Mortellite brothers dazzle in Bloomsburg men’s basketball season opener: Huskies dominate Penn State Hazelton, hold leads up to 47 points

By Eric Rigg, Contributing Writer

     On Friday night, the Bloomsburg University men’s basketball team opened their season with a convincing 94-55 win against Penn State Hazelton. The five Bloomsburg starters that took the court first were Hashim Moore, Khary Mauras, Matt Kachelries, Christian Mortellite and Kyle-Michael Rose. This is a young Bloomsburg team with only three returning players (C. Mortellite, Rose, Sam Saxton) back on the roster. Mortellite finished last season as the NCAA Div. II leader in three-pointers made per game. His brother Peyton, redshirted last year, but after one game the Mortellite brothers are already turning heads.

     Penn State Hazelton went up early, but the Huskies quickly took a commanding lead built on the three-point shot from the Mortellite brothers. The Huskies played up-tempo which led to transition opportunities and open three-point shots. The Huskies hit nine three-pointers in the first half, seven of them coming from the Mortellite brothers. At halftime, the Huskies had a commanding 23-point lead, 49-26. C. Mortellite led all scorers at the half with 21 points. Austin Harriot, a Div. I transfer from Loyola (MD) had eight and Kachelries had seven. Moore and Rose protected the rim and held PSU Hazelton to no free throws and only one foul was charged on Bloomsburg.

     In the second half, C. Mortellite came out more passive, proving he can shoot and distribute the ball to his teammates. The largest lead was 47 and the Huskies maintained the large lead and ended up winning 94-55. As a team, Bloomsburg made 16 three-point shots and went 6-for-8 from the line. The Huskies controlled just about every aspect of the game as they shot 49% from the field and a whopping 42% from the three-point line. Rose and Moore controlled the glass and guarded the paint as the Huskies out-rebounded PSU Hazelton 47-36. The Nittany Lions of Hazelton finished the game failing to attempt a single free throw and only drew one foul, which came in the first half. C. Mortillite led all scorers with 26 points, Harriot displayed his athletic ability by adding 15, with P. Mortellite, and Mauras adding 12.

     The Huskies will be led by the leadership of Mortellite and Rose, both seniors that have been around the program for years. This could be an exciting year for the Huskies with a perfect blend of youth and veterans that may prove to be the perfect mix.

     The Huskies will hit the road with their next three games, all away starting with Georgian Court on November 15th at 7:00 pm. The next time the Bloomsburg University basketball team competes at the Nelson Field House falls two days before Thanksgiving; Tuesday, Nov. 21 with a 7:00 pm tangle with Holy Family University.

Redshirt senior Christian Mortellite guards a Penn St. Hazelton

defender on his way to the rim. Mortellite finished the

night with 26 points and 6 assists.