Men's Basketball 2012-13 Season Review

 

The Muhlenberg men’s basketball team kept fans entertained with big comebacks and late heroics all through the 2012-13 season, but never more so than in the final week.

The Mules won their last four regular-season games, earning the fourth seed in the Centennial Conference playoffs and the right to host Gettysburg in a first-round game. Down 31-14 after a first half in which little went right, Muhlenberg rallied for a 45-43 win on a fadeaway jumper by Malique Killing with seven-tenths of a second left.

Matt O'Hara
O'Hara recorded 10 assists in wins against Washington, Moravian, McDaniel and Haverford; his season total of 104 was the most by a Mule in 15 years. Over his last three seasons, O'Hara had an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.05.
Two days later, the Mules traveled to three-time defending champion Franklin & Marshall, where they had lost by 22 points just three weeks earlier, and overcame an early 10-point deficit to take a five-point lead into the final two minutes. But this time it was the Diplomats who hit the big shots at the end, making back-to-back threes to pull out a 48-46 win.

The semifinal loss ended Muhlenberg’s season with a record of 17-10. Although the Mules came up a game short of reaching their second straight CC championship game, they set a school record with 12 CC wins and won a playoff game for the fourth time in five years. Their 35 combined wins over the two seasons were their most in more than a quarter-century.

Muhlenberg was led by two players separated in height by more than a foot – Killing, a 5-9 sophomore guard, and Kevin Hargrove, a 6-10 junior center.

Killing finished the season atop the CC, averaging 19.0 points per game. He tied for first in the conference with 50 steals and also ranked fourth in free-throw percentage (.819). Killing broke the Muhlenberg school record for points in a season with 514, and his 963 career points broke the conference record for points by the end of a sophomore season. He had two 30-point efforts, including 38 in a 91-80 win against Swarthmore.

Hunter Forsman
Forsman was third on the team with 13 blocks.
Killing also fueled comeback wins from 16-point deficits at Ursinus and McDaniel, sinking 14 of 14 free throws, including six in the final 22.6 seconds, to ice a 75-73 win in Collegeville and scoring 22 second-half points in an 83-82 win in Westminster.

Hargrove earned All-CC first-team honors after emerging as one of the top defensive players in the league. He led the conference by wide margins by averaging 8.6 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. Hargrove broke a school record with his 188 career blocks and broke his own school record by posting 76 blocks on the season.

Greatly improved at the offensive end, Hargrove averaged 12.5 points per game and shot 57.4 percent from the field. He recorded one of only 10 triple-doubles in Division III with 12 points, 13 rebounds and 10 blocks in a home win over McDaniel and added a career-high 29 points in the road victory against the Green Terror.

Senior Matt O’Hara finished his career fourth on Muhlenberg’s all-time list with 318 career assists and led the conference with 104 on the season. He helped the Mules get their second victory of the season over Dickinson by scoring a career-high 15 points in a 77-59 defeat of the eventual CC champions.

Junior Austin Curry averaged 10.1 points per game moved into second place in program history with 159 three-pointers for his career. He finished second in the CC in three-point percentage, shooting .424 from behind the arc.

Junior Brandon Bovino, who rejoined the team after taking a year off, rounded out Muhlenberg’s starting five and provided strong presence in the post. He notched three double-doubles, including one in a 61-58 victory at Dickinson and one in the comeback win over Ursinus. He had two 17-rebound efforts over a three-game span in January and finished the season averaging an even 7.0 per game, good for eighth in the CC.

Alec Stavetski was one of the top freshman scorers in the CC, averaging 8.8 points per game. He was named CC player of the week after scoring 42 points on the Mules’ December trip to Puerto Rico and finished third on the team with 38 three-pointers.

Junior James Albano played in every game but one, averaging 2.6 points and 3.3 rebounds. Senior Hunter Forsman played in 20 games, averaging 3.2 rebounds. Freshman Nick Melosky saw action in 14 games after transferring to Muhlenberg for the spring semester, averaging 2.1 points.