February 20, 2014

Men's Basketball: Mount Union Wraps Up Regular Season Saturday at Wilmington

Mount Union's men's basketball team closes out the regular season Saturday at Wilmington in an Ohio Athletic Conferene game at 3 pm in Wilmington.

Fans can follow the game with LIVE STATS at http://livestats.prestosports.com/mountunion

The Purple Raiders claimed their first OAC regular season title in 17 seasons and 10th conference title overall with an 81-77 win Wednesday at Marietta.

The win also took Mount Union (20-4, 15-2 OAC) to the 20-win plateau for just the second season in school history (25-5 in 1996-97).

The Raiders are also the No. 1 seed and home court in next week's conference tournament that includes a double bye to the semifinals Thursday at 7:30 pm.  

Wilmington (15-8 overall, 12-5 OAC) needs a win Saturday to clinch the No. 3 seed.

The Quakers saw a two-game win streak end with an 88-85 overtime loss to Ohio Northern this past Wednesday in Wilmington.

The game is a matchup of the conference's highest scoring team as Mount Union is at 87.0 points per game against the OAC's No. 2 scoring defense in Wilmington at 72.5 points per game.

Wilmington, tops in the conference in three-point shooting defense allowing opponents to hit 29.7 percent from beyond the arc, will go up against a Mount Union team that has made a conference-high and school single-season record 291 made three pointers and a 41.9 percentage from beyond the arc.  

In fact, the Raiders are second in the nation with 12.2 three-pointers made per game.

Mount Union is led in scoring by sophomore Cody Dillon (Newton Falls/Newton Falls) at 13.0 points per game.

Sophomore Jarrett Ruffin (Northfield/Nordonia) averages 12.8 points per game, his 6.6 rebounds per game leads the team and is fifth in the conference while he is second in the OAC with 36 blocked shots.

Senior T.J. Gillespie (Toledo/Toledo St. John's) averages 12.9 points per game and is second in the conference in assists (4.4 per game). 

Wilmington is led by conference player of the year finalist in senior Malcolm Heard II, who leads the OAC in both scoring (18.0 ppg) and rebounding (7.9 rpg).

R.J. Leppert averages 13.4 points per game while Dwight Johnson averages 4.3 assists per game.

EARILIER THIS SEASON

Mount Union won 93-80 on January 18 in Columbus as Cody Dillon had a game-high 22, Nate Jacubec had 19 while T.J. Gillespie had 11 of his 14 in the second half and Jarrett Ruffin had 13 to lead the Raiders.

SERIES

This will be the 28th meeting all-time between the two schools with Mount Union holding a 15-12 advantage in the series but teams have each got four wins over the last eight meetings.  

COACHES

Mike Fuline (Kent State '98) is 45-34 in his third year as head coach at Mount Union.  A year ago, he led the Raiders to their highest win total in seven years and a run to the OAC Tournament title game. Prior to Mount Union, Fuline was a high school coach for eight years at both Rootstown and Massillon Jackson.  In 2010, his Jackson team won the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I State Championship.

K.C. Hunt (Ohio State '95) is 108-77 in his seventh season as head coach at Wilmington.  Under Hunt, the Quakers have won a pair of OAC titles and made an NCAA Tournament appearance in 2010.  The 2010 Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year, Hunt had coaching stints at St. Lawrence (N.Y.), Dublin Coffman and Perry High Schools prior to joining the Wilmington staff as an assistant in 2004.

OAC TOURNAMENT

1st Round - Monday, Feb. 24

  • No. 8 Otterbein or Heidelberg at No. 5 John Carroll or Baldwin Wallace or Capital
  • No. 7 John Carroll or Baldwin Wallace or Capital at No. 6 John Carroll or Baldwin Wallace or Capital

2nd Round - Tuesday, Feb. 25

  • No. 8 seed/No. 5 seed winner at No. 4 Wilmington or Ohio Northern
  • No. 7 seed/No. 6 seed winner at No. 3 Wilmington or Ohio Northern

