BU basketball bounced out of PSACs: Bloomsburg’s men and women’s teams fall to Kutztown in postseason

Evin Hartsock, Managing Editor

     After two strong runs to end the regular season, both the Bloomsburg men’s and women’s basketball teams saw their 2017-18 campaigns come to an untimely end on Monday night as they were eliminated in the first round of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championships. Despite winning the last five of their eight contests, the BU men were not able to carry that momentum on the road into their match-up with Kutztown, where the Golden Bears handed them a 14-point loss by a final score of 93-79. On the women’s side of things, the seven-game win streak they rode into the postseason, in which they were allowing just 48.7 points per game, was snapped by Kutztown as the Huskies lost by 14 points with a final score of 73-60.
In the men’s game against Kutztown, the Huskies started off strong and were able to keep pace with the Golden Bears. Early in the first half Bloomsburg jumped out to a 6-5 lead, which was quickly erased after a 6-0 Kutztown run that left BU down 11-6 with about 16 minutes left in the first half. However, Bloomsburg would answer with a run of their own, as the Huskies scored nine consecutive points with four of them coming from both senior forward Kyle-Michael Rose and sophomore guard Khary Mauras.

     Both teams continued to exchange scores for the remainder of the first half and with 10:36 left to play in the first half, the score was tied at 22-22. Although the Huskies were playing well offensively up until this point, this is when some of their shooting struggles started to kick in.

     Kutztown would go on a 17-3 run that lasted six minutes and put the Golden Bears on top by a score of 39-25 with just over four minutes left in the first half.

     It has been a trend all season that when Bloomsburg’s all-time leading scorer, senior Christian Mortellite, struggles to find his shot the whole team seems to struggle as well. In games where Mortellite scores under twenty points this season, the Huskies have lost all but one, making him having a hot hand crucical to BU’s success. Unfortunately, Mortillite would struggle to find his shot early in the game and continue to do so, as he shot just 17 percent from the field. The scoring machine would only be able to come away with 11 points in his finally collegiate game.

     However, despite Mortillite’s struggles, Bloomsburg would get some solid performances off the bench from sophomore guard Austin Harriott and redshirt junior Darius Robinson-Wallace, who would help cut the Kutztown lead to just nine befofe the half.

     Despite strong performances in the second half by Rose, who would finish with 25 points and eight rebounds, and Mauras who finished with 16, points, Bloomsburg was not able to keep pace offensively with the Golden Bears who got hot at the right time.

    Kutztown out shot Bloomsburg 61 to 44 percent from the field and an impressive 60 to 17 percent from three-point range.

     The women’s game started in a similar fashion as the men’s competition as Bloomsburg’s Meghan Corridoni and Marissa Molnar got hot early, tying the contest at 18-18 at the end of the first quarter. Molnar would finish the night with 14 points, while Corridoni had eight.

     Bloomsburg continued to keep it close with the Golden Bears for most of the second quarter, but were outscored 20-25 by Kutztown in the period, taking a 43-38 lead into the half. The Huskies would not reclaim the lead for the rest of the game.

     BU’s Alyssa Mack, Emma Saxton, and Taylor Montana were able to find the basket frequently in the third quarter, but each of their scores was met by a Kutztown basket as the Golden Bears extended their lead to double-digits late in the fourth quarter. A layup from Bloomsburg’s Darcy Lee cut the lead back down to single digits, making it a 68-59 game with just over two minutes to play. However, Kutztown would again extend the lead back to double digits as time expired to capture the win.

     Just as the men’s team struggled offensively, so too did the women as they shot just 40 percent from the field and were out shot by KU at the three-point line 42 to 31 percent. The Huskies were able to win the battle on the boards, out rebounding the Golden Bears 34-30.