Men's Basketball: #25 Mount Union hosts Ohio Northern Saturday for OAC Matchup

Men's Basketball: #25 Mount Union hosts Ohio Northern Saturday for OAC Matchup

No. 25 Mount Union men's basketball will host Ohio Northern on Saturday for an Ohio Athletic Conference game. Tipoff is schedule for 3:00 p.m. in the MAAC.

What: #25 Mount Union (14-5, 10-2 OAC) vs. Ohio Northern (9-11, 6-7)

When: Saturday February 6, 2016, 3:00 p.m.

Where: McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex—Alliance, Ohio

Radio: WDPN 1310 AM

Online Coverage:  Live stats  |  Video  |  Audio

Game Preview:

Mount Union comes into the matchup off close 97-96 win over Capital. With the win, the Raiders improves to 14-5, and 10-2 in the OAC.

Jake Jacubec (Struthers/Struthers) led the Raiders with 23 points as Mount Union had five players in double figures, including Miles Griffin (Massillon/ Jackson) adding 18 points,  Kyle Scelza (Stow/Stow) scoring 17 points, Jarrett Ruffin (Northfield/Nordonia) with 14 points, and Cody Dillon (Newton Falls/Newton Falls) finishing with 10 points.

JJ Kukura (Alliance/Alliance) leads Mount Union in scoring, averaging 18.8 points per game. He is currently third in the OAC in scoring. Along with Kukura, three other Raiders average double figures, including Ruffin with 14.6, Jacubec with 13.5, and Scelza with 11.7. Ruffin leads the team in rebounding (8.3) and is fourth in the OAC. He also leads the conference in field goal percentage (61.1%).

 

Ohio Northern enters the game off a 103-94 victory over Wilmington. With the victory, the Polar Bears improved to 9-11, 6-7 in the OAC. Ryan Burns and Nate Burger led the team in the effort with 16 points each. Ohio Northern had six players in double figures in the win, including Konnor Baker (15), Devon Allen (15), Joey Diorio (13), and Aron Thress (12).

 

Thress leads the team in scoring for the season, averaging 16.7 points per game. Aside from Thress, three other players average double figures as well, including Devon Allen (12.3), Konnor Baker (10.7), and Ryan Burns (10.7).

 
 

Previous Meeting

The last meeting between the Raiders and the Polar Bears resulted in a 79-71 win for Mount Union. Kukura led the effort for the Raiders with 24 points. Jacubec (16), Dillon (11), and Ruffin (10) also scored in double figures. Thress led for Ohio Northern with 17 points, while Joey Hurless added 13, Travis Feitshans scored 12, Ryan Burns contributed 11, and Devon Allen finished with 10.

Mount Union missed nine of its 10 shots and eventually found its way trailing 24-6 nine minutes into the contest.  Trailing 37-35, Griffin hit a pair of shots to give Mount Union its first lead of the game, 39-37 at the break.

The Raiders opened the half on a 16-4 run capped by a Kukura three-pointer to stretch the lead to as many as 14 points, 55-41, with 14:12 to play.  Northern got to within three points on two occasions down the stretch but Kukura again responded going 6-for-6 from the line in the final minute to seal the win.

 

Coaches

Mike Fuline (Kent State '98) is in his fifth season at Mount Union with an overall record of 82-48. Fuline has won an OAC regular season and tournament title and was the 2015 Great Lakes Region Coach of the Year leading the Raiders to the NCAA Sweet 16.  Before coming to Alliance, Fuline spent six years as head coach of Massillon Jackson High School and won the 2011 OHSAA Division I Boys State Basketball Championship.

Kevin Byrne is in his fourth season as the head men's basketball coach at Ohio Northern and enters today's game with a record of 50-49. Byrne came to Ohio Northern after a four-year stint at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he served as their associate head coach, and brings 13 years of coaching experience and three years of experience playing professional basketball to the Polar Bears. The Akron, Ohio, native also has coaching stints at Marietta and Carnegie Mellon (Pa.) and played professional basketball for three seasons in Europe.

 

Mount Union projected starters

Jake Jacubec – Sr., G, 6-1, Struthers/Struthers

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

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

Jarrett Ruffin – Sr., F, 6-5, Northfield/Nordonia 

DeAllen Jackson - Jr., G, 6-2 - Akron/Archbishop Hoban

Mount Union player notes

 DeAllen Jackson - Jr., G, 6-2 - Akron/Archbishop Hoban

  • Career-high 24 points vs John Carroll (1/17/15)
  • Career-high 7 rebounds vs Olivet (Mich.) (12/28/14)
  • Career-high 8 assists vs Otterbein (1/24/15)
  • Career-high 5 steals vs Muskingum (1/14/15)
  • Career-high 5 three-pointers vs John Carroll (1/17/15)
  • Played in 48 career games – starting in 3games

Jake Jacubec - Sr., G, 6-1 - Struthers/Struthers

  • Started all 19 games this season
  • Double figures in 14 games
  • Season-high/Career-high 27 points vs Baldwin Wallace (12/2/15)
  • Season-high six rebounds and six assists vs. Penn State-Beaver (11/18/15)
  • Played last three seasons at California (Pa.)
  • 2013 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year
  • Brother of former Mount Union player Nate Jacubec

