Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Thursday, February 26, 2004
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WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TAKES
RUN-AND-GUN GAME TO CC PLAYOFFS
Five Mules Make All-CC Hoops Teams
Friedman Earns First-Team Spot

Three members of the Muhlenberg women’s basketball team and two from the men’s squad have been named to the All-Centennial Conference teams.

Center Jill Friedman was named to the women’s first team, while fellow seniors Susan Marchiano and Becky Richmond received honorable mention. All three earned All-CC honors for the second time and were among the five players chosen who were also named to the CC Academic Honor Roll this winter.

On the men’s side, sophomore forward Jimmy O’Brien and freshman center Jeff Stewart each earned honorable mention. Stewart is the first Mule freshman to earn men’s All-CC honors.

Friedman (below) leads the Mules Jill Friedman and ranks among the CC leaders with13.4 points and 7.3 rebounds per game. She was an honorable mention selection last season. Friedman recorded season highs of 24 points and 13 rebounds twice, including once in the same game, the Mules’ overtime loss to McDaniel.

Friedman has six double-doubles and has been named to the CC Weekly Honor Roll twice. She has scored in double figures in 21 of 25 games, despite averaging just 16 minutes in Muhlenberg’s balanced system.

Marchiano ranks second on the team with 10.5 points and 6.2 rebounds per game and has recorded two straight double-doubles. She started off the season by winning her second Scotty Wood Tournament MVP award. Marchiano has 55 steals and was twice named CC Weekly Honor Roll.

Richmond averages 8.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game. She has knocked down 38 threes and recorded 27 assists and 48 steals. Richmond matched her career high with 20 points in Tuesday’s win at Ursinus.

O’Brien led the men’s team and is tops in the conference with a .468 field-goal percentage from three-point range. He ranked second on the team in scoring (13.2), rebounding (5.8), shooting (.534), assists (58) and steals (29). O’Brien scored a career-high 29 points against Ursinus.

Stewart led the squad and ranks sixth in the conference with 16.5 points per game, second with 7.9 rebounds per game, fourth with a .559 field-goal percentage and tied for third with 1.38 blocks per game. He owns a conference-best total of seven double-doubles. Stewart scored 396 points, the second-highest total by freshman in school history.

After a successful regular season, the Muhlenberg women’s basketball team will now try to press, steal and shoot its way to a championship at the Centennial Conference playoffs in Baltimore, Md.

Saturday’s semifinals will pit Muhlenberg (19-6, 14-4), the third seed, against second-seeded McDaniel (22-3, 17-1) at 1:30, followed by fourth seed Franklin & Marshall and host Johns Hopkins. The winners will meet Sunday at 2:00.

Tickets are $4 for adults, $2 for 13- to 18-year-old students and free for students from participating schools and children under 12.

Hopkins will be hosting its season opener in men’s lacrosse Saturday, so fans should arrive early to find a place to park. Parking is available in the lot to the left of Garland Hall (No. 47 on the campus map) or to the right of the Wyman Park Building (No. 45). The games will be played in the White Athletic Center (No. 59).

Fans who cannot attend the games can listen to Justin Deutsch and Josh Kritz call the action on WMUH 91.7 FM and on the Web. The pregame show is scheduled to begin at 12:30.

McDaniel tied Hopkins for first place, but the Blue Jays earned homecourt with a tougher conference schedule. The Green Terror has beaten the Mules twice, first in a 103-100 overtime thriller, then by erasing a 13-point halftime deficit. Muhlenberg rebounded from that loss by tying or breaking school records for points, assists and field goals in Tuesday’s 116-84 win at Ursinus.

“I feel that we’re doing pretty well right now, even though we lost to McDaniel on Saturday,” said senior Susan Marchiano. “I think that actually benefits us because it motivates us to work that much harder to beat them this time.”

The Mules use a balanced attack to put up more points per game (91.4) than any other team in NCAA women’s basketball. Senior Jill Friedman leads the way, but five Mules score at least eight points per game, and 10 players average at least five.

Of course, one of the most potent ’Berg weapons is the three-pointer. The Mules have set a Division III record with 259 threes this season. Junior guard Gwen Doyle has knocked down 52 of those threes.

Sophomore point guard Kristen Piscadlo has been the team’s most accurate three-point shooter, at .376. She broke the school record for assists in a season Tuesday and ranks second in the CC in assists per game (4.48) and first in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.00).

McDaniel, ranked 22nd in the latest D3hoops.com national poll, has beaten Muhlenberg in each of the last two CC playoffs. The Terror is outscoring its opponents by 21.4 points per game, and averaging a 7.5-rebound advantage, both conference bests.

McDaniel, one of the few teams that goes as deep into its bench as Muhlenberg, wins with depth and by taking advantage of its chances. The Terror leads the league in shooting and is the only CC squad with more assists than turnovers. Senior point guard Toby McIntire is the reigning CC player of the week and leads the conference in assists (5.42).

McIntire will try to get the ball to 5-10 sophomore forward Kristy Costa, who leads the team in scoring (13.0) and rebounding (5.9) and leads the CC in field-goal percentage (.523). Junior guard Kelly Cramp is also a threat, scoring 10.9 points per game.

“In terms of preparing for them, we’ve just got to want it and be mentally focused,” Marchiano said. “We’ve come close, so we know that we can hang with them. Our skills are there and our press is there.”

The Hopkins-F&M game is a rematch of Tuesday’s regular-season finale. The Blue Jays won that game at home, 67-50, and won, 70-62, at F&M earlier in the season.

Muhlenberg met F&M just once in the regular season. The Mules trailed by 12 at halftime of the conference opener at Memorial Hall and posted their lowest point total of the season, but still beat the Diplomats, 66-58. Muhlenberg took Hopkins to overtime in a loss at home, but the Blue Jays won easily when the teams met in Baltimore.

Not only does Muhlenberg get a chance to avenge its last two playoff losses in the first round, semifinal wins by the Mules and Jays would set up a chance for Muhlenberg to make up for all four of its CC losses. But the ’Berg team has its mind on the present.

“Yeah, we’d like to get them back, but we learned from losing those games,” Marchiano said. “It helps us evaluate what we need to do, so now in playoff time, we can do the right things and play well.”


Questions or comments? Send mail to falk@muhlenberg.edu
Last updated February 26, 2004