton, Isaiah Roux - 2.5

Steals- Isaiah Roux- 1.5

Projected Starters

Jared Horstman, Jr., G, Fort Jennings / Fort Jennings- 10.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg

Taylor Kuhlman, Sr., G, Ottawa / Ottawa-Glandorf- 7.9 ppg, 4.6 rpg

Brandon Rushton, Jr., G, Reynoldsburg/Reynoldsburg- 17.0 ppg, 3.2 rpg

Lucas Pennington, So., F, Lyons / Evergreen- 12.6 ppg, 4.00rpg

Dominique Royal, Jr., F, Columbus / Pickerington Central- 8.8 ppg, 3.4 rpg

 COACH

Kevin Byrne (Carnegie Mellon '96) is in his first season as head coach at Ohio Northern after serving four years as head coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He previously has coached as an assistant at Marietta and his alma mater Carnegie Mellon.  While at MIT, his teams set the record for wins earned its first NEWMAC championship, and made the first three NCAA Division III Tournament appearances in program history. Last season, Byrne helped guide MIT to a 29-2 record and trip to the NCAA Division III Tournament Final Four. 

TEAM STATS COMPARISON

Team Stats 

Mount Union 

Ohio Northern

Points per game

72.4 (6th)

75.5 (3rd)

Points Allowed per game

72.8 (8th)

71.5 (7th)

Field Goal %

42.1% (9th) 

46.8% (2nd)

3 Point %

36.0% (6th)

37.3% (5th)

Free throw %

74.6% (3rd)

74.1% (4th)

Rebounds

37.6 (3rd) 

30.3 (10th)

Assists

12.5 (7th)

12.9 (4th)

Turnovers

14.8 (7th)

11.4 (2nd)

* (OAC ranking in parentheses)

MOUNT UNION PLAYER NOTES

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

  • Has played in all 12 games with three starts
  • Season-high/ Career-High 7 points vs Adrian (12/8/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 8 rebounds at Westminster (11/17/12)

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

  • Has started all 12 games this season
  • Second on the team in scoring (8.9 ppg)
  • First on the team in free throws made per game (2.8 made/game)
  • Season-high/Career-high 21 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists vs Thiel (11/17/12)

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

  • Has come off the bench in seven games this season
  • Career-high 20 points vs. Ohio Northern (1/8/11)
  • Season-high/career-high 8 assists vs. Findlandia (12/30/12)
  • Career-high 3 steals vs John Carroll (1/26/11)
  • Career-high 5 rebounds vs Rust (Miss.) (11/27/10) and vs Piedomont (Ga.) (11/28/10)

Stevie Griffin - So., F, Canton/Massillon Jackson

  • Has played in four games this season with two starts
  • Season-high 19 points against Baldwin Wallace (12/20/12)
  • Season-high 6 rebounds at Otterbein (12/15/12)
  • Career-high 22 points and 6 three-pointers at Geneva (11/19/11)
  • Career-high 8 rebounds vs. Westminster (11/22/11) and at Muskingum (2/1/12)
  • Career-high 4 assists vs. Westminster (11/22/11)
  • Played for Coach Fuline and won 2010 OHSAA Division I state title at Massillon Jackson High School

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

  • Has started all 12 games this season
  • Leads team in scoring (14.5 points), rebounds (5.5 rebounds), and steals (1.8 steals)
  • Season-high 23 points at John Carroll (12/5/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 10 rebounds at Westminster (11/16/12) and at Baldwin Wallace (12/20/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 7 assists at Hiram (11/24/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 4 steals vs. Findlandia (12/30/12)
  • Career-high 5 three-pointers three times last vs. Findlandia (12/30/12)
  • 2012 Purple and Gold Financial All-Tournament Team
  • 2012 OAC Freshman of the Year
  • 2012 Buzz Ridl All-Tournament Team
  • Career-high 24 points vs Baldwin Wallace (2/24/12)

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

  • Has come off the bench in all 12 games this season
  • Leads team in free throw percentage (20-23, 87.0%)
  • 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)
  • Season-high/Career-high 6 free-throws at Adrian (11/28/12)

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

  • Has played in all 12 games with nine starts 
  • 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)
  • Career-high 9 free-throws vs Capital (1/16/10)

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

  •  Has come off the bench in nine games this season
  • Season-high 5 points vs Heidelberg (12/8/12)
  • Season-high 3 rebounds four times last at Capital (12/1/12)

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

  •  Has started all 12 games this season
  • Season-high 10 points at Otterbein (12/15/12)
  • First on the team in assists (2.8 apg)
  • Tied for second on the team in steals (1.0 spg)
  • Season-high/Career-high 7 assists, three times with last at John Carroll (12/05/12)
  • Career-high 15 points at Heidelberg (2/18/12)
  • Career-high 7 rebounds, two times with last at Ohio Northern (1/7/12)
  • Career-high 4 steals at John Carroll (1/25/12)

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

  • Has played in all 12 games with one start (vs. Thiel)
  • Season-high/career-high 12 points two times, vs Pitt Greensburg (12/20/12 and at John Carroll (12/5/12)
  • Second on the team in rebounding (4.2 rpg)
  • Had first career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds vs Pitt-Greensburg (11/20/12)

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

  • Has started in 11 games this season
  • First on the team in blocks (1.5 bpg)
  • Season-high/Career-high 20 points and 8 rebounds at Hiram (11/24/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 3 blocks three times, with last at Baldwin Wallace (12/20/12)

Kyle Scelza - Fr., 6-1, G, Stow/Stow

  • Has come off the bench in all 12 games
  • Second on the team in three pointers made (26)
  • 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 four times, with last vs Findlandia (12/30/12)
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