WC looks to break away from cluster

January 11, 2013

Junior Christian Patterson scored a career-high 10 points in the last meeting with Mount Union.

Junior Christian Patterson scored a career-high 10 points in the last meeting with Mount Union.

With two games remaining in the first half of the Ohio Athletic Conference slate, there is a cluster of five teams sitting at 3-4 in league action. Two of those teams, Wilmington and Mount Union, will meet Saturday at Fred Raizk Arena in Hermann Court. (Game Notes, Live Stats/Audio)

Wilmington comes into the game winners of two straight, and looking for its first three-game winning streak of the season. Despite the recent success, WC has struggled at home. The Fightin' Quakers have lost two straight and are 1-3 overall at Fred Raizk Arena.

“We are still striving for consistency, play to play, half to half,” said head coach K.C. Hunt. “I think we are getting better, but still have a long way to go. We haven’t strung complete games together, and that is what we are striving to do. That has been one of our messages to the guys for the past three weeks, every since we got back from break. Play complete basketball games. Don’t play for halves, five-minute segments, play for the entire 40 minutes. If we can do that, we have a chance to be pretty good.”

During Hunt's tenure, the two teams have nearly split their meetings with Wilmington winning seven of the 11 meetings, including both last season.

Sophomore Dwight Johnson (Dayton, OH/Jefferson) is coming off his best game as a Quaker with a career-high 22 points on 8-of-11 shooting. He still managed to dish out a team-high three assists. It was the tenth time this season Johnson, who is second in the OAC in assists, was the team leader. On the season, he is fourth on the team with 7.4 ppg.

Senior Brandon Candella (West Chester, OH/Lakota West) continues to lead the team in scoring with 15.1 ppg, and has reached double figures in all but one game. Junior Malcolm Heard II (Wilmington, OH/Wilmington) is coming off his second consecutive double-double. The Quakers are 3-0 when Heard achieves the feat.

Mount Union has dropped two straight and four of the last five. The Purple Raiders are also struggling on the road losing six of their eight away contests.

“They are a good, solid young team that had some good wins this year,” head coach K.C. Hunt said of the Purple Raiders. “I don’t think their record indicate how talented they are. I think they're are just young. They are trying to find their way in this league, and I think it’s going to be a good solid challenge for us. They shoot the ball well, and is very perimeter oriented. They have good, solid guard play. They are a very good passing team as well.”

A pair of sophomores leads Mount Union in scoring as guard Nate Jacubek scores a team-high 14.6 points and forward Steve Griffin added 11.4 points. Two other players are nearing the 10-point plateau with freshman forward Jarrett Ruffin scoring 9.7 points and guard Cody Dillon pitching in with 9.3 points.