Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Wednesday, January 17, 2007
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It’s always a close one when the Mules battle the Bears.

The Muhlenberg women’s basketball team pulled out a hard-fought victory over conference rival Ursinus, 63-60, at Memorial Hall. The win was the Mules’ third in a row over the Bears, dating back to last season. Last year Muhlenberg (13-1, 8-1) defeated Ursinus by two points at home to close out the regular season, exactly one month after earning an overtime victory in Collegeville, Pa.
Brenna Ferster
Ferster, who came into the game having made one three-pointer all season, drilled one in each half against Ursinus, both in clutch situations — one to stifle an 8-2 Bear run in the first half, and the second to put the Mules up by eight with 10:10 remaining in the game.
The win is also the Mules’ first at home since suffering their first loss of the season to McDaniel last Thursday.

After missing the first of two free throws, sophomore Kaitlin Strumph hit the second to put the Mules up by three with 6.2 seconds remaining in the game. Ursinus (7-7, 4-4) got a good look at a three-pointer at the buzzer but was unable to connect, giving Muhlenberg the win.

“I was really nervous,” Strumph said, “but after the first shot was short, Coach just told me to use my legs.”

The game stayed close for 40 minutes, with the Mules holding the lead for all but 58 seconds early in the first half.

“We really stepped up our intensity in this game,” said Strumph, who tied a career high with three assists and added five points and three rebounds.

Muhlenberg led by as many as nine, 15-6, with 11:01 remaining in the first half when sophomore Erin McSherry hit a layup off a handoff in traffic from Strumph. The Bears then went on a 12-5 run over the next 4:56 to cut the difference to two, 20-18. Ursinus pulled as close as a point twice down the stretch, including after two made free throws with 15 seconds remaining, cutting the Mules’ lead to 35-34 at the break.

In the second half, Muhlenberg tied its largest lead of the game when the team went up 54-45 on two free throws by senior Meghan Courtney, who finished the game with 15 points, seven

The Muhlenberg men’s basketball team came back from an early seven-point deficit to take a 23-22 lead against defending Centennial Conference champion Ursinus when freshman Ryan Foster hit a jumper with 6:50 left in the first half.

That would be the last time the Mules scored for a while, however. The Bears (9-6, 6-2) closed out the half on a 21-0 run, then scored the first eight points of the second half en route to an 89-49 win.

Sophomore Mike Bernardini scored 15 points for the Mules (5-10, 4-5), who suffered their fourth loss in a row.

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rebounds, two steals, one block and one assist.

Once again the Mules let the lead dwindle, missing three straight free throws to allow the Bears to pull within two, 62-60, on a second-chance layup after two missed free throws with 20.1 seconds remaining. Sophomore Lauren Boyle was fouled on the Mules’ next possession but missed the front end of a one-and-one. The Bears then attempted a three to take the lead, but it was off the mark and pulled down by Strumph, who was fouled and sank the second of two free throws.

“We needed this win to put us a couple games over Ursinus in the conference standings,” said freshman Brenna Ferster, who played a strong game for the Mules. She scored a career-high six points in 17 minutes when junior Abra Like got into foul trouble.

Ferster even stepped up and took a charge against the Bears’ Molly Guntli, who holds a seven-inch height advantage.

“I just had to step up and take it for the team,” Ferster said.

Also stepping up for the team was Boyle. After starting the game 0-for-6 from the field, Boyle made her next six shots and finished the first half with 13 points. She had 17 points on the game to go along with four assists. Senior Emily Wright added 10 points for the Mules.

Click here for box score.

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Last updated January 17, 2007