Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Wednesday, February 8, 2006
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On a night when the rest of Muhlenberg’s Class of 2006 was celebrating 100 days until graduation, Jimmy O’Brien helped the men’s
Tom Scott
Scott, who scored three of the Mules’ first five field goals and assisted on the other two, is the fourth Muhlenberg player to record a double-double this season.
basketball team celebrate its first Centennial Conference road win of the season.

The Mules scored early and often, setting a school record with 14

The Muhlenberg women’s basketball team is third in the Mid-Atlantic Region in the first rankings released by the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Committee this season.

These rankings, and not those of any top-25 national poll, are the ones used as guidelines for NCAA Tournament selection and seeding. For purposes of these rankings, only games against regional opponents count.

NCAA Mid-Atlantic Rankings
Team Region Overall
1 Scranton 14-0 20-1
2 Messiah 16-1 19-2
3 MUHLENBERG 18-2 18-2
4 Johns Hopkins 13-2 16-4
5 Moravian 16-4 17-4
6 Gwynedd-Mercy 16-3 17-3
three-pointers and shooting 61.8 percent in the first half en route to a 95-43 win at Swarthmore.

“I’d rather be spending my time with these guys, hopefully making a run at the playoffs,” said the team’s lone senior. “Pretty much the rest of the games are must-wins, so this was huge for us.”

The victory kept Muhlenberg (12-10, 7-8) in a tie for the fifth and final CC playoff spot with Haverford, a 85-75 winner against Washington. McDaniel entered the night also tied for fifth but fell to Johns Hopkins, 82-77.

The Mules made seven of their first eight field-goal attempts, opening up a 16-2 lead after junior Jeff Stewart stole a pass and dribbled three-quarters of the court for a layup. Muhlenberg had a 30-11 advantage midway through the first half and closed the half on a 17-0 run to take a 51-18 lead into the locker room.

Junior Tom Scott completed his first career double-double in the first half (15 points, 10 rebounds) and finished with 23 points and a career-high 11 boards. Stewart scored all 14 of his points in the first half and added nine rebounds.

Brandon Mefford Six Mules combined to make eight of 12 three-point tries in the first half, when Muhlenberg committed only three turnovers.

Left out of the offensive party was O’Brien, who scored all six of his points in the first three minutes of the second half, but he played a big role in the defensive effort that held the Garnet (4-18, 3-12) to 23.5-percent first-half shooting. He guarded Swarthmore’s 6-8 center, who had a strong beginning when the teams met earlier this season.

“I just tried to front him and keep the ball out of his hands. I got in a little foul trouble, but I also got him into foul trouble,” said O’Brien, who drew a charge in the lane at the 12:10 mark. “I didn’t mind that I wasn’t scoring – I love to see everybody play well.”

Everybody played well enough, with 14 of the 16 active players scoring points, to bring the Mules’ eight-game road losing streak to a crashing halt. The 95 points were the most scored by Muhlenberg in a regulation road win in 15 years.

“It was mostly a mental block we had to get over,” said O’Brien of the team’s road struggles. “We had a team meeting Monday and went over our goals. I think that helped a lot. We realized we could play with anyone in this league.”

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Junior Brandon Mefford hustled for this offensive rebound and putback that gave Muhlenberg a 32-13 lead with 8:24 left in the first.

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Last updated February 8, 2006