Men's Basketball: Kukura and Stenger Lead Mount Union Past Muskingum

Tommy Stenger (Photo by: JT Higgins)
Tommy Stenger (Photo by: JT Higgins)

ALLIANCE, Ohio – Mount Union's men's basketball team defeated Muskingum by a final score of 81-64 in an Ohio Athletic Conference matchup Wednesday evening in the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex.

The Raiders were led by senior JJ Kukura (Alliance) who notched another double-double with 30 points and 15 rebounds. Also in double-figures for the Raiders was junior Tommy Stenger (North Canton/Hoover) who posted a season-high 18 points.

With the win, Mount Union gets back to .500 overall at 11-11 and 7-8 in the OAC.

Muskingum, now 8-14 overall and 6-10 in the OAC, was led by Marcus Dempsey with 23 points. 

An early shootout between Kukura and Dempsey saw the Raiders leading 17-16 with 11:28 remaining in the first half with Kukura having 14 and Dempsey with nine. The Raiders then opened up a 14-point lead at 32-18 from a 15-2 run capped by another three-point basket from Kukura.

Kukura finished his 21-point 10 rebound first half with a steal and a layup after an Andrew Francesconi (Tallmadge) three to match the largest first half lead at 43-29 to send the teams to the locker room.

With the Raiders leading 45-33 at the 18:34 mark, they proceeded to go on a 24-6 run over the next 11 minutes to open a 30 point lead at 69-39 with 7:10 remaining that put the game out of reach. Mount Union had seven different scorers in the run led by Stenger with 10.

Mount Union shot 33-of-61 (54%) from the floor and 9-of-20 from distance (45%) while holding the Muskies to just 24-of-65 (37%) from the floor and 8-of-24 (33%) from deep.

The Raiders compete in their last regular season road matchup Saturday, February 10 at Heidelberg before coming back home on Valentine's Day to face Baldwin Wallace.