Men's Basketball Closes in on Playoff Berth with Senior Day Win

Saturday, February 11, 2012
 

Women’s basketball

For the great-grandson of chocolate-maker Gertrude Hawk, Senior Day could not have been much sweeter.

Spencer Liddic, the lone playing senior on the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team, recorded his Centennial Conference-record 43rd career double-double as the Mules edged closer to a playoff berth with a 71-66 win against McDaniel.

With two games left in the regular season, Muhlenberg (15-8, 9-7) is tied with Washington

Spencer Liddic
Liddic moved into second place on the Mules' all-time scoring list with 1,642 career points.
for fourth place in the CC. The three teams tied for sixth (Haverford, Ursinus and Gettysburg) are all two games behind at 7-9, so the Mules need just one win to clinch a berth. They close with games at Haverford and Ursinus next week.

The CC’s all-time leading rebounder added to his record total with 12 boards, and while Liddic’s offensive numbers (3-for-10 shooting, 11 points) were a Smidgen below his standard, getting the important win was all that mattered.

“Spencer is such a great player and a great teammate, and we wanted

Malique Killing
Malique Killing led all scorers with 18 points, increasing his season total to 380 – the most by a Mule freshman in eight years.
to make it a great night for him,” said junior Matt O’Hara. “I think McDaniel knew that and made it their mission to stop it. They had three guys around him.

“But all he cares about is winning, and he was willing to let other guys step up and make big plays. That shows a lot about Spence’s character, that he would step back and let other players carry the load, even on his night.”

One of those players was O’Hara, who scored a career-high 11 points. His three-pointer with 5:59 left in the first half was part of a 13-0 run that turned a 16-13 deficit into a 26-16 lead. Sophomore Austin Curry scored the final four points of the run and finished with 15.

Muhlenberg led 33-28 at halftime and took its biggest lead, 15 points, midway through the second half. The Green Terror (7-16, 4-12) hit a pair of three-pointers in the final 1:30 to cut the gap to four, but the Mules held on to complete their season sweep of McDaniel.

In both wins, Muhlenberg scored 71 points. The Green Terror ranks among the Division III leaders in scoring defense and has allowed 70 points in only three other games.

“They try to frustrate you a lot and get you out of your game,” said O’Hara. “I think we did a great job staying positive. When they made their runs, we stay together, and when we stay together on the court, the outcome usually comes out in our favor.”

Over the last six games, the outcome has been in the Mules’ favor five times, and they bounced back nicely from Wednesday’s 19-point loss at Dickinson to continue their late-season surge.

“We’re playing very good basketball now, and we’re right where you want to be,” commented O’Hara. “We’re on the inside trying to battle for playoff position. It’s a lot better than last year, when we were on the outside trying to get in.”
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