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

  • Started in 17 games this season
  • Scored in double figures 9 times
  • Season-high 18 points (2x) last vs Otterbein (12/12/15)
  • Season-high/career-high 8 rebounds vs Chicago (11/21/15)
  • Season-high 4 assists at Ohio Northern (12/9/15)
  • Season-high 4 three-pointers four times, most recently vs Heidelberg (1/6/16)
  • Career-high 35 points vs John Carroll (12/3/13)
  • Career-high 6 assists vs Thiel (11/17/12)
  • Career-high 8 three-pointers vs John Carroll (12/3/13)
  • OAC record for three-point percentage in a game .727 (8-11) vs John Carroll (12/14/13)
  • Played in 102 career games – starting in 100 games
  • 29th player to score over 1,000 career points

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

  • Started all 19 games this season
  • Scored in double figures 14 times
  • 6 double-doubles this season
  • Season-high 29 points vs Baldwin Wallace (1/27/16)
  • Season-high/Career-high 19 rebounds vs. Baldwin Wallace (1/27/15)
  • Season-high 3 assists vs Heidelberg (1/7/16)
  • Season-high 3 blocks at Ohio Northern (12/9/15)
  • Career-high 31 points twice, most recently vs Capital (1/31/15)
  • Career-high 4 assists three times, most recently vs Muskingum (2/12/14)
  • School-record 6 blocks vs Baldwin Wallace (2/5/14)
  • Played in 100 career games – starting in 86 games
  • 28th player in school history to reach 1,000 career points

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

  • Played in 10 games ... missed first nine games of season with broken foot
  • Season-high/Career-high 27 points vs Marietta (1/20/16)
  • Season-high 4 rebounds vs. Hood (12/28/15)
  • Career-high 6 rebounds twice, most recently vs Muskingum (2/12/14)
  • Season-high/Career-high 4 assists vs Hood (12/28/15)
  • Career-high 9 three-pointers vs Marietta (1/20/16)
  • Career-high 4 steals vs Capital (1/26/13)
  • Played in 94 career games with five starts

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

  • Played in 14 games this season, with two start
  • Season-high 7 points vs. John Carroll (1/16/16)
  • Career-high 18 points vs Baldwin Wallace (12/18/13)
  • Career-high 8 rebounds vs Westminster (Pa.) (1/3/14)
  • Career-high 5 assists vs Westminster (Pa.) (1/3/14)
  • Played in 96 career games

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

  • Started 15 games this season
  • Season-high/Career-high 11 points vs Potsdam St. (11/15/15)
  • Season-high/Career-high 5 rebounds at Capital (12/5/15)
  • Season-high/Career-high 4 assists vs Penn State-Beaver (11/18/15)
  • Played in 68 career games with nine starts

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

  • Started 15 games this season
  • Scored in double figures three times
  • Season-high 13 points vs Penn State-Beaver (11/18/15)
  • Season-high 6 rebounds (2x) last at Wilmington (1/9/16)
  • Season-high/Career-high 2 assists 2x last vs Baldwin Wallace (12/2/15)
  • Career-high 20 points at Heidelberg (1/19/13)
  • Career-high 10 rebounds vs Pitt-Greensburg (11/20/12)
  • Missed all of 2013-14 season due to injury
  • Played in 63 career games – starting in 17 games

JJ Kukura - So., G, 6-3 - Alliance/Alliance

  • Played in 18 games and started 1 this season
  • Scored in double figures 6times
  • Season-high/Career-high 33 points vs Baldwin Wallace (12/2/15)
  • Season-high/Career-high 33 points, 11 rebounds and 2 assists at North Central (11/20/15)
  • Played in 49 career games with 1 start

Josh Duerr - Sr., G, 5-10 – Uniontown/Lake

  • Played in all 18 games this season
  • Season-high 8 points vs Marietta (1/20/16)
  • Season-high 4 rebounds vs. Heidelberg (1/7/16)
  • Season-high 3 steals and 3 assists vs Penn State-Beaver (11/18/15)
  • Career-high 9 points vs John Carroll (1/17/15)
  • Career-high 6 rebounds vs John Carroll (1/17/15)
  • Career-high 5 assists vs Bethany (W.Va.) (11/18/14)
  • Career-high 4 steals vs John Carroll (1/17/15)
  • Played in 60 career games

Andrew Francesconi - Fr., F, 6-5 - Tallmadge/Tallmadge

  • Played in all 19 games with 1 start
  • Season-high 12 points vs Penn State-Beaver (11/18/15)
  • Season-high 6 rebounds vs Chicago (11/21/15)
  • Season-high 4 assists vs Otterbein (1/25/16)

Lucas Supan - Sr. F, 6-4 - Medina/Medina

  • Played in nine games
  • Season-high/Career-high 9 points and 6 rebounds vs Potsdam State (11/15/15)
  • Played in 30 career games 

Miles Griffin - So., G, 6-3 - Massillon/Massillon Jackson

  • Played in 17 games
  • Season-high/Career-high 18 points vs Capital (1/30/16)
  • Season-high 4 rebounds vs Penn State-Beaver (11/18/15)
  • Career-high 5 rebounds at Marietta (2/19/14)
  • Career-high 3 assists vs Muskingum (2/12/14)
  • Missed 2014-15 season due to injury
  • Played in 28 career games

Rory Juhn - Sr., C, 6-7 - Fairview Park/Fairview

  • Played in nine games
  • Season-high/Career-high 4 points vs Penn State-Beaver (11/18/15)
  • Season-high 3 rebounds vs William Paterson (11/14/15)
  • Season-high/Career-high 1 assist at North Central (11/20/15)
  • Career-high 4 rebounds vs Ohio Northern (2/24/15)
  • Played in 23 career games

Zach Neuenschwander- Fr., C, 6-10- Navarre/Fairless

  • Played in 10 games this season
  • Season high/Career High 5 points at Capital (12/5/15)
  • Season high 3 rebounds (2x), latest at Otterbein (1/23/16)