Preview: Men’s basketball looks to break losing streak against Hood

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Preview: Men’s basketball looks to break losing streak against Hood

Photo credit: Alex Temple

Photo credit: Alex Temple

Photo credit: Alex Temple

Photo credit: Alex Temple

David Auth, Contributor

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MOON TOWNSHIP — RMU Colonials men’s basketball (4-8) is back from a brief Christmas break this Saturday at home against the Hood College Blazers (7-4 D-III). The Colonials are on a five-game losing streak that has lasted almost an entire month and is one they are looking to break against a sound Blazers team, who are looking to snap a two-game losing streak of their own.

Recapping RMU

RMU’s last defeat was against the Louisville Cardinals (9-3), who won the contest with a score of 73-59. Despite being up 32-29 at halftime, the Cardinals came into the second half and put up 44 points to breeze past the Colonials. The only standout offensively from the game was sophomore Charles Bain who put up 18 points including all three of his three-point attempts. Despite the loss, RMU played strong against a very good Louisville team.

Previewing the Blazers

Hood’s most recent loss came almost two weeks ago when they traveled to Lebanon Valley College (4-7) to face off against the Dutchmen. Despite a game that was neck and neck for almost its entire length, Lebanon Valley eventually pulled ahead in the end and won by a final score of 92-85.

Mason Wang led the Blazers on offense scoring a total of 23 points, while Michael Riley, Anthony Pearson and Tyler Evans all put up double-digit points for Hood as well. Wang also went 10 for 10 from the free throw line, while the team as a whole shot 24 for 30 (80%).

Players to watch

Malik Petteway (RMU): The first player to watch is Malik Petteway. He leads the team in rebounds with 60 on the season, an average of five per game. Hood has a negative rebound margin (-4.4) per game, so one way the Colonials can find a small way to gain an edge is getting Petteway under the basket and getting as many rebounds as possible both on offense and defense.

Josh Williams (RMU): The second player to look out for is Josh Williams, who leads the team in average points per game (16.4) as well as three-point percentage (45.8%). So far this season, Hood’s opponents have shot 35.1% from three, and on average put up 81.8 points per game, while RMU averages just 67.3 points per game. If RMU wants to win this game, they’re going to have to put up a lot more points than they’re used to, and Josh Williams’ three-point ability is one way to do that. Hood is a team that gives up a decent amount of threes per game.

Matty McConnell (RMU): McConnell currently leads the Colonials in steals with 28, which is 14 more than the second most (Jon Williams.) RMU needs someone to come in and stop the Blazers standout Mason Wang, and McConnell will most likely be leaned on heavily to do so.

Mason Wang (Hood): Sophomore Mason Wang is currently averaging 19.2 points per game, more than any RMU player, and over six more points than the next closest player for Hood. If the Colonials can find a way to shut him down, Hood’s offense should stall enough for RMU to make it a close game.

Prediction

While RMU may be able to shut down Hood’s top scorer in Mason Wang, they still have three other players averaging in double-digit scoring per game. The Colonials on the other hand only have two players in Josh Williams (16.4) and Malik Petteway (10) scoring ten or more points per game, so they will need to play smart defense against each man on the court. If RMU can shut down Wang as well as slow down some of Hood’s depth scorers, they will be able to break their losing streak against a D-III school.

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