It was déjà vu all over again.
For the second year in a row, the Muhlenberg mens basketball team
upset Ursinus in its final regular-season game to nab the fifth and final
spot in the Centennial Conference playoffs.
The Mules connected on all six of their free throw attempts in the final
24 seconds of the game to hold off a Bears comeback and win, 76-68. Tom
Scott one of the teams seven seniors stepped it up in
that game and made sure it wasnt the last of his career. He led the
Mules with 25 points, seven rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot. He
also drew two charges.
Scott received All-CC honorable mention and was named
to the CC Academic Honor Roll. He finished his career with 911 points.
Although Muhlenberg lost to Gettysburg in the first round of the CC
tournament to finish at 10-15, the season was a memorable one nonetheless,
a rollercoaster ride that saw the team follow up an eight-game losing skid
with a five-game winning streak.
The Mules started off with a 4-3 record and advanced to the Scotty Wood
championship game for the third straight year, with Scott and fellow
senior Justin Fields making the all-tournament team.
Following a 109-105 loss to New Jersey in triple overtime, however,
Muhlenberg lost 10 of its next 11 games. Even the one win didnt come
easy, as the Mules fell behind Gettysburg by six at halftime and needed
overtime to secure the victory.
Once February rolled around, a whole new Mules team came to play, and
together they pulled out five straight wins to close out the regular
The turnaround began when the Mules hosted Franklin & Marshall the
same team that had started their eight-game winless streak nearly a month
earlier and found themselves down by 14 at halftime. The Diplomats
increased their lead to as many as 18 with 18:19 to go in the final
period, but Muhlenberg decided it was tired of losing and roared back,
much to the delight of the nearly two dozen former Mules in attendance who
returned to play in the alumni game.
Muhlenberg took a one-point lead on two free throws by senior Jimmie
Riggins with 6:07 to go and scored the winning points when Scott hit
two free throws with 2.2 seconds left.
Huber ended his career fourth in team history with 121
three-pointers. Classmate Chris Pothering also went over the
century mark in threes during the season, finishing with 102.
The 71-69 victory was followed by wins against Swarthmore, McDaniel (by
one point) and Dickinson (in overtime) as the Mules pushed their way back
into the playoff picture heading into the game at Ursinus, which had
beaten Muhlenberg by 40 points in the first meeting.
Scott carried the team late in the season, averaging 20.2 points and 8.3
rebounds in the last six contests. His performances earned him
back-to-back CC player of the week honors.
Scott wasnt the only one to play well during that stretch, however,
as six other players scored in double figures at least once. Sophomore
Mike Bernardini seemed to make up for the five games he missed due
to injury earlier in the season and scored at least 10 points in each of
the wins. He even notched a career-high 28 points against Dickinson.
The Mules graduated a senior class that played a large role in the
teams success. Scott led the team in scoring with 11.4 points per
game, and Chris Huber was close behind with 11.0 ppg. Huber was
also the teams leading three-point shooter, making 50 long-range
shots. Riggins, meanwhile, commanded the boards and
pulled down 6.0 points per game, and Brandon Mefford piloted both
ends of the floor, leading the team in assists (69) and steals (23).