The Muskingum men's basketball team opens Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament play on Tuesday, February 19 in Bexley, Ohio against top-seed Capital. Game time is slated for 8:00 p.m in the Capital Center. The tournament game is game two of a doubleheader (Capital women vs. Otterbein at 6:00 p.m.). OAC doubleheader admission prices will be charged: Adults - $12, Non-OAC Students - $5, Seniors (62) - $8, OAC Students - Free. Regular Season Passes and Parent Passes are not accepted.
The last time Muskingum made the OAC Tournament was in 2017 as the seven-seed. The Muskies defeated second-seed John Carroll (69-68) to advance to the league's final four. Muskingum's all-time OAC Tournament record is 41-47 with three OAC Championships and two second place finishes. The Crusaders have notched a 50-53 mark in the tournament, winning four OAC Championships while being named runner-up six times.
Over the regular season, senior guard Devon Peart led the Muskies in scoring, averaging 14.3 points per game while hitting 44.4% of his shots from the field. Additionally, Peart has knocked down an impressive 123-of-144 shots from the foul line (85.4%). Sophomore forward Mitch Clark guided the team in boards, collecting 4.5 per contest. Clark put up 10.8 points per game, averaging a .486 field goal percentage. Senior guard Jalen Paige averaged a team-best 3.8 assists per contest while cashing in 8.0 points per game. Freshman guard Trey Singleton scored 8.0 points per contest, shooting 45.5% from beyond-the-arc (30-for-66). Senior guard Jayson Peoples started 18 games and averaged 7.7 points per outing. Sophomore forward Tyler Bardall pulled down 84 rebounds over the season and dished out 24 assists. Junior forward Cameron Miller shot 50.5% from the field (51-of-101) and collected 51 boards, and senior forward Brandon Keyes drilled 42-of-78 of his shots from the field (53.8%) and recorded a team-best 11 blocks.
This season, Capital was led on the court by senior forward Caleb Cox who averaged a double-double, scoring 14.7 points per game while collecting 10.2 rebounds per contest. Senior guard Austin Schreck guided the Crusaders on offense. Schreck averaged 16.8 points per outing, shooting 51.0% on the year (157-of-308). Senior guard Joey Weingartner was second on the team in points per game with 15.7 and notched 23 steals this season. Senior forward Will Hannah averaged a team-best 3.0 assists per game while hitting 10.9 points per contest, and sophomore guard Cameron Caldwell shot 61.9% from the field (39-of-63), averaging 5.7 points per outing.
In the first matchup between Muskingum and Capital, the Crusaders notched a 70-62 win in New Concord. Senior Austin Schreck directed the Crusaders' attack with a double-double, scoring a team-best 16 points and hauling in 15 rebounds. The Muskies were paced by Peart who scored a game-high 17 points and tallied four rebounds.
The second clash between the Muskies and the Crusaders saw Capital secure an 89-69 home victory. The Crusaders' offense was managed by senior Joey Weingartner who notched a game-best 19 points, going 5-for-8 from three-point range. Clark fueled the Muskie charge with a team-best 17 points, knocking down 43.8% of his shots (7-of-16).
The winner of the game will advance to the OAC Tournament Final Four slated for Thursday, February 21.