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Saturday, January 8, 2011 - page 2

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women’s basketball bounces back
from first loss

According to Muhlenberg junior Alexandra Chili, the game against McDaniel was about revenge.

It was the Green Terror, after all, that beat the Mules twice last season, including once in the Centennial Conference women's basketball championship game in Allentown.

So even though McDaniel may have lost
Katy Rossino
Katy Rossino's layup gave the Mules an 11-8 lead midway through the first half.
several of its key players from last season, Chili said the 74-66 win in Memorial Hall was still very satisfying, even if it did not make for the title game loss.

"It was a great win especially since they beat us twice on our home floor last year," Chili said. "It was also good because we still have the Dickinson game in the back of our head. But it's a long conference season and we've just got to keep working hard."

The win also helped the Mules (9-1, 5-1) rebound from their first loss of the season, at Dickinson, and move into a first-place tie with Johns Hopkins, which lost to Ursinus.

Chili, who finished with a game-high 29 points, and Muhlenberg rushed out of the gate strong. Her 14 first-half points helped the Mules gain a 41-27 halftime advantage.

But McDaniel started chipping away in the second half. The Green Terror (2-9, 2-6) worked the glass to pull within six before junior Kathleen Naddaff found sophomore Alita Zabrecky alone at the top of the 3-point arc with less than six minutes to play. Zabrecky drilled the shot and then
Erin Laney
Freshman Erin Laney had one of her best games, scoring a career-high 6 points and pulling down 6 rebounds.
Chili added a pair of free throws on the next possession to extend the lead to 11.

Zabrecky made another big play when she battled for an offensive rebound after a missed free throw in the final minute. She then found senior Alexandra Berlin, who was fouled on the play. Berlin knocked down both free throws to put the Muhlenberg up by nine and put the game out of reach.

Berlin joined Chili in double figures with 10 points, but it was her play on the other end of the court that may have made the biggest impact. Berlin and fellow senior Kelly McKeon finished with three steals apiece as the Mule defense harassed McDaniel's ball handlers all game long. Muhlenberg forced 22 turnovers, including 14 in the first half alone, and picked up 12 steals.

"Coach really stressed for us to get out in the passing lanes, keep our hands active and try to get a lot of steals and get out on the fast break, and it worked," McKeon said. "Everyone in the conference pretty much knows how we play so we just had to step our game up and play harder."

The Mules, on the other hand, only turned the ball over 10 times. And led by McKeon, who was playing in her second game back from injury, Muhlenberg also registered 16 assists on offense.

The All-America guard finished with six helpers, a team-high nine rebounds and three steals. And she said she feels back at home running Muhlenberg's offense, but was also quick to add that she is not fully back to her old form just yet.

"I'm trying to get back into the groove. I'm still shaking off a little rust for sure," she said. "But it feels really good to get back out there and get a win again, especially against McDaniel."
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