Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Saturday, January 14, 2006
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Men Fall on Late Hopkins Run

Going into the game, the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team was a perfect 6-0 at home, but as usual, Johns Hopkins didn’t seem to mind, as it came away with a 70-60 victory, its 11th straight at Muhlenberg.

The Blue Jays (11-3, 7-1) shot 60.9 percent from the field in the win, including 62.5 percent in the second half, when they outscored the Mules, 40-28.

Early in the second half, junior Chris Huber hit a pair of threes 28 seconds apart to give the Mules (7-7, 3-5) their largest lead of the game, 42-34. Junior Brandon Mefford, making his first career start, corralled an offensive rebound and whipped a pass to Huber, who well beyond the top of the arc, for the first one. Huber than stole the ball from Hopkins and dribbled down to the three-point line before pulling up for his fourth three of the game.

The Blue Jays narrowed Muhlenberg’s lead to three, but a layup by senior Jimmy O’Brien and a three-pointer by freshman Chris MacIntosh pushed the lead back to eight, 49-41, with 12:47 left in the game.

That is when Johns Hopkins took over. The Blue Jays went on a 10-1 run to take their first lead of the game, 51-50, at the eight-minute mark. They pulled away from the Mules by scoring 10 of the next 14 points to go up 61-54 with just over four minutes to play.

Huber had a team-high 17 points and O’Brien finished 11 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Click here for box score.

Like the old joke goes, the Muhlenberg women’s basketball team must be very lucky: It seems to catch other teams on days when they just can’t shoot.

The Mules (12-1, 7-1) used the stifling defense that has become their trademark to defeat Johns Hopkins, 50-36, avenging their lone loss of the
Kristen Piscadlo
Piscadlo scored 12 points and handed out five assists. The CC leader in assists, she now has 330 for her career and needs three more to move into the the CC’s all-time top 10.
season and extending their winning streak to eight. The result knocked the Blue Jays (10-4, 7-1) out of first place in the Centennial Conference; Muhlenberg and Hopkins are now tied for second, a game behind Dickinson.

The Mules held Johns Hopkins to 20.7-percent shooting, including 1-of-18 from three-point range. The 36 points were the fewest scored by the Blue Jays in more than 20 years, since a 36-33 loss to Franklin & Marshall in 1984-85.

Muhlenberg, which entered the week ranked among the Division III leaders in scoring defense, has held nine of its 13 opponents under 55 points and is averaging 44.1 points allowed in its seven CC wins.

“On defense, we want to keep elevating our level and frustrating other teams,” said senior center Michelle Hirst. “We are all really proud of how hard we work on defense, and we know that’s going to be important in the big games.”

This big game featured a Hopkins team that had won six straight from Muhlenberg, but the Mules never trailed. They scored the first eight points of the game, then took the lead for good by scoring six in a row after Hopkins had tied the game at 10.

A three-pointer by senior Tiffany Kirk with 3:50 left in the half gave Muhlenberg a 10-point lead, 25-15, but the Blue Jays scored the last four points of the half, bringing to mind the teams’ first meeting of the season. In that game, the Mules led by 12 points in the first half and seven at halftime, but were outscored 49-31 in the second half.

“In the first game, we were up in the first half, but didn’t have full confidence we could beat them,” noted Kirk. “But this time, up with the lead, we knew we could hold on for a win because of how far we’ve come since we last played them.”

Muhlenberg started strong in the second half, opening up with an 11-2 run, which included a banked-in three-pointer by senior Kristen Piscadlo, to take its biggest lead of the game, 36-21, with 13:15 left. Johns Hopkins fought back and closed to within six, at 38-32, but the Mules had the answers.

With the shot clock winding down, a turnaround jumper by Hirst extended the lead to eight. Hirst then blocked a shot at the other end, and Piscadlo threw a long pass to a breaking Meghan Courtney for a wide-open layup. The two traded positions for the next basket, as Courtney stole the ball, dribbled downcourt and fed Piscadlo for a layup that made the score 44-32 with five minutes to play.

From there, Muhlenberg continued to play its tough halfcourt defense and spread the floor on offense, running the clock down to preserve its seventh straight home win and cap a satisfying 3-0 week in which it defeated both McDaniel and Johns Hopkins.

“Our effort and energy was high,” said Courtney, who finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. “We were determined not to let anyone down.”

Click here for box score.

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Last updated January 14, 2006