Men's Basketball Bounces Back to Beat Bullets

Saturday, January 14, 2012
 

Women’s basketball Wrestling

Spencer Liddic
Liddic finished with 22 points and tied for the game high with eight rebounds.
Winning has a way of curing a lot of troubles.

And for Austin Curry, the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team’s 79-70 win over Gettysburg not only helped ease the sting of back-to-back losses, but it also healed some pain that forced him to sit during the latter stages of the game.

“I drove in the lane and felt a sharp pain in my back,” the sophomore guard said. “But I feel fine now, especially since we got the win. Gettysburg is always a tough team; they play sound basketball. So to be able to come out and get this win is a big confidence-booster for us.”

Muhlenberg (10-4, 4-4) used some hot shooting, hitting 11 of its first 16 shots, to jump out to an eight-point lead at the break. But Gettysburg (7-8, 4-4) came back quickly and pulled in front by one less than five minutes into the second half, prompting a Mule timeout.

The Mules came out firing right away; freshman Malique Killing converted a four-point play out of the timeout, then junior Matt O’Hara knocked down a jumper.

Malique Killing
Muhlenberg has won all five games in which Killing has scored at least 20 points.

Killing hit another trey; then Curry drew a charge on the other end, which Killing turned into a pair of free throws. Finally, Curry closed out the 14-0 run by knocking down a three from the left wing to put Muhlenberg in control, 55-42.

“Coach just told us to stop playing like individuals and work the ball around,” Curry said of the timeout speech. “Sometimes we rely a little too much on a couple of guys doing it all themselves. So we focused on running our offense, which helped us create some open looks.

“It helps when Malique is in the zone like he was tonight. He can create so many opportunities for everybody else, and it makes it easier for everyone to score when he’s breaking down the defense.”

The Mules kept the Bullets at an arm’s length for the rest of the game, and senior Spencer Liddic closed out the win with an exclamation point dunk with 14.7 seconds left.

Killing poured in a game-high 27 points, including a perfect 13-of-13 from the free throw line, to lead the Mules; Curry chipped in 12 points and four assists.

O’Hara also dished out four assists, and sophomore Kevin Hargrove tied for the game high with eight boards and eight points.

The win moved Muhlenberg into a three-way tie for fourth place in the Centennial Conference. But more importantly, it helped get them back on a positive track, which is where Curry hopes to stay.

“Coach has a word of the day, and the word after the F&M game was ‘rock bottom,’” Curry said. “We were determined to not make it three straight. We needed to get back in the win column, so this was a huge game for us. Now hopefully we can go out and start another winning streak.”
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