NORTH CANTON, Ohio – The Walsh University men's basketball team will welcome their crosstown rival, the Malone University Pioneers to Alumni Arena on Saturday (Jan. 12) for a Great Midwest Athletic Conference tilt.
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Saturday afternoon will kick off the 2018-19 version of the rivalry, now in its 54th year. Saturday's game will come on the 54th anniversary of the very first game between the two Canton schools. The very first meeting was 82-69 in favor of the Cavaliers on Tuesday January 12th, 1965. Nick Palletta scored 41 points in the first ever meeting. The series through 117 meetings stands with Walsh holding the 77-40 advantage. The Cavaliers have won 13 straight meetings, dating back to November 2011.
- Walsh is 10-5 overall and 6-2 in the G-MAC after a 75-64 win over Cedarville last Saturday.
- With an 8-0 home record, the Cavaliers are undefeated at Alumni Arena with an average victory margin of 23.5 points.
- JT Shumate led the Cavaliers with 30 points, a career-high, with ten field goals, three shots from long range and ten free throws. He also had nine rebounds and six assists. For his efforts, Shumate was named G-MAC Athlete of the Week for the second time this season. Shumate is third in the conference with 18.7 points per game. He is shooting 50% (110-220) from the floor and 41% (36-88) from three.
- Darryl Straughter is ninth in the conference with 16.6 points per game as he is shooting 42.2% from the floor and from three (sixth best in G-MAC). He is 50-of-55 from the line, third best in the conference. He is second in minutes played with 33.4 minutes per game. While shooting 42% from deep, he averages 2.9 threes per game, good enough for fifth in the conference (tied with Reece Bogan). He scored 15 points against Cedarville last week.
- Sterling Christy scored 13 points against Cedarville, matching his average of 13.1 points per game. He is also busy on the boards and on defense for the Cavaliers. He ranks second in the conference with 9.7 rebounds and third with 1.7 blocks per game. He is second in the league with 55.7% shooting from the floor.
- As a team, the Cavaliers are scoring 79.1 points while they are allowing 68.5 points. They rank fifth on offense and third on defense in terms of scoring.
- They lead the conference with only allowing 40.8% of shots this season. The team has held the opposition to under 70 points, nine times this year and is 7-2 in those occasions.
- The Cavaliers are very active on the defensive ends as they grab an average of 40.7 rebounds per game, second most in the conference and 32nd in DII. 30.2 of the rebounds are on the defensive end, which is second in the conference and ninth in DII.
- Walsh is dangerous from beyond the arc as they have attempted 445 three pointers, the tenth most in the nation and top in the conference. They have made 163 of them, best in the conference and 13th in DII.
- Malone is 8-7 overall and 3-5 in the conference going into rivalry week following a 90-76 win over Tiffin last Saturday.
- Malone has struggled on the road as they are 2-4 so far and have not played on the road since December 15th.
- The Pioneers are a three point shooting team as they have made ten plus threes in seven games this year. The Cavs have done that nine times this season. Overall, the Pioneers are fifth in field goal percentage from deep with 36.9%. They average 9.2 three pointers per game, below the Cavaliers with 10.9.
- Malone is also fifth with 45.8% shooting from the floor as they have made more than half their shots in the last three games.
- Nate Sheppard leads the Pioneers and the G-MAC in scoring with 20.3 points per game. In the win over Tiffin, he scored 18 points as a team-high. He is also second in three pointers made per game with 3.1 and third in minutes played behind Walsh's Straughter with 33.2 minutes per contest.
- Bryce Butler is second on the team with 14.8 points per game and is shooting 53.6% from the floor, fourth best in the G-MAC.
- Ben Evans averages 11.9 points per game and nearly six rebounds per game after a double-double in the victory over Tiffin.
- Marcus Ernst is the team's leader in rebounds with 108 total and 7.2 per game.
G-MAC Schedule (1/12/19)
- Trevecca Nazarene @ Davis & Elkins
- Malone @ Walsh
- Tiffin @ Lake Erie
- Ohio Valley @ Findlay
- Ohio Dominican @ Hillsdale
- Kentucky Wesleyan @ Alderson Broaddus
The Cavaliers will host Wilberforce University in a non-conference matchup on Tuesday (Jan. 15) at 5:30 PM.