Chili, Depth Lead Women's Basketball Past Swarthmore

Thursday, December 1, 2011
 

Leeann Lanza
Lanza scored four of her points on a pair of jumpers in the first 3:34, helping the Mules to an early 11-3 lead.
The Centennial Conference weekly women’s basketball report mentioned that Muhlenberg brings its “A” game, a reference to the first initial of senior Alexandra Chili and junior Alita Zabrecky, who entered the week 1-2 in the league in scoring.

Against Swarthmore, the 13th-ranked Mules showed that they could win with their “C” game, “K” game and “L” games too, getting contributions up and down the lineup in an 85-70 win.

Chili scored 30 points, tying one school record and breaking another, and Zabrecky added 13, but Muhlenberg (5-0, 2-0) also got big points from sophomore Leeann Lanza (career-high-tying 12), junior Kate Clawson (10), senior Kathleen Naddaff (8) and sophomore Colleen Caldwell (6).

Janelle Fleet
Freshman Janelle Fleet gave the Mules a nice lift off the bench in the first half, with two points, three assists and a steal in three minutes.
“With our depth, we have so many players who can score,” said Clawson, who was 3-for-4 from the field with a pair of threes and also pulled down a team-high eight rebounds. “When other teams get tired, we can sub in and be just as good offensively and defensively. It’s not like they can shut down just our best player.”

The Garnet (3-3, 1-2), whose only previous losses were both by one point, didn’t shut down the Mules’ best player – far from it. Chili set a school record with her fifth career 30-point game and tied a school record by going 4-for-4 from three-point range. She also had six assists and a pair of blocks, and her point total moved her within 85 points of become the program’s all-time leader.

Chili shot 8-for-12 from the field and scored 20 of her points in the first half, which ended with Muhlenberg up 50-34. Her three-pointer with 8:56 left in the first gave the Mules a double-digit lead, at 29-17, and Swarthmore never got it back to single digits. The margin hovered between 10 and 19 for the entire second half.

That was in sharp contrast to the trend in CC games this year: seven of the 13 games not involving the Mules were decided by 10 points or fewer – a fact that has not gone unnoticed to the Mules.

“Everyone’s beating each other and surprising each other. Since that’s happening, we want to show that we’re better than everyone else,“ said Clawson. “Today we went out with that mentality.”
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