Men's Basketball: Mount Union Travels to John Carroll for OAC Semifinal Matchup

Mount Union Men's Basketball (Photo by Veronica Atkinson)
Mount Union Men's Basketball (Photo by Veronica Atkinson)

No. 3 seeded Mount Union men's basketball travels to No.2 seeded John Carroll to battle in the semifinal round of the Ohio Athletic Conference Men's Basketball tournament.

What: Mount Union (18-8) vs. John Carroll (23-3)

When: Thursday, February 25, 2016

Where: DeCarlo Varsity Center—University Heights, Ohio

Radio: WRMU 91.1 - live audio

Online Coverage:  Live stats  |  Video  |  Audio

Game Preview:

Mount Union comes into the matchup off a 102-96 win over Heidelberg.

Jarrett Ruffin (Northfield/Nordonia) had a game-high 23 points to lead six Mount Union players in double figures.

The Raiders other five players in double figures were Jake Jacubec (Struthers/Struthers) adding 19, Taylor Moore (North Canton/Hoover) scored 15, Andrew Francesconi(Tallmadge/Tallmadge) contributed 13, Cody Dillon (Newton Falls/Newton Falls) chipping in 11 while JJ Kukura (Alliance/Alliance) came off the bench and finished with 10 points.

Kukura leads Mount Union in scoring, averaging 17.6 points per game. Aside for Kukura, four other Raiders average double figures, including Ruffin (15.5), Jacubec (13.4), Dillon (10.7), and Scelza (10.4).
John Carroll enters the match off a 83-71 win over Capital. David Linane and Will Starks led the blue Streaks with 14 points, while two other players contributed double figures.
Linane leads John Carroll in scoring, averaging 14.9 points per game. Simon Kucharewicz (11.3) and Doug Caputo (10.) also average double figures.

 

OAC Tournament History

The Raiders are in their 55th OAC tournament appearance, which ties Capital for the most in conference history. The Raiders have a 29-53 record and won two titles in 1997 and 2015. The Blue Streaks are in their 26th OAC tournament and have compiled a 27-23 record along with three tournament championships (2009, 2004, 2003).

John Carroll and Mount Union have met six previous times in the OAC tournament with the Blue Streaks winning four of those games.

2015- #3 Mount Union 89, #2 John Carroll 88 (semifinals)

2014 - #5 John Carroll 83, #1 Mount Union 81 (semifinals)

2011 - #2 John Carroll 75, #7 Mount Union 68 (quarterfinals)

2004 - #1 John Carroll 76, #6 Mount Union 74 (championship)

1994 - #1 John Carroll 100, #8 Mount Union 72 (quarterfinals)

1990 - #8 Mount Union 82, #9 John Carroll 78 (first round)

Previous Meetings

The teams split the two regular season meetings with each winning on its respective home floor. John Carroll won 116-93 back on Jan. 16 in University Heights while Mount Union scored a 100-94 win on Feb. 17 in Alliance.

Coaches

Mike Fuline (Kent State '98) is in his fifth season at Mount Union with an overall record of 86-51. 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.

Mike Moran (Xavier '73) is in his 24th season at John Carroll with an overall record of 439-220. Moran has won ten OAC regular season titles, three OAC Tournament titles, and has made 11 NCAA Tournament appearances. He has been name OAC Coach of the Year five times and Great Lakes Coach of the Year twice. Before going to John Carroll in 1992, Moran led Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph High School to nine district championships, four regional championships, and two state championships.

 

Mount Union projected starters

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

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

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

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

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

 

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 53 career games – starting in 5 games

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

  • Started all 25 games this season
  • Double figures in 18 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 24 games this season
  • Scored in double figures 13 times
  • Season-high 24 points vs Muskingum (2/15/16)
  • Season-high/career-high 8 rebounds vs Chicago (11/21/15)
  • Season-high 4 (2x) assists, latest vs. Heidelberg (2/23/16)
  • 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 109 career games – starting in 107 games
  • 29th player to score over 1,000 career points
 

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

  • Started all 26 games this season
  • Scored in double figures 21 times
  • 7 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 4 assists vs Heidelberg (2/23/16)
  • 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 110 career games – starting in 95 games
  • 28th player in school history to reach 1,000 career points
 

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

  • Played in 17 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 (2x), latest vs. John Carroll (2/17/16)
  • 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 102 career games with eight starts

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

  • Played in 18 games this season, with two starts
  • Season-high 8 points vs. John Carroll (2/17/16)
  • 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 104 career games

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

  • Started 14 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 78 career games with 14 starts

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

  • Started 15 games this season
  • Scored in double figures fives times
  • Season-high 15 points vs Heidelberg (2/23/16)
  • Season-high 6 rebounds (2x) last at Heidelberg (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 72 career games – starting in 17 games

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

  • Played in 22 games and started 1 this season
  • Scored in double figures 19 times
  • 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 53 career games with 1 start

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

  • Played in all 26 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 69 career games

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

  • Played in all 26 games with three starts
  • Season-high/Career-high 13 points vs Heidelberg (2/23/16)
  • 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 13 games this season
  • Season-high/Career-high 9 points and 6 rebounds vs Potsdam State (11/15/15)
  • Played in 34 career games 

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

  • Played in 24 games, with four starts
  • Season-high/Career-high 18 points vs Capital (1/30/16)
  • Season-high 5 rebounds vs Muskingum (2/15/16)
  • 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 40 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 24 career games

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

  • Played in 17 games this season, with one start
  • Season high/Career High 5 points at Capital (12/5/15)
  • Season high 3 rebounds (2x), latest at Otterbein (1/23/16)