After a 101-94 win over Mercyhurst North East on Tuesday night to open Western New York Athletic Conference play, the Genesee Community College men’s basketball team will look to extend its 14-game winning streak on the road at #14 Niagara County Community College on Thursday night.
Ranked 18th in this week’s NJCAA National Poll, the Cougars (15-2/1-0) are seeking a 2-0 start in conference play for the first time in two seasons. Genesee started 4-0 against WNYAC opponents during the 2011-12 season.
Niagara (15-1/0-0) will host Genesee in its first conference game of the year. The Thunderwolves have been ranked as high as 5th in the National Poll this season and have won four games in a row after losing their only game of the year to the Community College of Beaver County at the Cougar Holiday Classic Tournament in December.
Last time out:
Genesee scored 100 or more points for the seventh time this season in the win against Mercyhurst North East. Ervin Mitchell led all scorers with 37 points, his third game of 30 or more points this season. Naquil Jones recorded his fourth double-double of the season, scoring 21 points and collecting 12 rebounds. The Cougars out-rebounded the Saints, 52-37 in the contest.
Niagara defeated Pitt-Titusville 81-72 to end its non-conference schedule on Tuesday night.
What to watch for:
Genesee is searching for its fifth victory over a ranked team this season. The Cougars have defeated #7 Lakeland Community College (12/6/13), #3 Community College of Beaver County (12/15/13), Division I #8 Monroe College (1/11) and #17 Mercyhurst North East (1/14).
After his 37 points against Mercyhurst North East, Ervin Mitchell climbed into the top 10 on the NJCAA national scoring leaders list. His 24.5 points per game are 9th best in the country.
Before this year, the Cougars scored 100 or more points nine times in the previous four seasons combined. If they eclipse the 100 point mark again this year, it will be the eighth time this season alone.
Niagara took the season series 2-1 against GCC last year and has won the last two meetings.
The Thunderwolves produce balanced scoring with five players averaging double-figures. Eli Jones leads the charge, averaging 20.6 points per game. Gjameir Stanford (16.4 ppg), Sheldon Zablotny (13.5 ppg), Chuka Ikpeze (12.8 ppg) and EJ Sandoval (11.5 ppg) also contribute to the Thunderwolves 94.9 points per game as a team.
The Thunderwolves have played close games lately, winning two of their last four games by two points or less.
Scheduled tip-off time is 7:30 p.m. on Thursday night on the campus of Niagara County Community College in Sanborn, NY.