February 22, 2013

OAC CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW- No. 4 seed Men’s Basketball faces No. 2 seed Marietta In OAC Tournament Finals Saturday

No. 4 seed Mount Union faces the No. 2 seed Marietta in the Ohio Athletic Conference Men's basketball Tournament finals Saturday evening at 7:30 p.m. in the Ban Johnson Arena. 

The game will be broadcast on the radio on 1310 AM WDPN (Alliance) and will be simulcast online with LIVE STATS and a LIVE VIDEO feed of the game.

This is the fourth time in school history Mount Union has advanced to the conference tournament championship (1971, 1997, 2004, 2013) and the first since 2004. 

The winner of Saturday's matchup will receive an automatic berth into the NCAA Division III men's basketball tournament. 

Mount Union enters the championship game having upset the No. 1 seed Capital 63-54 Thursday evening in the OAC tournament semi-final. 

The Raiders rank first in the conference in rebounding (37.0 rpg), second in free-throw shooting (74.4%) and fourth in scoring (75.6 ppg). Sophomore Nate Jacubec (Struthers/Struthers) leads the Raiders in scoring (15.0 ppg) and steals (1.3 spg).

Marietta enters Saturday's matchup having defeated the No. 3 seed Wilmington 111-106 in triple overtime Thursday evening in the OAC tournament semi-finals. 

The Pioneers lead the conference in scoring (80.3 ppg), field goal percentage (47.6 %) and are second in three-point percentage (38.9%). J.J. Martin leads the Pioneers in scoring (17.2 ppg) and rebounds (6.8 rpg). Martin also is tied for the conference lead in points-per-game. 

OAC TOURNAMENT HISTORY

Mount Union is making its 53rd tournament appearance, which ties Capital for the most in conference history. The Raiders have a 25-51 record and won its only title in 1997. In last seasons OAC tournament, the Raiders lost 56-52 at Ohio Northern in the first round.

Marietta is making its 29th tournament appearance and has a record of 28-48 with one title (2011). In last seasons OAC tournament the Pioneers received a bye into the second round where they fell 58-54 to Ohio Northern. 

Marietta and Mount Union have met three times in the OAC tournament where the Raiders hold a 3-0 record against the Pioneers. 

1992- #9 Mount Union 93, #8 Marietta 83

1995- #8 Mount Union 60, #9 Marietta 52

2002- #3 Mount Union 84, #6 Marietta 72

THE SERIES

This will be the 109th meeting all-time between the teams with Mount Union holding a 64-44 advantage in the series. Marietta has won the past six meetings between the two schools including both games this season 97-90 at Marietta and 93-81 in Alliance

TEAM STATS COMPARISON

Team Stats 

Mount Union

Marietta

Points per game

75.6 (4th)

80.3 (1st)

Points Allowed per game

73.0 (8th)

72.5 (7th)

Field Goal %

45.1% (5th)

47.6 (1st)

3 Point %

37.9% (3rd)

38.9% (2nd)

Free throw %

74.4% (2nd)

69.6%(7th)

Rebounds

37.0 (1st)

36.6 (3rd)

Assists

12.4 (5th)

12.0 (7th)

Turnovers

14.4 (9th) 

10.5 (1st)

 

MOUNT UNION STAT LEADERS

Points- Nate Jacubec- 15.0

Rebounds- Jarrett Ruffin- 5.3

Assists- Justen Little- 2.6

Steals- Nate Jacubec- 1.3

Blocks-Jarrett Ruffin 1.2

Projected Mount Union Starters

3-   Justen Little, Sr., G, Galion/Galion - 2.4 ppg, 2.6 apg

10- Cody Dillon, Fr., G, Newton Falls/Newton Falls – 8.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg

20- Nate Jacubec, Fr., F, Struthers/Struthers – 15.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg

30- Stevie Griffin, So., F, Canton/ Massillon Jackson– 12.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg

45- Matt Kiger, Sr., F, Williamstown, W. Va./Williamstown – 7.6 ppg, 3.9 rpg

Marietta Stat Leaders

Points- J.J. Martin – 17.2

Rebounds- J.J. Martin - 6.8

Assists-Tyler Hammond, Tyler Worstell- 3.0

Steals- J.J. Martin – 1.3

Blocks- J.J. Martin- 0.7

MARIETTA PROJECTED STARTERS

14- Scott Kimmey, Sr., G, Olmsted Falls / Olmsted Falls – 5.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg

15- Tyler Hammond, Jr., G, Cleveland/ St. Ignatius- 10.6 ppg, 3.0 apg

21- J.J. Martin, Sr., G, Huntington, W.Va./Huntington- 17.2 ppg, 6.8 rpg

22- Jacob Owns, Sr., G, Mansfield / Mansfield - 9.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg

32- Jason Humphrey, Sr., F, Naples, Fla./ Barron Collier – 5.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg

Coaches

Mike Fuline (Kent State '98) is in his second season as head coach at Mount Union and has compiled a 24-29 overall record as head coach of the Purple Raiders.  Prior to becoming head coach of the Raiders, Fuline had a successful coaching career at the high school level that included winning the 2010 OHSAA Division I State Championship at Massillon Jackson.  Prior to coaching 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.