Semifinals - Thursday, Feb. 27

  • No. 4 seed/No. 5 seed/No. 8 seed winner at No. 1 Mount Union, 7:30 pm
  • No. 7 seed/No. 6 seed/No. 3 seed winner at No. 2 Marietta, 7:30 pm

Finals - Saturday, March 1

  • Semifinal winners, 7:30 pm

Admission:

  • Adults: $7 ($10 if part of M/W doubleheader)
  • Seniors 62+: $5 ($7 if part of M/W doubleheader)
  • Non-OAC Students: $2 ($3 if part of M/W doubleheader)
  • Current OAC Students: Free with valid college ID

MOUNT UNION PROJECTED STARTERS

Cody Dillon – So., G., 6-4, Newton Falls / Newton Falls 
Jarrett Ruffin – So., F., 6-6, Northfield / Nordonia 
T.J. Gillespie – Sr., G., 5-11, Toledo / Toledo St. John's 
Nate Jacubec – Jr., G., 5-11, Struthers / Struthers 
Jimmy Darnley – Sr., F., 6-5, Canton / GlenOak

MOUNT UNION PLAYER NOTES

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

  • Has started all 24 games this season
  • Has scored in double figures in 19 games this season
  • Season-high/career-high 22 points vs. Hartwick (N.Y.) (11/30/13)
  • Season-high/career-high 7 rebounds at Otterbein (2/8/14)
  • Season-high/career-high 10 assists at Rochester (N.Y.) (12/1/13)
  • Season-high/career-high 5 steals vs. Westminster (Pa.) (1/3/14)
  • Holiday Inn Airport Tournament All-Tournament Team
  • Played in 95 career games

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

  • Has played in all 24 games this season with 22 starts
  • Has scored in double figures in five games this season
  • Season-high/career-high 13 points at Rochester (N.Y.) (12/1/13)
  • Season-high/career-high 11 rebounds vs. John Carroll (12/4/13)
  • Recorded first career double-double (10 points, 11 rebounds) vs. John Carroll (12/4/13)
  • Played in 86 career games

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

  • Has started all 24 games this season
  • Has scored in double figures in 12 games this season
  • Season-high 23 points at John Carroll (1/29/14)
  • Season-high/Career-high 7 assists vs. Olivet (12/29/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 4 steals vs. Olivet (12/29/13)
  • Season-high 8 rebounds at Marietta (2/19/14)
  • Career-high 31 points at Wilmington (1/16/13)
  • Career-high 6 three-pointers at Wilmington (1/16/13)
  • Career-high 10 rebounds (2 times) last at Baldwin Wallace (12/20/12)
  • Has played in 76 career games with 75 career starts
  • 2012 OAC Freshman of the Year
  • 2013 All-OAC Second Team
  • 2013 D3Hoops.com All-Great Lakes Region Third Team

Stevie Griffin - Jr., F., 6-3 - Canton/Massillon Jackson

  • Has played in 13 games and started two
  • Season-high 14 points vs Capital (2/1/14)
  • Season-high 6 rebounds at Marietta (2/19/14)
  • Career-high 25 points at Wilmington (1/12/13)
  • Career-high 4 assists (2 times) last at Ohio Northern (2/9/13)
  • Career-high 6 three-pointers at Geneva (11/19/11)
  • Career-high 8 rebounds (2 times) last at Muskingum (2/1/12)
  • Brother of teammate Miles Griffin

Jarrett Ruffin – So., F., 6-6 - Northfield/Nordonia

  • Has started all 24 games this season
  • Has scored in double figures in 17 games this season
  • Season-high/career-high 31 points vs. Olivet (12/29/13)
  • School record 6 blocks at Baldwin Wallace (2/5/14)
  • Season-high/career-high 13 rebounds at Heidelberg (12/7/13) and at Muskingum (1/22/14)
  • Career-high 4 blocks vs. Marietta (2/13/13) and vs. Hartwick (N.Y.) (11/30/13)
  • Season-high/career-high 4 assists at John Carroll (1/29/14) / vs Muskingum (2/12/14)
  • Recorded five double-doubles this season
  • Played in 51 career games with 34 starts
  • 2013 OAC Freshman of the Year
  • 2013 D3Hoops.com Great Lakes Rookie of the Year

