November 15, 2012 - Daemen Heads To Hoosier State
AMHERST, NY - The Daemen College basketball team will get a taste of Indiana basketball this weekend when they travel to the Hoosier state to take on NAIA powers Taylor University and Indiana Wesleyan University.
Daemen and Taylor will square off Friday (Nov. 16) at 7 p.m., before the Wildcats head to IWU for a 3 p.m. game Saturday (Nov. 17). Taylor is located in Upland, while IWU is just 14 miles away in Marion.
It is the second of three-straight weekend road trips for the Wildcats, who traveled to Long Island, N.Y. last weekend and will head to Erie, Pa. next weekend.
Daemen (6-1) took part in the Molloy College Tipoff Tournament last weekend. The Wildcats posted a 76-64 victory over Queens College, before Molloy handed them their first loss of the season, 80-79. Both Queens and Molloy are members of the NCAA Division II East Coast Conference, which Daemen will join as a probationary member next year.
Daemen has put up some impressive offensive and defensive numbers so far this season. The Wildcats have scored over 100 points five times and are shooting 49-percent from the field. Defensively, opponents are shooting just 32-percent from the field and the Wildcats have forced 151 turnovers--an average of 22 per game.
Daemen's balanced offensive attack has been led by the frontcourt play of sophomore Gerald Beverly (Rochester, N.Y./Gates Chili), junior Kadeem Johnson (Syracuse, N.Y./Henninger) and senior Jim Regan (Williamsville, N.Y./Nichols). Beverly has recorded six double-doubles and leads the team in scoring (17.3 ppg), rebounding (10.0 rpg) and blocks (15). He is shooting 63-percent (43-68) and scored a career-high 28 points in the loss to Molloy. Johnson has scored in double figures in five-straight games and recorded his third double-double of the year (14 pts, 11 rebs) in the loss to Molloy. He is shooting a team-high 65-percent (38-58) from the field and is averaging 12.4 points and 8.9 rebounds. Regan, who netted 18 points in the loss to Molloy, is shooting 62-percent (33-53) and is averaging 11.1 points and 5.0 rebounds.
Junior guard Casey Sheehan (Rochester, N.Y./Greece Athena) is averaging 11.6 points and is also contributing 3.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists, while junior point guard Mark Coppola (Williamsville, N.Y./Williamsville South) is logging a team-high 27 minutes a game and is averaging 6.7 assists with a team-high 14 steals.
Bench support has come in the form of sophomore Jordan Greene (Fort Edward, N.Y./South Glens Falls) and junior college transfers Uchechi Ogbonna (Hicksville, N.Y./Eric CC) and Alvin Satram (New Port Richey, Fla./Pasco-Hernando CC). Greene is averaging 9.0 points and is ranked second in three-pointers (9). Ogbonna has reached double figures in scoring four times and is averaging 12.2 points and 3.6 rebounds. He scored 15 points in the win over Queens. Satram has drained a team-high 11 three-pointers, is averaging 7.3 points and is tied with Coppola for the team lead in steals (14).
Taylor and Indiana Wesleyan are both members of the NAIA Division II Crossroads League, formerly the Mid-Central College Conference.
Daemen's perimeter defense will be put to the test against both teams, as they are both averaging seven three-pointers a game and shooting 42-percent from long range. Daemen has allowed over five three-pointers in a game only once this season and has held each of its seven opponents to under 35-percent shooting from behind the arc.
Taylor posted a 20-11 record last year and is receiving votes in the NAIA Division II preseason poll. The Trojans improved to 3-2 following a 69-46 victory over Indiana University-Kokomo Tuesday night. The Trojans have limited each of their five opponents to 65 points or less. Offensively, TU is shooting 50-percent from the field overall (119-240) and is averaging 65.4 points per game. The Trojans scored a season-high 78 points in a season-opening 78-63 win over Shawnee State.
Senior Casey Coons collected NAIA honorable mention All-America honors last year after averaging 20 points with 101 three-pointers. The 6-foot guard recorded his 1,600th career point and 250th career three-pointer earlier this year. He drilled seven three-pointers and scored 23 points in the win over IU-Kokomo and is averaging 14.4 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. Senior Nate Kasper, a 6-foot-8 forward, is shooting 62-percent (32-52) from the field and is averaging a team-high 15.6 points. He has scored in double figures in all five games and netted a season-high 19 in the win over IU-Kokomo. Additional production has come from senior guard Tommy Peller (12.2 ppg, 10 3pt fgs) and sophomore forward Tyler Waite (9.0 ppg). Waite scored 24 points in a 65-63 loss to Michigan-Dearborn.
Friday's game will mark the fourth all-time meeting between Daemen and Taylor, and the first since the 2005-06 season. Taylor has prevailed in two of the previous three meetings, including a 60-49 victory the last time the teams met during the 2005 NAIA Disney Challenge.
Daemen's game with Indiana Wesleyan will be a battle of the Wildcats. The game will mark the first-ever meeting between the schools.
IWU has averaged 25 wins a year over the past seven seasons and advanced to the "Elite Eight" of the NAIA Division II Tournament four of the last six years. The Wildcats went 21-12 last year, and are ranked fourth in the NAIA Division II preseason poll.
The Wildcats improved to 5-1 following a 79-61 win at Ohio Christian University Tuesday night. IWU is shooting 49-percent (163-334) from the field overall and is averaging 73.5 points per game. IWU has limited each of its last five opponents to less than 70 points.
NAIA All-Americans Jordan Weidner and Patrick Hopkins have led the charge. Weidner, an honorable mention All-America pick last year, drilled five three-pointers and totaled 21 points in a 63-50 win over Aquinas (Mich.) and is averaging a team-high 16.7 points. The 6-foot-7 Hopkins, a second-team All-America selection as a sophomore, totaled 18 points and 14 rebounds in a 69-65 loss to No. 20 Cornerstone (Mich.) and is averaging 14.6 points and a team-high 8.6 rebounds. Senior guard Aaron Martin erupted for seven three-pointers and 27 points in a season-opening rout of 14th-ranked Saint Xavier (Ill.) and is averaging 11.7 points.