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Muhlenberg College

Friday, November 20, 2009

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women’s basketball saves best performance
for court

Men Rally to Tie But Fall Short

The Muhlenberg men’s basketball team spent most of its Scotty Wood opener climbing uphill. The Mules clawed their way to the top of the hill, but could never get over it and fell to Oneonta State, 72-58.

The loss sends the Mules into the consolation game against local rival Moravian, a 75-45 loser to William Paterson.

The Red Dragons hit two three-pointers in the first 1:16 and never trailed in the game. The margin was five (40-35) at halftime, as every time Muhlenberg got within striking distance, Oneonta had the answer. The Dragons were 6-for-7 from three-point range in the first half.

Muhlenberg finally drew even at 46-46 in the first five minutes of the second half but could not convert on two possessions with a chance to take the lead. Ahead 49-48, Oneonta went on a 13-2 run to open up its first double-digit lead and kept pulling away. The Mules struggled with their shooting, making only two field goals after tying the game until a pair of threes in the final minute.

Senior Peter Barnes scored 19 points, two on an alley-oop dunk from classmate Obi Nwizugbo. He also pulled down eight rebounds and blocked three shots. Sophomore Spencer Liddic had 12 points and nine boards, and Foster finished with 11 points.
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.

In the locker room after the Muhlenberg women’s basketball team’s season-opening victory, the freshmen continued a Scotty Wood Tournament tradition by performing a song about the seniors

During the game, however, all four classes contributed to a remarkable on-court performance, as the Mules defeated Pitt-Bradford 93-50 in a contest that was never in doubt.

Every Mule got in the act, with 12 playing between 14 and 21 minutes. Four
Maiza Mock
Senior Maiza Mock drives in for a layup. She finished with four points and five rebounds.
scored in double figures, led by sophomore Alexandra Chili, who netted 20 points on 9-for-14 shooting in just 15 minutes.

Chili and the rest of the Mules were unstoppable in the early going, as Muhlenberg jumped out to a 22-2 lead in the first seven minutes. She put in two layups to start the game and scored 13 of the Mules’ first 22 points on 6-for-6 shooting. Chili also had two assists and a steal during the remarkable run.

“We came out and did exactly what we wanted to do,” said senior Kaitlyn O’Malley. “We were composed and Chili was just on fire. We ran our stuff well and played great defense.”

In total Muhlenberg started the game 13-for-14 from the field. Freshman Kate Clawson scored seven points in just over a minute in her first career action.

The rest of the first half was more of the same, as the Mules entered the break leading 54-20 on 53.8 percent shooting (21-for-39). They held the Panthers to just 21.9 percent (7-for-32).

“We know we are going to be a good team offensively, and hopefully we keep up what we did today,” said O’Malley. “Our biggest challenge will be on defense, and we came out and did a great job defensively.”

Muhlenberg started the second half similarly to the first, outscoring Pitt-Bradford 15-4 in the opening four minutes to take its biggest lead - 45 points.

Clawson finished the game with 14 points, and sophomores Kathleen Naddaff and Kimberly Mui added 10 apiece. Naddaff, junior Sheila Cook and sophomore Katy Rossino all had four steals; as a team Muhlenberg had 22 for the game.

The win sends the Mules to the championship game of the Scotty Wood Tournament, a feat they have accomplished every year since the tournament expanded to include women’s games in 1993. There they will face No. 5 Scranton in a rare early-season showdown of Top 10 teams. The Royals are the only team other than Muhlenberg to win the Scotty Wood championship in the last six years, defeating the Mules 84-60 in 2007.

“They’re a great team – there’s a reason they’re ranked No. 5 in the country,” said O’Malley. “It’s going to be a really competitive game and we’re looking forward to it. It will show us how good we can be and will set the tone for the season.”
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.

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