NEW CONCORD, Ohio - Hot shooting from Muskingum University gave the Fighting Muskies a 90-68 victory over the Wilmington College men's basketball team in Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) action from the Anne C. Steele on Friday evening.
The Fighting Muskies, who entered the game shooting nearly 50 percent from beyond the arc, improved on that number by converting 9-of-16 from distance en route to the victory. Muskingum was one three-point attempt away from finishing with the same percentage from the free throw line as from beyond the arc.
One of the Muskies' nine triple gave the hosts a 20-11 advantage midway through the first half, marking the first time either squad had pulled away from each other. The Fightin' Quakers would keep the game in single digits, but couldn't get within a possession as Muskingum took a 40-33 lead into halftime.
A free throw from Jeffery Mansfield and a basket from Matt Smith opened the half, but consecutive baskets from Alex Masinelli forced Wilmington Head Coach K.C. Hunt to call timeout trailing 47-36 four minutes in. Unfortunately for the Quakers, that didn't stop the Musky momentum as the hosts' lead ballooned to 17 points (59-42) on another triple with 11:24 left in regulation.
The Wilmington High School graduates – Mansfield and Smith – answered each with a basket to cut the deficit under 15 points, but the visitors got stuck on 47 points for a two-minute stretch. By the time the drought ended on a Smith free throw, Muskingum's lead was 22 points.
Three Quakers – Mansfield, Smith and Jackson Todd – finished in double figures in scoring. Mansfield led the way with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting to go along with five assists.
Masinelli led all scorers with 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting while Trey Singleton added 18 points on 8-of-10 from the field off the bench. MJ Smith and Evan Boatwright rounded out the Muskies who notched double figures in scoring.
Wilmington (0-3) will host Muskingum for the second game of the series tomorrow (Saturday) at 6 p.m.