Quakers roll past Mount Union
Five hit double figures in 75-61 win
February 4, 2012
Brandon Candella was one of five Quakers to reach double-figure scoring in Wilmington's win over Mount Union.
Five players scored in double figures as Wilmington College rolled past Mount Union, 75-61, in Ohio Athletic Conference play at Fred Raizk Arena Saturday afternoon.
The Quakers are now 9-5 in the OAC, 11-9 overall. Mount Union slides to 4-10 in the conference, 8-13 for the season.
“Our energy level and sense of urgency today was excellent,” Wilmington head coach K.C. Hunt said. “When we play with that level of emotion, it leads to deflections, turnovers and us playing well in the open court and in transition. We were pretty darn good on the defensive end for most of the game.”
Wilmington hit its first four shots from the field to build a 13-5 lead in the opening 4 minutes of play.
The lead grew to 22-8 when a Brandon Candella (West Chester/Lakota West) steal led to an R.J. Leppert (Liberty Township/Lakota East) lay-in at 10:44.
“We created a lot of offensive opportunities with our effort on the defensive end,” Hunt said. “Guys were really flying around, but we also ran some pretty good offense and got some quality shots. By making some shots and free throws, we were able to get into more of a set defensive position.”
Candella had five of Wilmington’s 10 first-half steals as the Quakers converted 15 Mount Union turnovers into 18 points. At the break, Wilmington was in control, 35-22.
The Quakers shot 61 percent (14 of 23) from the field in the second half to keep Mount Union out of striking distance. When Leppert found Malcolm Heard II (Wilmington) for a baseline dunk at 4:03, Wilmington led, 73-47.
Candella finished with 13 points, five rebounds, five steals and two assists.
“Brandon has really developed into a leader,” Hunt said. “He is a defensive stopper who takes the challenge each and every night to guard the best player on the floor. What he brings to us on a nightly basis is really awesome.”
Heard and Antonio Bowman (Columbus/Whetstone) also scored 13 points apiece. Leppert scored 11 points and Christian Patterson (Cincinnati/Norwood) came off the bench to score career-high 10 points.
“We were very good at sharing the basketball. This is a close-knit group that likes to make the extra pass. They keep moving the ball, which is a testament to their unselfishness. It’s fun to watch that kind of basketball,” Hunt said.
Wilmington’s win, combined with Marietta’s 70-63 loss at Ohio Northern, pulled the Quakers into a third-place tie with Marietta in the OAC standings with four regular-season games play. Up next for the Quakers is a home game with Muskingum Wednesday night.
“Muskingum plays a style of basketball that is tough to play against,” Hunt said. “It’s also going to be an emotional night with our four seniors suiting up for their last regular-season home game. They have done a lot for our community and our basketball program. It’s going to be nice to celebrate them Wednesday.