Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Thursday, March 2, 2006
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Today’s scheduled men’s lacrosse opener against DeSales was postponed due to icy conditions.

NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEWS

Two Muhlenberg teams get a taste of national competition tomorrow. The wrestling team has two representatives at the NCAA Division III Championships, hosted by The College of New Jersey. See page 2 for a preview. Below is a preview of the women’s basketball regional at Mary Washington.


It’s Scotty Wood III (Virginia Version).

The Muhlenberg women’s basketball team will compete in its third tournament of the season when it travels to Mary Washington for the NCAA Tournament. The Mules NCAA women's basketball (25-2) play Wesleyan (Conn.) (18-7) on Friday at 4:00 in a game that will be broadcast live by WMUH 91.7 FM. To listen in Real audio, click here.

The other first-round game pairs Mary Washington (27-1) with New Jersey (19-8). Friday’s winners meet Saturday at 8:00 for the right to advance to the “Sweet 16.”

Muhlenberg won its first two tournaments, the actual Scotty Wood Tournament back in November, and the Centennial Conference playoffs, which the team called “Scotty Wood II.”

“We always get hyped up for the Scotty Wood Tournament, so we just want to
WHERE FEW MULES HAVE GONE BEFORE

Only two teams in Muhlenberg College athletic history have won more games than the women’s basketball team has this year. Women’s basketball 2005-06 also joins the 1944-45 men’s basketball squad as the only two Mule teams to put together two 10-game winning streaks in the same season.

Below are Muhlenberg teams to win 25 or more in a season:

Team Year Record
Volleyball 1992 27-6
Softball 1991 26-9
Women’s Basketball 2005-06 25-2
Softball 1989 25-6
Softball 1990 25-8
Softball 2001 25-17

forget about the pressures of the season and play like we do at Scotty Wood,” explained senior guard Sam Tager.

One difference this time is that the games will not be on the Mules’ home court, where they are 15-0 this season. Muhlenberg is a not-too-shabby 10-2 away from home, including a win against another team traveling to Virginia for the NCAA Tournament, Moravian.

“It would have been awesome to get a home game, but we’re really excited to be going to Virginia,” said Tager. “It should be a fun trip and a good experience.”

How good depends in part on how the Mules deal with Wesleyan, a team that made the “Sweet 16” last year. After three straight 20-win seasons, the Cardinals slipped a bit in 2005-06, but still earned an at-large bid to the NCAAs.

Like Muhlenberg, Wesleyan is a senior-dominated team that has been bolstered by the addition of a super freshman. Three-time first-team all-conference forward Hannah Stubbs averages 15.1 points and 7.9 rebounds per game this season and has scored 1,382 points – 34 shy of the school record – for her career. Stubbs was fourth in Division III in shooting percentage (.625) last year and is a .588 shooter for her career.

Senior forward Ashley Mastrangelo averages 11.5 points and sneaked past the 1,000-point mark in Wesleyan’s NESCAC semifinal loss to Bowdoin. Guard Meghan Robinson (6.8 ppg) rounds out the trio of Wesleyan logo seniors who have combined for a four-year record of 81-20.

Ali Fourney, a 5-11 guard, is the first Cardinal to be named NESCAC rookie of the year. She is averaging 11.7 points per game and leads the team in three-pointers (33), blocks (23) and steals (57).

As a team, Wesleyan is averaging 63.7 points per game while allowing 56.0. The Cardinals force an average of 3.1 more turnovers per game than they commit, but they are even in rebound margin and allow more than 13 offensive rebounds a game.

Muhlenberg, which enters the tournament with a 10-game winning streak, outscores and outrebounds its opponents by averages of 11.8 and 5.8, respectively. For the second straight week, the Mules are ranked 15th in the D3hoops.com national poll and 16th in the WBCA poll. The team is ninth in Division III in field-goal percentage defense (.325) and 16th in scoring defense (51.6 points per game allowed).

Both teams come from strong conferences, although the NESCAC got four teams in the NCAAs and the Centennial only one. The rest of the CC showed its strength in the first round of the ECAC Tournament, as Johns Hopkins, Dickinson and McDaniel all won by double-digit margins.

“Winning the conference was amazing, but we’d like to do more,” said Tager. “We want to prove that we’re a good team. As long as we keep playing defense like we’ve played all year, we really do have a chance to make some noise.”


Questions or comments? Send mail to falk@muhlenberg.edu
Last updated March 2, 2006