The Genesee Community College men's basketball team (18-9, 10-5 WNYAC) begins their quest for a regional title tonight against Mercyhurst North East with a 5:30 p.m. tipoff at host tournament school Monroe Community College.
The Cougars match up well against the Saints and have beaten them in all three Western New York Athletic Conference matchups this season.
Mercyhurst (7-18, 3-12 WNYAC) dropped their first to the Cougars Dec. 13 by a 34-point margin, 101-67. Genesee was led by Rahmel Thompson's 27 points in that game, but also had a great supporting cast with a pair of double-double performances from Brian Fobbs (24 pts./ 13 rbs.) and Jaheem Page (24 pts./ 15 rbs.).
The teams didn't meet again until the final month of the regular season with Genesee winning Feb. 7 by a 90-82 score and then Feb. 28 in a 109-94 contest.
In the first of those two February games and Genesee's only home date between the teams, Fobbs set a single game school record for points with 46, while Thompson added 23. In the last matchup within the past 10 days, Fobbs hit 30 points and Thompson 21 in the regular season finale.
Fobbs and Thompson are No. 1 and No. 3 in WNYAC total points with 733 and 535, respectively. The pair both topped the 1,000 career-point total this season.
Fobbs accrued 100 points collectively against the Saints in their three matchups this season with Thompson netting 71 in those same three games. With Fobbs being Genesee's top player and arguably the top player in the country at the NJCAA Division-II level, Mercyhurst will attempt to counter with Andrew Ajilore.
Ajilore is second in region shooting percentage with a 60.2 percent, seventh in total rebounds with 147, and ninth in total points with 325.
The winner of the contest moves on to face Erie Community College tomorrow evening at 6 p.m. at MCC with the winner of that game moving on to the region title game Sunday, March 11.