Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Friday, November 22, 2002
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FOOTBALL HOSTS NCAA PLAYOFF GAME TOMORROW

The Muhlenberg football team hosts Mass.-Dartmouth in the first round of the NCAA Division III Championship on Saturday. The winner faces the winner of the John Carroll-at-Hobart game next Saturday in the Round of 16.

Who: Mass.-Dartmouth (11-0) at Muhlenberg (9-1)
What: The first NCAA playoff game for each team, and the second NCAA meeting between teams from the Centennial Conference and New England Football Conference. In 1999, Ursinus defeated Bridgewater State, 43-38.
When: Saturday, 12:00
Where: Scotty Wood Stadium
Television: MCTV will air the game on tape delay on Saturday afternoon.
Radio: Justin Deutsch and Jon Eddy will call the game live on WMUH 91.7. The game also will be Webcast by Ray Martel and Pat Cummings for D3football.com.

Scouting the Corsairs: Appropriately for a group of pirates (and that’s what corsairs are, in case you were wondering), the Corsairs have made a living stealing the ball. They lead Division III with a plus-36 turnover margin and rank in the top 20 in the nation in four other defensive categories: scoring defense (first, 7.3 points per game); total defense (fourth, 219.4 yards per game); pass efficiency defense (fifth, 73.96 rating) and rushing defense (20th, 90.1 yards per game). On offense, UMD runs a spread offense that has allowed junior Shawn Theriault to run for 1,115 yards and 12 touchdowns, while junior John Falcone has completed nearly 60 percent of his passes, throwing for 1,562 yards and rushing for an additional 536. The Corsairs, one of 10 undefeated teams in Division III, won the NEFC title with their fourth shutout of the season, 16-0 over Westfield State in the only Division III conference championship game. They have trailed in the second half only once this season, overcoming a 26-14 deficit to knock off MIT, 36-26.

Scouting the Mules: Muhlenberg, ranked 23rd in Division III, has won five straight since suffering its lone loss, outscoring the five opponents 159-23 and allowing an average of 194.8 yards per game. The Mules, who have tied a school record with their nine wins, are second to UMass-Dartmouth in Division in turnover margin at plus-25. They also rank 22nd in both scoring offense (36.3 points per game) and scoring defense (13.6 ppg), 24th in pass efficiency defense (88.12 rating) and 38th in total defense (265.3 yards). Senior linebacker Beau Sherry leads the Muhlenberg defense with 78 tackles and four fumble recoveries. Senior Justin Jones ranks 38th in the country in quarterback rating (136.78) and was named CC offensive player of the year. Junior Matt Bernardo, the Mules’ all-time leader with 2,912 yards and 53 touchdowns, is in the top 30 in Division III in scoring (12th), all-purpose yards (15th) and rushing (30th). Senior Chris Reed is tied for the national lead with 15 field goals, including six of 40 yards or more. Muhlenberg is 5-0 at Scotty Wood Stadium this year and 17-4 at home since the start of the 1999 season.

MULE HOOPS TEAMS ADVANCE TO SWT FINALS

For the 10th straight season, the Muhlenberg women’s and men’s basketball teams both advanced to the championship games of the Scotty Wood Tournament.

The women jumped out to an early lead and breezed to a 73-44 win against Albright to set up a championship game meeting with St. Lawrence, a 79-39 victor over Stevens Tech. Both teams are ranked in the top 20 in Division III in the D3hoops.com preseason poll.

The men unveiled their new running and pressing style and opened up a 10-point halftime lead on Stevens Tech, then had to pull away from three second-half ties to win, 78-66. In the other semifinal, Richard Stockton scored 47 second-half points to defeat Staten Island, 78-43.

• Women’s Basketball: Albright scored the first basket of the game, but the Mules reeled off 16 straight points to take command.

Displaying extraordinary depth, Muhlenberg played 15 people in the first half and 17 in the game, harassing the Lions into 40 turnovers and 33-percent shooting.

Junior Lindsay Tis had an outstanding game, scoring a career-high 10 points to go along with four assists and three steals. Junior Becky Richmond scored a team-high 13 points, while freshmen Tiffany Kirk (10 points) and Kristen Piscadlo (five points, three assists, three steals) were impressive in their debuts.

Click here for box score.

• Men’s Basketball: Senior Anthony Strachan had 17 points, eight rebounds and three steals to lead the Mules.

Muhlenberg saw its 10-point halftime lead evaporate behind a flurry of three-pointers by the Ducks. The score was tied at 59 before the Mules scored six points in a span of 39 seconds to take the lead for good. Strachan hit two free throws after one of his seven offensive rebounds to start the decisive run, and ended it with a steal and layup.

Senior Aaron Holden recorded a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, and sophomores John Jemmott and Ryan Bonda scored a career-high 13 points apiece. Sophomore Chase Licata added eight points and six rebounds.

Muhlenberg wil meet Richard Stockton in the championship game of a tournament for the second time in 11 months. In January, the Mules squeaked by the Ospreys, 67-64, to win the title at Whittier’s Purple & Gold Classic.

Click here for box score.


Questions or comments? Send mail to falk@muhlenberg.edu
Last updated November 22, 2002