Killing Drops in 38 as Men's Basketball Tops Ursinus

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
 

Women’s basketball

It wasn’t exactly the notorious fouling strategy employed for years in the NBA to contain a legendary center, but Malique Killing couldn’t help but feel slighted when he saw the Ursinus men’s basketball team giving him several feet of space at the top of the key.

Malique Killing
Killing's 38 points moved him into a tie for 11th place on the Mules' all-time scoring list with 1,333 points, just 12 away from hitting the top 10. His six career 30-point games are the second-most in team history.
“They were guarding me like I was Shaq,” he said.

Killing took what the Bears gave him, and the electrifying junior was a one-man show in the first half for Muhlenberg. When Alec Stavetski and company joined in the fun, the Mules became a full-fledged wrecking crew.

Killing poured in 26 of his career-high-tying 38 points in the first period, Stavetski had 19 of his 21 in the second, and the Mules (11-5, 6-3) powered their way to an 82-66 victory. After Killing kept the Bears (2-14, 0-9) at arm’s length for the first 20 minutes, his teammates picked up the slack as Muhlenberg shot 53 percent in the second half to put away the upset-minded hosts.

Enduring chants of “peanut” for much of the first half, Killing quickly had the home crowd feeling salty. After going 3-for-17 (17.6 percent) from the three-point line in his previous six games (and 0-for-7 in the last three), Killing drained one on the opening possession and never looked back. The junior knocked down five threes among his 10 field goals before intermission.

“It was great for my confidence,” said Killing, who finished 15-for-29 from the field and made all three of his free throws. “I’ve really learned to be patient and not force as many shots. It was definitely great to get that confidence going on my outside shot.”

Nick Melosky
Sophomore Nick Melosky gave the Mules a 32-24 lead with a putback late in the first half. He had a pair of rebounds to go along with his two points.
Killing had 23 of the team’s first 25 points and was singlehandedly outscoring Ursinus for much of the first half, but Muhlenberg’s other players were just 4-for-20 from the field and the Bears trailed by only five (36-31) at the break. After that, Stavetski took the baton.

The sophomore accounted for the Mules’ first 15 points of the second half, assisting on the first two buckets, converting a three-point play and sandwiching a pair of three-pointers around a driving layup to give the Mules a 51-37 lead five minutes into the stanza. Ursinus answered with a three of its own, but that was as close as it would get the rest of the way.

“In a perfect world, you get as many guys involved as you can,” Killing said. “Anything can happen, and eventually I might start missing some shots and the offense gets stagnant. Alec picking me up in the second half was a huge part of us putting away Ursinus.”

And when Stavetski had a rare miss, Killing was there to pick him up: His acrobatic putback of a three-point try with 5:43 to play gave Muhlenberg a 78-54 lead and capped his big scoring night.

Senior Kevin Hargrove posted his sixth double-double of the season, and the 18th of his career, with 11 points and 13 rebounds as the Mules won their second straight and third in the last four games.

Killing and senior Austin Curry, who had seven rebounds and a game-high three steals, each dished out four assists (to just one combined turnover) for the Mules, who started a three-game road trip on the right foot. Muhlenberg’s challenging swing continues Saturday at Johns Hopkins, a CC semifinalist a year ago, and concludes at defending champion Dickinson.

“This is really going to test us,”Killing said. “If we come out like we did today, with lots of energy and everyone happy for each other, I don’t think we’ll have too many problems.”
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