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Muhlenberg College

Monday, November 29, 2010

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men’s basketball back on winning track

So shooting dunks is easier than shooting free throws? Surely you can’t be serious.

Junior Spencer Liddic shook off
Spencer Liddic
Thanks to high-percentage shots like this one, Liddic was 9-of-13 from the field. He is shooting 62.1 percent for the season.
early woes from the line to finish with game highs of 24 points and 10 rebounds and threw down a pair of dunks in the second half to lead the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team to a 61-53 win against King’s.

The win was a nice bounce-back for the Mules, who lost to Gettysburg in their last game before the Thanksgiving break. Muhlenberg is 4-1 for the 10th time since 1984-85, the last time it started 5-0, as it heads into key Centennial Conference games against Swarthmore and Washington the next five days.

Liddic made only three of his first 10 free-throw attempts, his struggles
David Gwyn
Gwyn assisted on back-to-back Muhlenberg baskets midway through the second half, one after stripping the Monarchs' top scorer and feeding Liddic.
paralleling those of the Mules, who were stuck at 13 points for almost six minutes in the first half and trailed by six points, 34-28, four minutes into the second half.

“We got off to a slow start,” said freshman Austin Curry, who scored 17 points. “Then we concentrated on getting the ball inside to Spencer. He was having his way inside. We shut them down on defense and got the win.”

Curry’s three-pointer, Liddic’s first dunk off a long outlet pass from junior Justin Greenstone and Greenstone’s driving layup made for a 7-0 run that put Muhlenberg in front, 35-34. The teams seesawed back and forth for the next eight minutes, and the Mules held a 46-45 advantage with 6:30 left before going on another 7-0 run to take their biggest lead.

Curry again started the run with a layup off a backdoor pass from Liddic, who then found his stroke from the foul line, going 3-for-4. Sophomore Matt O’Hara made both ends of a one-and-one with 3:06 left, giving Muhlenberg a 53-45 lead.

King’s (2-2) made two three-pointers in the last 1:35 to stay within striking distance, but Curry went 4-for-4 from the foul line to thwart the comeback effort, and Liddic punctuated the win with his second dunk off a pass from O’Hara in the final 20 seconds.

The Mules held the Monarchs to 31.3-percent shooting for the game and outrebounded them, 23-15, in the second half. They outscored King’s by a 33-19 margin over the final 16 minutes.

“We’ve finished games well this year, better than we did last year,” said Liddic. “We have great chemistry and we know that we can trust each other. It’s great to have a well-rounded team.”

Muhlenberg also has a deep team and got important contributions from its bench. Freshman James Albano had another impressive game, with 6 points and 8 rebounds, and the Mules played down the stretch with two non-starters, O’Hara and senior David Gwyn, who had the best game of his career (7 rebounds, 3 assists in 19 minutes).

“Matt was a starter last year, so he knows what it’s like to finish games,” said Liddic. “And David Gwyn is a very strong player. His basketball IQ is very high.”
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