Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Tuesday, January 24, 2006
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The Muhlenberg women’s basketball team put on another extraordinary defensive showing to defeat Dickinson, 53-30, and remain in a tie for first place in the Centennial Conference.

The Mules (15-1, 10-1), who held the Red Devils to seven first-half points, came into the game tied for first with Johns Hopkins, with
Lauren Boyle
Freshman Lauren Boyle hit a fallaway jumper on the baseline to put an end to Dickinson’s early second-half run.
Dickinson a half-game back. Hopkins defeated Washington, 73-39, to keep pace, but Dickinson (11-4, 8-2), like other teams this year, left Memorial Hall frustrated.

The 30 points were the fewest allowed by Muhlenberg since a 62-10 win against Bryn Mawr in 2000-01. The Mules shut out the Owls in the first half of that game and held them to four first-half points in the other meeting that year, but to hold a team to single digits in a game of this magnitude was something else entirely.

With both teams coming in allowing fewer than 50 points per game, the game figured to be low-scoring. It lived up to expectations early on, with neither team able to connect until junior Meghan Courtney hit a short baseline jumper with three minutes elapsed.

Muhlenberg led 4-0 when the Red Devils scored their first points on a drive to the basket with 15:18 on the clock. They would not make another field goal for more than 12 minutes.

The Mules, facing a defense that was plenty stingy itself, slowly began to build a cushion. Twelve seconds after the first Red Devil field goal,
Stephanie Coluccini
Coluccini finished with six points, five rebounds and two steals.
senior Stephanie Coluccini drove in for a layup to make it 6-2. A minute later, senior Tiffany Kirk missed a three-pointer, but Michelle Hirst pulled down the rebound and passed to Kirk for a short lane jumper.

Kirk’s hustle at midcourt on the next Dickinson possession forced a held ball, with Muhlenberg taking possession. She missed another three-pointer, and this time freshman Bethany Enterline got the offensive rebound and putback to make it 10-2.

As the first half wound down to the three-minute mark, the Red Devils still had only three points and were shooting 1-of-17 from the field. They scored on late back-to-back possessions but still went into the locker room down 20-7.

“We worked on our press and it worked,” said Enterline. “We
The “Low”-Down

Muhlenberg’s top 10 defensive games since the start of Centennial Conference play in 1993-94:
year opponent score
2000-01 Bryn Mawr 62-10
2000-01 Bryn Mawr 89-17
1999-00 Bryn Mawr 87-25
1997-98 Swarthmore 54-27
1993-94 Haverford 62-29
2005-06 Dickinson 53-30
1996-97 Bryn Mawr 79-31
1996-97 Washington 54-31
1998-99 Bryn Mawr 74-32
1997-98 Bryn Mawr 89-32
forced a lot of turnovers. I don’t think they expected us to press because we haven’t pressed like that this year.”

Dickinson, the defending CC regular-season champion, picked up both its offense and its defense at the start of the second half, scoring the first nine points to close to within four. But Muhlenberg put the clamps on and forced another long dry spell – more than 10 minutes without a field goal – in a 23-5 run that built the lead to 21.

Senior Kristen Piscadlo scored 11 of the 23 points, including seven in a row in one stretch, and finished with 13 points, all in the second half.

Muhlenberg has now won 11 in a row and is 15-1 after 16 games for the first time in school history. Ten days after holding Johns Hopkins to 36 points in the last showdown for first place, the Mules topped themselves. In the 2006 calendar year, they have held their four home opponents to 24.5-percent shooting and 38.0 points per game.

So how low can they go?

“There’s always room to improve,” said Enterline. “There was still some miscommunication tonight. I don’t know how much lower we can go, but we can still get better.”

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Last updated January 24, 2006