On Saturday afternoon the Marauder men’s basketball team continued its winning ways, besting Mansfield 75-68 and improving their record to 15-6 on the season.
Coming into the game having won each of their last two and four of five, the Marauders managed to find a way to win again after trailing by ten at halftime. The men entered the game riding the momentum from two close victories, a one point win over Shippensburg on Wednesday and a double overtime contest against visiting Kutztown last Saturday.
Entering Saturday’s game, Millersville was a lusty 0-8 in their past eight games against the Mountaineers (5-14, 3-12 PSAC), by halftime it looked as though that losing streak would drop to nine. However, for the third straight game the Marauders were able to pull off a come from behind win, this one securing them a home PSAC Tournament game for the first time in five years.
After the loss of junior guard Brandon Belt to a knee injury in a game against West Chester, the Marauders saw their points per game average drop by about five. Luckily, junior Anthony Coleman has stepped up to shoulder the load recently, averaging almost 24 points per game in the last two contests. Coleman dropped a team high 19 on the Mountaineers defense which saw itself slip hard in the second half.
In a rough first half, the Marauders shot just 33% from the floor, missing all nine of their attempted three pointers and fell behind by ten at the half. Head coach Fred Thompson must have delivered quite the pep talk while the teams prepared for the second half, the Marauders looked like a completely different team after the break. It took just over five minutes to turn what was a ten point deficit into a two point lead, the 15-3 run capped off by two layups from forward Jaymes Miller.
The Marauder men dominated the paint throughout the game, racking up 48 points in the paint to just 26 from Mansfield. Additionally, the Marauders bench was utilized much more than that of the Mountaineers, which may have been the key to the second half comeback. Larry Grant had 11 points off the bench for the Marauders while Xavier Mumford was good for nine more and four of six shooting. The bench was not the only factor in the comeback win, the team as a whole played better basketball fundamentally, shooting a much improved 57% from the floor and sinking 40% of their threes.
The Marauders have managed a 10-2 home record thus far this season, and are now turning their attention to the PSAC Tournament which begins in early March. With just three home games remaining on the schedule, all vital games against PSAC East opponents, don’t forget to come out to Pucillo Gym to support the Marauder men as they prepare for the tournament.
Their next game comes Wednesday, February 6th at Bloomsburg, where the Marauders hope to extend their winning streak to four.