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Friday, November 19, 2010

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Men’s basketball

Chili joins 1,000-point club
as women’s basketball cruises

Alexandra Chili started getting curious why she was still in the game with the Muhlenberg women’s basketball team up by 30 in the second half.

But when she hit a three from the corner and the Mules called timeout with 12:58 to play, the junior guard finally realized why she was still on the floor.

That’s when everything faded to black as her
Alexandra Berlin
Berlin ties up a Dolphin player to force a jump ball in the first half. She scored her 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting and also recorded 4 assists.
teammates huddled around her and offered hugs as the Memorial Hall crowd gave her a standing ovation.

That basket pushed Chili past the 1,000-point mark for her career and helped the Mules roll past Mount St. Vincent, 101-47, in the opening round of the Scotty Wood Tournament.

“I kind of blacked out when they called the timeout,” Chili said. “I wasn’t really expecting it, but it was exciting and really nice.

“It’s a great accomplishment, but I couldn’t have done it without my teammates. It’s something I’m sure I’ll always remember.”

Chili finished with a game-high 29 points, giving her 1,002 for her career. The junior sharpshooter became the fastest woman to 1,000 points in Mule history, surpassing the mark in her 59th game.

After the two teams started out slow, Muhlenberg
Alita Zabrecky
Zabrecky's double-double was the second of her career.
built a double-digit lead by the 10-minute mark of the first half. From there the Mules outscored the Dolphins 31-14 to take a commanding 28-point lead into the locker room.

That’s when Muhlenberg (2-0) went into cruise control. Alita Zabrecky finished with a double-double (12 points, 10 rebounds), while Julie Kelly (15 points) and Alexandra Berlin (12 points) also finished in double figures. Muhlenberg set a Scotty Wood Tournament record for largest margin of victory and tied the mark for points in a first-round game.

All 12 Mules that played in the game scored at least one field goal and also added at least one rebound or assist.

That balance was helped by the Mules’ ability to protect the ball. After committing 33 turnovers in Monday’s season opener against Moravian, Muhlenberg only turned the ball over 14 times against the Dolphins (1-1) to hold a plus-19 advantage in that category.

The sure-handed Mules also finished with an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2-to-1, which according to Chili was because of a lack of first-game jitters.

“You could really tell we were a lot more comfortable tonight,” Chili said. “The freshmen were a lot more confident in their shots and handling the ball. I think everyone was just a lot more relaxed. Everyone works really hard and we’re able to do what we need to do to get the win.”

Muhlenberg advances to play Richard Stockton in the Scotty Wood championship game. The Ospreys (2-0) were 77-55 winners over Lehman in the other opening-round game.

That’s when Chili, who holds the top-two single-season scoring totals in school history, will continue her march up the all-time scoring list. She currently sits in eighth place and needs only 16 more points to move into the top six.

But she said she does not concern herself with point totals. After scoring more than 2,000 points for a team that struggled to win in high school, Chili said she is always much more worried about the Mules’ success as a team.

“We all work so hard every day in practice, so seeing it pay off in wins is great,” she said. “I’d much rather win a championship than score 1,000 points. But to be able to do both is pretty nice too.”
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