Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Saturday, March 4, 2006
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For one half, everything went right. For the second half, nothing did.

The Mary Washington women’s basketball team outscored Muhlenberg 45-19 in the second half to come back for a 68-48 win in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The eighth-ranked Eagles (29-1) advance to the Sweet 16 to face Bowdoin at
Stephanie Coluccini
Coluccini pulled down five rebounds in her last game to move into the Mules’ all-time top 10 with 558 for her career.
a site to be determined on Monday. The Mules’ best season in team history ended with a record of 26-3.

Mary Washington hit its first two shots and scored the first five points of the game, but Muhlenberg settled down and controlled the tempo the rest of the half. Junior Meghan Courtney, coming off two subpar games, went right at the Eagles’ 6-3 center – the second-leading shot-blocker in Division III – and scored a game-high 12 points in the first half.

The Mules opened up an eight point lead, 19-11, at the 10-minute mark after senior Stephanie Coluccini grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed free throw, was fouled and hit two free throws herself.

Mary Washington responded with a 12-2 run to take a 23-21 lead, but Muhlenberg scored the final eight points of the half to go into the locker room with a 29-23 lead.

At the half, the statistics were decidedly in the MulesP favor. The Eagles, who came in outscoring and outrebounding their opponents by 22.5 and 11.3, respectively, were shooting only 36.4 percent and had a two-rebound advantage. Muhlenberg forced 12 UMW turnovers while committing only six.

“I think you could say the first half was a typical Muhlenberg game,” said Head Coach Ron Rohn. “Maybe the second half was more of like how Mary Washington likes to play.”

The Mules extended their lead to nine early in the second half on a three-point play by Courtney before going dry. They made just two field goals over the next 10 minutes, and the Eagles starting making their
Lacie Smith
Lacie Smith scored eight points in her final game.
shots, going on a 27-4 run to take a 50-36 lead – the largest deficit faced by Muhlenberg all season.

A layup by Courtney cut the gap to 12, but Mary Washington scored the next seven points and coasted to the victory.

“Mary Washington is a very good team and they just took it to us,” said senior Kristen Piscadlo, who scored six points in the final game of her career.

The Eagles shot 51.6 percent – exactly twice what the Mules did – in the second half and also had twice as many rebounds (26-13).

“We’ve gone through some dry shooting spells this year and our defense always held us through,” said Rohn. “In the second half we went through the same lull and they started making shots.”

Courtney finished with a game-high 19 points to become only the fourth player in team history to score 400 in a season. She finished with 404 and will return next year, but for the seven seniors who form the winningest class in program history, this was the end of the road.

“We tried our hardest,” said Coluccini. “This team has come so far. I’m so proud of them.”

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Last updated March 4, 2006