Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Saturday, January 20, 2007
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Basketball Swept at Washington
Both Hoops Games Come Down to Stretch

Two impressive streaks ended when Muhlenberg lost at Washington, 64-63.

The Mules (13-2, 8-2) had won 22 straight against the Shorewomen (8-8, 3-7), dating back to 1996, and had come out victorious in their last 12 games that were decided by seven points or fewer.

This time Muhlenberg could not pull out the win down the stretch. The Mules, who never led in the second half, had two shots to tie the game in the last 15 seconds, but missed the front end of a one-and-one while down two and a three-pointer with a three-point deficit.

Senior Meghan Courtney put back the missed three with 2.2 seconds left. Washington missed a free throw with 1.1 ticks on the clock, but Muhlenberg could not get off another shot.

Courtney finished with a game-high 23 points to move into a tie for sixth place on the program’s all-time scoring list with 910 career points. Junior Abra Like recorded career highs of 11 assists and eight rebounds, and sophomore Kaitlin Strumph pulled down a career-best 10 boards.

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Muhlenberg overcame a 12-point second-half deficit to take a lead with three minutes to play, but Washington closed out the game with a 9-2 run and sent the Mules to their fifth loss in a row.

Trailing 45-33 two minutes into the second half, Muhlenberg (5-11, 4-6) went on a 21-8 run to take a 54-53 lead on senior Chris Pothering’s three-pointer at the 10-minute mark. After falling behind again, the Mules went ahead 63-62 when senior Tom Scott posted up and hit a jumper.

The Shoremen (3-12, 2-7) answered with a three, and Muhlenberg failed to score on its next four possessions.

Senior Justin Fields led the Mules with 16 points, while Scott added 10.

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When it opened its dual-meet season against NYU and Elizabethtown last week, the Muhlenberg wrestling team did not record a pin, and earned bonus points in only one completed bout.

The Mules made up for it in their first Centennial Conference duals of the year, notching a total of eight pins – all but one in the first period – in decisive victories against Johns Hopkins (31-18) and host Gettysburg (39-15).

Junior Joe Tartar and sophomore Billy Hall each recorded a pair of falls for the Mules, whose scores compared nicely with those of four-time defending CC champion Ursinus (28-18 against Hopkins and 39-10 against Gettysburg) in the double-dual.

Muhlenberg (2-1-1, 2-0) fell behind in both matches, which started at 165, but used its strength at the upper and lower weights to more than overcome the deficits.

Senior Matt Loesch (197), Tartar (HWT), Hall (133) and sophomore Rob Kein all went 2-0 on the day, with senior Michael Tenenhaus picking up a pair of forfeit wins at 125.

Down 13-0 after three bouts against Johns Hopkins, the Mules won the next six bouts with three falls, a major decision and a forfeit. In the Gettysburg match, Muhlenberg turned a 3-0 deficit into a 39-3 advantage with seven wins in a row.

Matt Loesch
Including tournaments, Loesch is 30-0 against CC wrestlers in his career.

Both of Tartar’s pins came in the first period, one against the defending CC heavyweight champion. He has 11 pins among his 16 victories. Tartar also flattened 11 opponents two years ago and is only the second Mule wrestler to reach that level twice.

Hall’s two pins, also in the first period, kept him undefeated (10-0) for the season at 133 heading into Wednesday’s potential home showdown against the second-ranked wrestler in Division III. Hall is ranked eighth.

With his two wins, Loesch remained perfect (19-0) in his career in CC dual meets. His first pin of the season came in the first period against a Hopkins wrestler who came in with a 20-8 record.

Kein extended his winning streak to 11 with an overtime victory and his first pin of the season. He now leads the team in wins with a 17-2 record.

Freshman Jared Vivacqua recorded his first career pin in just 51 seconds for Muhlenberg’s first points of the Gettysburg match.

Click here for box scores.

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Last updated January 20, 2007