Women's Basketball Edges Closer to Playoffs

Saturday, February 15, 2014
 

Men’s basketball, wrestling

Christina Santone was pressed into emergency duty twice for the Muhlenberg women’s basketball game at Franklin & Marshall.

First, the 6-2 sophomore center had to do the pregame handshakes with the starters because junior Emily Lesher, who normally performs that role, was under the weather and did not make the trip. Then, when senior Katy Mitton was forced to the bench with an injury four minutes into the game, she came in to fill the void in the post.

Leeann Lanza
Senior Leeann Lanza had four points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots in her 100th career start. She is only the fourth Mule to start 100 games in her career.
Santone was more than ready on both fronts, performing the handshakes flawlessly and scoring a season-high 10 points to help the Mules to a 70-58 win.

The victory edged Muhlenberg (14-9, 10-6) closer to a Centennial Conference playoff berth. With two games remaining in the regular season, the Mules have a two-game lead over sixth-place Ursinus for the fifth and final playoff spot.

Leanna Tallamy
Tallamy's 20 points gave her 408 for the season, making her the eighth player in team history to score 400 in a season.
Junior Leanna Tallamy scored a team-high 20 points, and junior Laura Gregory came off the bench to add 11 as Muhlenberg won for the ninth time in 12 games.

“It was just all of a sudden,” said Santone of her early entry. “It’s usually later in the game when I get in, but I had to be ready.”

She was. With the Mules trailing 10-8, Santone made a layup the first time she touched the ball to tie the score. She added four more points, a steal and a blocked shot in a 13-1 run that gave Muhlenberg a 25-15 lead midway through the first half.

But the Diplomats (3-20, 1-15), who nearly won at first-place Johns Hopkins 10 days ago, battled back on their Senior Day, using a big rebounding advantage to draw even at 33 at halftime.

The Mules never trailed in the second half, breaking a 41-all tie on a runner by junior Nicole Pepe with 15:10 left. Santone’s elbow jumper at the 12:22 mark made it 50-45 and put her in double figures for the second time in her Muhlenberg career.

“I was really just feeling it,” she said. “The high-low that we were running was working really well, and I knew I could just shoot over whoever was guarding me.”

The Mules did not put the game out of reach until a 10-1 run gave them a 12-point lead with under five minutes to play. Tallamy scored the first eight points, and Gregory ended it with a putback – one of two she had in the second half.

Solid play at the point by senior Colleen Caldwell and junior Hannah Rush, who combined for seven assists, five steals and only one turnover, contributed to the win, which snapped a two-game skid in CC games and sent the Mules home for their final two games of the season in a positive mood.

“This game gave us the momentum we needed to get ready for the postseason,” said Santone. “It was a great win, and we’re going to be ready to go in our two home games next week.”
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