Muskingum next for Fightin' Quakers

January 22, 2013

The men's basketball team returns home to meet Muskingum Wednesday. (Wilmington file photo/Randy Sarvis)

The men's basketball team returns home to meet Muskingum Wednesday. (Wilmington file photo/Randy Sarvis)

One thing is for sure; Wilmington head coach K.C. Hunt wasn’t pleased with his basketball team following Saturday’s 98-87 loss to Marietta. However, Hunt and the Quakers must turn their collective attention to Muskingum to prevent Saturday’s defeat from costing them another game. (Game Notes, Live Stats/Audio)

“We didn’t compete,” Hunt said of Saturday’s game. “We were not ready to play. We let them hit open three’s and we were not flying around like we should. We need to bring our hardhat and go to work. We have to get back to the “next opponent up” mentality. We need to play possession by possession, half by half. We can’t just show up just because we have won four in a row or because we have ‘Wilmington’ on the front of our jersey. We have to play the right way. We have to be mentality dialed in on every possession to be the best team we can.”

Despite coming into the game with just one win, Hunt is cautioning his team not to overlook the Muskies Wednesday. Muskingum is losing games by more than 15 points per game. But they feature one of the top scorers in the league. Junior guard Dave Brown is third in the OAC in scoring with 16.6 points per game. Junior Clay Owings is adding 9.1 points and team-high 6.5 boards for the Muskies.

Brown hit the Quakers up for 24 points on 7-of-14 shooting in the first meeting, an 84-69 Wilmington victory in the OAC lid-lifter for both teams.

Senior Brandon Candella (West Chester, OH/Lakota West) and junior Malcolm Heard II (Wilmington, OH/Wilmington) combined for 38 points in the previous meeting, which was played before junior transfer Jordan Berlin (Wilmington, OH/Wilmington) joined the team.

Berlin is coming off his best game as a collegiate player with 22 points in Saturday’s loss.

“I thought Jordan was excellent,” said Hunt. “We finally saw the things in practice carry over to (game days).”

The fortunes for the Fightin’ Quakers appeared to be tied to the success of Candella, Heard and sophomore guard Dwight Johnson (Dayton, OH/Jefferson). In Wilmington wins, the trio is averaging 44.5 points, while scoring just 32.2 points in the WC losses.

On the season, Candella is leading Wilmington with 15.8 points and Heard is second with 13.9 points along with a team-high 6.9 boards. Johnson is fourth in scoring with 8.3 points and is leading the team with 63 assists.