The University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown is celebrating a record-breaking season for its men’s basketball team on Thursday, March 6 when the team presents President Jem Spectar with the 2007-08 West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC) Regular Season Championship Trophy. The event will begin at 4 p.m. in the Student Union Cambria Room. The UPJ cheerleading squad and pep band will be on hand for the celebration.
Under Head Coach Bob Rukavina, the team finished its first season in the WVIAC with a 22-7 overall record and a 17-3 conference record. The Mountain Cats also finished second in the WVIAC Tournament after suffering a 71-64 loss to #2-seeded Alderson-Broaddus on Saturday. Pitt Johnstown leads NCAA Division II in field goal percentage and is ranked second in assists per game. Coach Rukavina also earned his 300^th career win, while the 22 wins marked the third straight 20-win season and sixth overall for Rukavina at Pitt Johnstown. Additional, Coach Rukavina was named WVIAC Coach of the Year.
The season brought many accolades for the team. Senior forward Chris Gilliam was named WVIAC Player of the Year and First Team All-Conference. He is Pitt-Johnstown’s second all-time leading scorer and third all-time leading rebounder at UPJ. Junior Marcus Tullis was named Second Team All-Conference, and junior Quinton Davis received Honorable Mention All-Conference. Danny Branch was selected to the All-Freshman Team. Gilliam, Tullis, Davis and junior William Sharpe were also named to the WVIAC All-Tournament Team.
UPJ President Jem Spectar commented, “We are Mountain Cat Proud of our team and Coach Rukavina for an outstanding season. Their hard work and commitment to excellence have helped to create a renewed spirit of enthusiasm that has permeated the campus. Thursday’s event will clearly be a very proud moment for all of us.”
An opportunity for one-on-one interviews with Coach Rukavina and members of the team will be provided at the conclusion of Thursday’s event.
Founded in 1927, UPJ is the first and largest regional campus of the University of Pittsburgh. A vital knowledge center and a foremost contributor to the area’s educational, social, cultural, and economic development, UPJ offers a first-class educational experience that is purposefully designed to prepare students for the real world of the 21st century.