Sports

Gwynedd Mercy University Hoping To Continue Surge

Gwynedd Mercy coach Johhn Baron (credit: Gwynedd Mercy Athletics)

Gwynedd Mercy coach Johhn Baron (credit: Gwynedd Mercy Athletics)

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By Matt Leon

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Gwynedd Mercy University men’s basketball team has enjoyed an outstanding season to this point. As they prepare to host Baptist Bible College on Saturday, the Griffins sit at 12-4 (8-1 in the Colonial States Athletic Conference) and they have won five in a row.

However, the Griffins are also trying to overcome some adversity.

“We were kind of cruising along a little bit, jelling” Gwynedd Mercy head coach John Baron tells KYW Newsradio. “And we just had an unfortunate injury to arguably our best player, Arron Goodman from Council Rock North, he just broke his arm in a game last Wednesday.”

Goodman, a 6’6″ freshman forward, was having a wonderful season, averaging 19.9 points and 10.5 rebounds a game, while shooting 52% from the field. He is expected to miss the rest of the season. Now that’s a big blow for the Griffins. But even without their leading scorer, Baron says the talent pool is still pretty deep for this squad, a squad that does not have a senior on it.

“(Junior) Justin Knight from Oakcrest (High School) down the (Jersey) shore, he is probably our best guard,” Baron says. “He was second team all-league last year, he’s been playing very well. And Darnell Artis, who was the rookie of the year last year in our league, is a sophomore from La Salle College High School. Those two guys have been really filling up the stats, etc. And the kid from Florida, (junior guard/forward) Colin Gates, has kind of been our glue guy, to keep us all together. We have a good balance of athleticism, fundamental players and this is probably my most complete team and one of my favorite teams that I’ve had in my time.”

Knight is averaging 14 points a game this season, and he leads the team with 58 assists. Artis is scoring 9.8 points a game, and he has chipped in 55 assists. Gates averages 6.1 points a game and hits 47% of his three-point shots.

Baron says they plan to continue to do what they do.

“We like to play fast, we like to play up and down,” Baron says. “Like I mentioned before, this team is a good combination of athleticism and fundamental type of guys. So I think we’re able to play up and down with teams that like to do that with us. At the same time, we’re able to play some really good half-court offense as well, for teams that try and slow us down. I think we’re a good blend.”

The Griffins average 82.2 points a game.

Saturday’s game against Baptist Bible College at 2:00pm.

Wednesday’s game against Immaculata tips-off at 8:00pm.

You can follow Matt on twitter @mattleonkyw.

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