Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Thursday, February 16, 2006
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Women’s basketball games between Muhlenberg and McDaniel nearly always boil down to the final minute. This one “Boyle”-d down.

Freshman Lauren Boyle made three free throws in the last 46 seconds to lift the 17th-ranked Mules (22-2, 15-2) to a 64-61 win over the Green Terror (17-7, 11-6).

Muhlenberg set a school record with its 22nd win, but more importantly, moved into a tie
Kristen Piscadlo
Piscadlo, who committed only one turnover, has reached double digits in assists three times in the last eight games. Her season total of 147 assists is the third-highest in CC history, 19 away from the record.
for first place in the Centennial Conference with one game remaining in the regular season. If the Mules defeat Ursinus in the Saturday’s finale, they will win a tiebreaker with Johns Hopkins and earn the right to host the CC playoffs as the top seed.

The two teams have played four one-point games the last five years, including one earlier this season, so even when Muhlenberg went up by 10 early in the second half nobody expected it to be a cakewalk to the final buzzer.

McDaniel came back to take two one-point leads and tied the score at 61 on a short baseline jumper with 2:15 remaining. With about a minute left, Boyle rebounded a missed jumper, dished off to senior point guard Kristen Piscadlo and ran to the other end of the court to post up the smaller defender guarding her.

Piscadlo, who had 11 assists in the game to become the Mules’ all-time leader, threw an entry pass into Boyle, who was fouled going up for the shot. The team leader with a 78.4 free-throw percentage calmly made both shots with 45.9 ticks on the clock.

Muhlenberg ramped up its defense at the other end and almost forced a shot-clock violation, but the Green Terror was called for a double dribble first. Boyle was fouled with 8.5 seconds left and made the front end of the one-and-one.

The second shot missed, giving McDaniel a chance to tie, but an open three-pointer from the wing went off the iron as the buzzer sounded.

The win was the latest close call for the Mules, who are 10-1 in games decided by 10
Stephanie Coluccini
Senior Stephanie Coluccini drove in for a layup that gave the Mules a 26-20 lead with 3:24 left in the first half.
points or fewer – many of them decided in the last minute. “We’re very very confident when we get in that situation,” said Pisacadlo. “We know that we’re going to be able to pull it out because of all the hard work we’ve put in.”

Muhlenberg took its early lead with good defense, holding the Green Terror, who came in with a CC-leading team field-goal percentage of .459, to 8-of-30 shooting in the first half. McDaniel rebounded half of its missed shots, however, and could have gone into the locker room down only three points if not for a fortuitous (for the Mules) sequence of events. Down five, the Green Terror had two offensive rebounds on their final possession of the half. On the second one, Muhlenberg committed a foul going for the ball, sending McDaniel to the line for a one-and-one with 13 seconds left.

The free throw missed, and after the Mules got the rebound, Piscadlo threw a long pass to junior Meghan Courtney for a wide-open layup that gave Muhlenberg a 29-22 lead at the break.

The bulge was 37-27 after Boyle’s layup with 17:17 to play, but the Green Terror used its transition game to climb back. “We were worried about going to the boards, and not so much getting back on defense,” remarked Piscadlo. “Once we realized that we also had to sprint back we ended up playing better defense.”

McDaniel shot 50 percent in the second half and took its first lead since early in the game (at 51-50) on a short jumper with 6:31 to play. The teams then traded baskets, with the Green Terror taking its final lead at 53-52 at the six-minute mark. Piscadlo responded with a pullup three-pointer, and senior Lacie Smith blocked a shot and made two free throws after drawing a foul on an offensive rebound. That put Muhlenberg up by four, but once again McDaniel came back.

Courtney, limited to 17 minutes by foul trouble the last time the two teams played, scored a game-high 24 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Boyle finished with 13 points, and Piscadlo scored 14 to go along with the 11 assists she needed to surpass Sarah Clarke (1996-99) on the Mules’ all-time list.

“It’s definitely exciting that it happened, and I have to thank my teammates for allowing it to happen,” she said. “ I knew I had a chance to [break the record] and I felt if it was meant to happen then it would happen. As long as we were winning, that was what was going to make me the happiest.”

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Last updated February 16, 2006