Jon VanderWal (Albion'01) is in his sixth season as head coach at Marietta and has compiled a 91-79 overall record as coach of the Pioneers. VanderWal has coached the Pioneers to a 44-13 record over the past two years which marks the best record in a two year span in school history. Before coming to Marietta, VanderWal  was an assistant at Ohio Wesleyan. Prior to Ohio Wesleyan, VanderWal spent two years as an assistant at Defiance College, where he helped guide the Yellow Jackets to a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference (HCAC) regular season and HCAC Tournament runners-up finish in 2002 and a HCAC Tournament semifinal appearance in 2003.

MOUNT UNION PLAYER NOTES

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

  • Has played in all 27 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 26 games this season
  • Season-high/Career-high 21 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists vs Thiel (11/17/12)
  • Season-high/Career-High 3 steals, three times with last vs Wilmington (2/16/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 2 blocks, two times with last vs Otterbein (2/19/13)

Tyler FausnightJr., 6-3, F, Uniontown/North Canton Hoover

  • Has played in five games this season
  • Season-High 5 points at Adrian (Mich) ((11/28/12))
  • Season-High 3 rebounds at Adrian (Mich) ((11/28/12)
  • Career-High 12 points, two times with last vs Rust (Miss) ((11/27/10))
  • Career-High 8 rebounds at Hiram (11/15/10)
  • Career-High 2 assists, two times with last at Muskingum (12/22/10)
  • Career-High 2 steals, two times with last at Westminster (Pa) ((11/19/10)
  • Career-High 2 blocks vs Rust (Miss) ((11/27/10))

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

  • Has come off the bench in 21 games this season
  • Season-high 13 points vs Wilmington (2/16/13)
  • Season-high 3 rebounds, five times with last vs Otterbein (2/19/13)
  • Season-high/career-high 8 assists, two times with last vs. Baldwin Wallace (1/31/13)
  • Season-high 2 steals, two times with last vs Ohio Northern (12/5/12)
  • Career-high 20 points vs. Ohio Northern (1/8/11)
  • 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., 6-3, F, Canton/Massillon Jackson

  • Has played in 19 games this season with 17 starts
  • Season-high/Career-high 25 points at Wilmington (1/12/13)
  • Season-high 7 rebounds, three times with last at Capital (2/22/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 4 assists, two times with last at Ohio Northern (2/9/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 2 blocks, four times with last at Muskingum (2/7/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 3 steals vs John Carroll (1/23/13)
  • Career-high 6 three-pointers at Geneva (11/19/11)
  • Career-high 8 rebounds vs. Westminster (11/22/11) and at Muskingum (2/1/12)
  • 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 25 games this season
  • Season-high/Career-high 31 points at Wilmington (1/12/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 10 rebounds, two times with 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)
  • Season-high/Career-high 6 three-pointers at Wilmington (1/12/13)
  • 2012 Purple and Gold Financial All-Tournament Team
  • 2012 OAC Freshman of the Year
  • 2012 Buzz Ridl All-Tournament Team

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

  • Has come off the bench in all 27 games this season
  • Season-high/Career-high 10 points at Adrian (11/28/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 5 rebounds Hiram (11/24/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 2 assists three times, with last vs John Carroll (1/23/13)
  • 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 27 games with 24 starts 
  • Season-high 19 points vs Thiel (Pa) ((11/16/12)) 
  • Season-high/Career-high 10 rebounds vs Baldwin Wallace (1/30/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 2 assists, nine times with last at Hiram (11/24/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 2 blocks vs Baldwin Wallace (1/31/13)
  • 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)
  • Career-high 2 steals, four times with last vs #24 Marietta (1/5/11)

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

  • Has come off the bench in 13 games this season
  • Career-high/Season-high 5 points, two times with last vs Muskingum (1/26/13)
  • Career-high/Season-high 5 rebounds vs Muskingum (1/16/13)

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

  • Has started all 27 games this season
  • Season-high 10 points at Otterbein (12/15/12)
  • Season-high 5 rebounds vs Otterbein (2/19/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 7 assists, three times with last at John Carroll (12/05/12)
  • Season-high 3 steals, two times with last at John Carroll (12/5/12)
  • 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 27 games with one start (vs. Thiel)
  • Season-high/career-high 20 points at Heidelberg (1/19/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 10 rebounds vs Pitt-Greensburg (11/20/12)
  • Season-high/Career-high 2 blocks, two times with last vs Adrian (Mich) ((12/29/12))
  • Season-high/Career-high 2 steals vs Wilmington (2/16/13)
  • 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 played in 25 games this season with 12 starts
  • Season-high/Career-high 20 points, two times with last at Marietta (1/9/13) 
  • Season high/Career-high 10 rebounds, two times with last at Ohio Northern (2/9/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 4 blocks vs Marietta (2/13/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 2 steals, two times with last vs Muskingum (1/16/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 2 assists, two times with last vs Wilmington (2/16/13)
  • Had first career double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds at Wilmington (1/12/13)

Kyle Scelza - Fr., 6-1, G, Stow/Stow

  • Has come off the bench in all 27 games
  • 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 six times, with last vs John Carroll (1/13/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 4 steals vs John Carroll (1/23/13)
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