Women's Basketball Starts Conference Play with Road Win

Tuesday, November 22, 2011
 

Men’s basketball

When she took the floor for the Muhlenberg women’s basketball Centennial Conference opener at Gettysburg, senior Kathleen Naddaff had some unfinished business on her mind.

While the rest of her teammates were able to take out some frustration from last season’s regular-season loss at The Battlefield by beating the

Erin Laney
Laney finished with four points and four rebounds.
Bullets in the conference semifinals, Naddaff was forced to watch after being sidelined with an injury.

On Tuesday night she finally had her opportunity, and she and Mules responded with a 63-48 win over the Bullets.

“The rest of the team got their payback last year in the playoffs, but I still wanted to get them back. It was great watching us win in the tournament, but I was really frustrated having to sit on the bench. My teammates knew how bad I wanted this one,” said Naddaff, whose brother played basketball at Gettysburg.

Naddaff wasted little time getting going, draining four free throws and grabbing two rebounds in the first two minutes.

With the Bullets locked into a zone defense, Muhlenberg looked outside. A trio of 3-pointers

Colleen Caldwell
Sophomore Colleen Caldwell had four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
from senior Alexandra Chili and Alita Zabrecky, and a midrange jumper from sophomore Erin Laney helped the Mules open up a 10-point lead at the 12:29 mark.

The Bullets battled back and appeared to be headed to the locker room only down five, but sophomore Leeann Lanza grabbed a missed 3-pointer and buried an over-the-shoulder, backwards layup at the buzzer to give the Mules a 35-28 lead at the break.

“That was a crazy shot; I don’t know how she made it,” Naddaff said with a laugh. “That’s just the Leeannimal right there.”

Gettysburg stayed close out of the break, but back-to-back jumpers by Chili and a 3-pointer from Zabrecky off an assist from freshman Hannah Rush got the lead back to double digits with 13:20 to play.

“They’re one of our most competitive conference rivals, and we knew this was going to be a tough game,” said Naddaff, who finished with five points and five boards. “They always play hard, so we wanted to set the tone at the start of both halves, and I think we definitely did in the second half.”

From there, the Mules used a 11-2 run, including a baseline jumper from sophomore Katy Mitton and a pair of free throws by junior Kate Clawson, to stretch the lead to 19 and essentially put the game away with five minutes to play.

Muhlenberg limited the Bullets to just 25 percent shooting from the field after the break and owned a plus-10 rebounding margin for the game.

Chili led the offense with 23 points, while Zabrecky scored 19. They evenly split the Mules’ six 3-pointers and also tied for the team high with six rebounds apiece.

It was Muhlenberg’s fourth straight conference-opening victory and stretched its regular-season winning streak to 10 games. And according to Naddaff, it was the perfect way for the Mules to go into their eight-day Thanksgiving break.

“We really wanted this win to get off to a good start in the conference,” Naddaff said. “Now we get a nice little break, and that turkey is going to taste a whole lot better because we got a win.”
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