Women's Basketball Wins in OT Again

Saturday, November 23, 2013
 

Football Cross country, men’s basketball

The Muhlenberg women’s basketball team doesn’t want to make a habit of going to overtime. As long as they keep winning, the Mules have no complaints.

Colleen Caldwell For the second straight game, Muhlenberg held on a for a one-point victory in overtime, overcoming a big deficit late in regulation and making all the big plays down the stretch to secure a 76-75 decision at Washington College. Junior Leanna Tallamy had the go-ahead three-point play with a minute remaining, and senior co-captain Leeann Lanza blocked a potential game-winning jumper at the buzzer to clinch the Mules’ 11th consecutive victory in the series. The thrilling result marked the first back-to-back overtime wins in program history.

“It’s great to be able to come through in close games,” said senior co-captain Colleen Caldwell (right), who scored six points and dished out a career-high seven assists. “We weren’t really able to do that last year, so to pull another one out like this is really encouraging.”

Just three days ago, Muhlenberg squandered a double-digit advantage with five minutes remaining before edging Swarthmore, 75-74. This time, the Mules (4-0, 2-0) flipped the script. Muhlenberg led for a mere eight seconds in regulation, and trailed by 11 after the Shorewomen (0-3, 0-1) canned a pair of free throws with 6:16 to play. From there, the Mules used their trademark full-court press to turn the tide.

Nicole Pepe Washington committed 33 turnovers in the game, including five down the stretch of regulation as Muhlenberg slowly chipped away at the deficit. The Mules closed the second half on a 19-8 run, knotting the contest at 65 on a jumper by senior Erin Laney and heading into an extra session once again.

The Mules found themselves on the short end of a 73-69 score when Washington converted two free throws with two minutes remaining in overtime. Muhlenberg again used pressure to dig out of the hole, forcing four consecutive turnovers and turning three of them into easy points.

Tallamy stole an inbounds pass and was fouled, knocking down both from the charity stripe to pull the Mules within two, and Caldwell repeated the feat, finding Laney for a layup nine seconds later to make it 73 apiece. Muhlenberg went ahead for good when Stenger cut in front of a Washington pass and dished off to Tallamy, who powered in for a bucket and the foul with a minute to play.

“That was a very big deal for us,” said Caldwell, who had two of the Mules’ 10 steals. “We’ve been working on this press for so long, and it was great to see that we had this to fall back on. We took a chance to test ourselves out and did really well.”

Washington did get within one on a pair of free throws and had a chance to win it after grabbing a Mules miss on the other end, but Lanza made sure that didn’t happen, flying in to swat away the would-be winner as time expired.

Tallamy led the Mules in scoring for the fourth straight game, delivering 18 points on 5-of-10 shooting to go along with five rebounds. Laney finished with 15 points, while Lanza had eight and a game-high three blocks.

Stenger and classmate Nicole Pepe (left) added seven points each for the Mules, who shot 53 percent from the field after going 5-for-20 (25 percent) in the first half.

“We all had a point where we struggled, but at the same time, there were so many opportunities for people to make the great play,” Caldwell said. “We had some great steals, people were coming through with foul shots, and there were some shots that weren’t made in the beginning that were made at the end. We made a complete turnaround.”
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