ESU’s high-powered offense snaps BU Men’s three-game streak: BU men’s basketball falls to East Stroudsburg 94-76 on Wednesday night

Evin Hartsock, Managing Editor

     The Bloomsburg University men’s basketball team lost their three-game winning streak on Wednesday night at Nelson Fieldhouse as the Warriors of East Stroudsburg beat the Huskies with a final score of 94-76. This was BU’s most lopsided loss since the team lost to Millersville on January 10 by 23 points.

     East Stroudsburg came into the matchup with the Huskies with the top-ranked scoring offense in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, averaging 93.7 points per game, and did not fail to put their high-powered offense on display. The Warriors had four players in double figures, led by redshirt senior Steve Harris’s 25 points and seven rebounds. Harris, who is currently averaging 14.3 points per game which ranks just 27th in the league, went a perfect 10-10 from the field and made five-of-seven free throws.

     Redshirt junior Jakwan Jones also added to ESU’s scoring as he finished with 17 points, six steals and three rebounds. Senior Ryan Krawczeniuk also contributed 17 points, while sophomore forward Kobi Nwandu scored 14 points and grabbed nine boards.

     The Warriors outshot Bloomsburg 50.8 percent to 40 percent from the field and made 77 percent of their free throws as well as their offense proved to be too much for the Huskies to handle.

      Despite being outshot, Bloomsburg did manage to play formidable defense as they sent back five of the Warriors’ shots and were able to force some turnovers against an ESU team that has the best turnover margin in the league. With four steals from senior Hashim Moore and three from Christian Mortellite, BU was able to win the turnover battle with ESU 20-15.

    Offensively, the Huskies were not able to keep up with ESU, despite also having four players in double figures. Moore led BU in scoring as he recorded his first double-double of the season and his second-straight 20-point game. The graduate student finished with 22 points on 83 percent shooting and 13 rebounds as well. Sophomore Khary Maurus added to Moore’s scoring with 13 points and grabbed two rebounds, as well. Freshman guard Matthew Kachelries, who does not see a lot of time on the floor, had one of his best games of the season in his 27 minutes on the court. He finished the game with 13 points on 50 percent shooting and was perfect from the line, sinking all three free-throw attempts.

     The Warriors were able to hold Mortellite, the newest career leading-scorer in BU men’s basketball history, to just 12 points. Mortellite, who has averaged 21.3 points per game this season, ranking sixth in the PSAC, just could not seem to find his mark as he shot just 19 percent from the field. Mortillite’s shooting percentage was his lowest of the season and he also struggled from the outside as well, shooting just 3-13 from three-point range.
Getting Mortellite in rhythm has been one of the keys to the Huskies’ offense all year and when they fail to do that, the results have not been in BU’s favor. Bloomsburg has lost all but one game this year when Mortellite scores under 20 points.

     Prior to Wednesday’s loss, the men’s team was riding a three-game win streak in which they were averaging 83.0 points per game and holding opponents to just 71.0 points per game. The Huskies will look to bounce back when they hit the road to take on Mansfield University. Last time BU faced the Mounties, they lost by a final score of 92-85 despite 21 points and nine boards from Hashim Moore.

     The loss on Wednesday night dropped Bloomsburg to 14-10 overall and 10-10 in the PSAC. With just two games remaining in the regular season, BU will have to capitalize on the opportunity to rack up some wins before the postseason. The Huskies’ last two games in the season will be on the road before the PSAC Tournament kicks off on Feb. 26.

 

 

Bloomsburg’s Hashim Moore goes up for a floater over two East Stroudsburg defenders. Moore finished the game Wednesday with a double-double.