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Strength in Numbers as Men's Basketball Team
Qualifies for Play-Offs


West Windsor, N.J. - As the 2010-2011 regular season winds to a close, the Mercer men's basketball team has proven that there really is strength in numbers. And their total team effort has given them the chance to create some post-season magic. They enter the Region 19 tournament as the no. 4 seed and will face the County College of Morris in the first round on Monday, Feb. 21 at home at 7 pm.

Whle the men struggled to hit the .500 mark, they won 10 of their last 13 regular season games to earn their place in the playoffs. The 14-16 Vikings have had a number of players step up at critical moments to help the team qualify.

The stats tell the story. Five players average double figures in scoring: Jermaine Emanuel with 11.6 points per game, Rodney Walters with 11.4 points, Gary Carthan with 10.8 points, Jonathan Jernigan with 10.6 points and Anthony Obery with 10.5 points.

The Vikings had key wins late in the season. In their final home game played Feb. 10, they notched a 57-55 victory over Morris, the team they will face on Monday in the region quarterfinals. Anthony Obery had 23 points, Jermaine Emanuel added 17, and Rodney Walters finished with 13. The Morris game was Sophomore Night, which began with a tribute to the team's five two-year players: Carthan, Jernigan, Donovan McCleese, Obery and Arlington Rowley. They followed that win with a 74-69 victory at Del Tech Stanton on Feb. 12. Obery scored 22, Jernigan added 20 and Rodney Walters contributed 11.

Other team members have also contributed late in the season, including Brandin Youngblood and Arlington Rowley, who have played key minutes and been strong rebounders. The Vikings are hoping to have Carthan, who missed the last four games due to a shoulder injury, return to the line-up in time for the Region 19 Playoffs.

Head Coach Howard Levy is proud of his players' accomplishments. "The team has improved both individually and collectively. We are playing our best basketball at the right time."

The goal for Levy's players is clear. The Vikings are focused on keeping up the momentum of their last 10 wins as they attempt to repeat history - last year's Region 19 Title and a trip to the Division II National Tournament.

Sophomore guard Jonathan Jernigan has been a key play maker. Photo by Michael Dill Photography.

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Strategy with Coach Levy prior to game time. Photo by Michael Dill Photography.
A total team effort has made the difference for the Vikings. Photo by Michael Dill Photography.
Guard Jermaine Emanuel leads the Vikings' point total. Photo by Michael Dill Photography.
Guard Anthony Obery has been a major late season contributor. Photo by Michael Dill Photography.
The Vikings are hopeful that forward Gary Carthan will return to the line-up for the post season. Photo by Michael Dill Photography.