Men's Basketball Moves Closer to Playoff Berth

Saturday, February 8, 2014
 

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After the best performance of his fledgling collegiate career, Jon Schreer only wanted a small reward.

Jon Schreer
Schreer is shooting 51.1 percent from three-point range this season.
“I am exhausted,” Schreer said. “I’m going to go home and take a nice shower.”

He certainly earned it. Schreer netted a career-high 18 points in 34 minutes in his first career start to push the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team to a 73-68 victory at Gettysburg in a Centennial Conference tilt with big playoff implications. The freshman made all four of his three-pointers to lead four players in double figures as the Mules (14-7, 9-5) moved two games ahead of the Bullets (9-12, 7-7) with four to play in the race for the fifth and final playoff spot.

“I just went out there and played my game,” Schreer said. “Opportunities came and I capitalized on them, but I was letting things come to me. I’m more happy with how the team played and reacted to everything.”

Sophomore Alec Stavetski chipped in 16 points and a career-best five assists, senior Kevin Hargrove (10 points, 10 rebounds) notched his ninth double-double of the season and classmate Austin Curry (11 points) hit some big shots in the second half for Muhlenberg, which nearly let a 20-point lead slip away before righting the ship and winning in Gettysburg for the first time in four trips. The Mules has not dropped back-to-back CC games all season.

John Hunter
Freshman John Hunter scored five points and blocked two shots.
Thanks in large part to Schreer, the Mules’ nearly flawless first half proved too much to overcome for the hosts. The freshman scored 13 points in the opening stanza, including a three-pointer and layup during a 21-6 run to close the half, which sent Muhlenberg into the locker room ahead 41-24. The Mules shot nearly 50 percent from the field and had nine assists to just three turnovers in the first 20 minutes.

“That was a great feeling,” said Schreer, who hit double figures for the first time since early December. “Everyone, from the starters to the bench, was jumping and screaming. When we had that run, everyone brought energy. We all stepped up.”

The Mules’ euphoria only intensified after intermission, when Schreer established a new career high on a three-pointer that made it 44-24 less than a minute into the second half. But the Bullets had plenty of ammunition left.

Gettysburg quickly cut the lead to single digits with a 13-2 run, then got as close as 58-55 on a three-pointer with 5:39 remaining. Staring down a raucous crowd and the hard-charging Bullets, the Mules didn’t blink.

They held Gettysburg scoreless over the next four minutes while a jumper by Curry, two free throws by Stavetski and one by Curry pushed their lead to eight with 1:45 remaining. The Bullets closed to within four, but Curry and Stavetski each drained a pair at the line to put them away for good.

By sweeping a regular-season series from Gettysburg for the first time since the formation of the CC in 1994, Muhlenberg is now tantalizingly close to the playoffs. The Mules could clinch a postseason berth Wednesday with a victory at home against Swarthmore and a Bullet loss to Johns Hopkins.

“It’s a big win in the conference, obviously, but it’s a better win for us as a team,” Schreer said. “We really came together and played like a family. It’s a great feeling to play with so much passion and energy.”
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