Winter Preview: Men and Women’s Basketball

Gabe Bunn, Reporter

Misericordia men and women’s basketball season is right around the corner. Here’s a look at how the Cougars are looking to start the season.

The men’s basketball team, ranked fifth in the MAC Freedom Conference coaches’ poll, opens Nov. 9 against Mount Saint Mary College (NY). The number one ranked team is currently Lycoming College which the Cougars lost to twice last year by seven and 10 points, respectively.

The Cougars went 10-17 last year and had their season ended by Stevens Institute of Technology in the MAC Freedom Conference playoffs. The team held a 3-8 record on its home court last season and looks forward to turning this around.

Returning scoring leader Kevin Lazdowsky averaged 12.6 points and dropped a career-high 32 against MAC Freedom rival Lycoming. With his sophomore season about to start, Lazdowsky is looking to continue his scoring success.

Returning point guard Nate Kreitzer was a leader for the men’s team last year as the starting point guard and was a floor general for the Cougars. He totaled 110 assists in 25 games.

The Cougars are looking to take steps forward this season and use the talent they have to obtain a better record and, more importantly, a better seed in the MAC Freedom playoffs.

The team is coached by Will Chandler, in his seventh year at Misericordia where he has already won two conference titles in 2017 and 2018. Chandler is a Misericordia alumni who has many awards, such as two All-Americans and being named the nation’s leading scorer twice.

With a new freshman class coming in as well, the team is looking forward to taking the next step. The Cougars have the talent to do so and are hoping with returning leadership and great coaching to get back to where they once were. With the season starting soon, be on the lookout for the men’s basketball team as its championship run starts.

The women’s basketball season starts Nov. 8 at home against Lebanon Valley College. Women’s hoops went 16-11 last year with a 10-6 record in conference play. Their season came to an end against rival Desales University in the second round of the MAC championship playoffs.

Misericordia is ranked third in the MAC preseason coaches’ poll this year while the DeSales Bulldogs are ranked first.

The women’s team is led by top scorer Alyssa Bondi, who totaled 382 points last year and recorded 46 assists. Bondi has also been named to the all MAC-Freedom team in her career.

Returning player Melina Santacroce grabbed 202 total boards last year, leading the team, while averaging 7.3 points. She also has been awarded an All-MAC Freedom honorable mention in the past years.

The combination of a scoring backcourt and a big dominant frontcourt may allow the Lady Cougars to use their talent and experience to bring home a championship and cut the nets down this winter.

At the helm of the women’s team is Jason Rhine, starting his seventh season coaching at Misericordia. With a record of 101-48, he is looking to bring the girls together to add wins to his resume.

The team has the talent and coaching to make a deep run this year and should have an exciting and successful season.

Both the women’s and men’s basketball teams are ranked near the middle of the conference in the preseason polls and are both looking to take the next step to become a championship team.