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

  • Has started all 24 games this season
  • Has scored in double figures in 16 games this season
  • Season-high/career-high 35 points vs. John Carroll (12/4/13) 
  • Season-high/career-high 8 rebounds (2 times) last at Ohio Northern (1/11/14)
  • Season-high/career-high 8 three-pointers vs. John Carroll (12/4/13)
  • Career-high 6 assists vs Thiel (11/17/12)
  • Tied school single-game record for 3-pointers made – 8 vs. John Carroll (12/4/13)
  • Ohio Athletic Conference record for 3-point percentage in a game - .727 (8-of-11) vs. John Carroll (12/4/13)
  • Holiday Inn Airport Tournament All-Tournament Team
  • Started every game of his college career - 51 games
  • 2013 OAC All-Tournament Team

Kyle Scelza - So., G., 6-1 - Stow/Stow-Munroe Falls

  • Has played in all 24 games this season
  • Has scored in double figures in 11 games this season
  • Season-high/Career-high 18 points vs. Westminster (Pa.) (1/4/14)
  • Season-high/Career-high 6 rebounds vs. Muskingum (2/12/14)
  • Season-high 3 assists at Bethany (W.Va.) (11/19/13) / at Otterbein (2/8/14)
  • Career-high 4 assists vs Pitt-Greensburg (11/20/12)
  • Career-high 5 three-pointers vs. John Carroll (12/4/13)
  • Career-high 4 steals vs John Carroll (1/23/13)
  • Has played in 52 consecutive games

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

  • Has played in all 24 games this season
  • Season-high/Career-high 18 points vs. Baldwin Wallace (12/18/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 8 rebounds vs. Westminster (Pa.) (1/3/14)
  • Season-high/Career-high 5 assists vs. Westminster (Pa.) (1/3/14)
  • Has played in 50 consecutive games 

Michael Shull - So., G., 5-10 - Massillon/Massillon Jackson

  • Has played in 22 games this season
  • Season-high/Career-high 8 points vs. Westminster (Pa.) (1/3/14)
  • Season-high/Career-high 2 assists vs. Westminster (Pa.) (1/3/14)
  • Season-high/Career-high 2 rebounds vs. Westminster (Pa.) (1/3/14) / at John Carroll (1/29/14)

Jeff Foreman – Fr., G., 6-2 - Mentor/Mentor

  • Has played in all 24 games this season
  • Season-high/Career-high 17 points at Pitt-Greensburg (11/16/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 6 assists vs. John Carroll (12/4/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 5 rebounds vs. Otterbein (12/14/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 2 steals vs. Westminster (Pa.) (1/3/14)

DeAllen Jackson – Fr., G., 5-11 - Akron/Archbishop Hoban

  • Has played in 23 games this season
  • Season-high/Career-high 16 points vs Heidelberg (2/12/14)
  • Season-high/Career-high 5 rebounds at Pitt-Greensburg (11/16/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 5 assists vs. Hartwick (N.Y.) (11/30/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 2 steals vs. Olivet (Mich.) (12/29/13) / at Muskingum (1/22/14) / vs. Heidelberg (2/11/14)

Tyler Sherman – Fr., C., 6-7 - Norton/Norton

  • Has played in 19 games this season
  • Season-high/Career-high 7 points vs. Otterbein (12/14/13) / vs Heidelberg (2/12/14)
  • Season-high/Career-high 8 rebounds vs. Hartwick (N.Y.) (11/30/13)
  • Season-high/Career-high 3 blocks vs. Westminster (Pa.) (1/3/14)
  • Season-high/Career-high 2 assists vs. Adrian (Mich.) (12/28/13)

Miles Griffin - Fr., G., 6-3 - Canton/Massillon Jackson

  • Has played in 15 games this season
  • Season-high/Career-high 15 points at Baldwin Wallace (2/5/14)
  • Season-high/Career-high 5 rebounds at Marietta (2/19/14)
  • Brother of teammate Stevie Griffin
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