Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Thursday, February 1, 2007
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Television watchers at home in the Lehigh Valley on Thursday night could have turned on CBS at 9:00 to watch Grey’s Anatomy. Or they could have flipped to Service Electric around the same time to watch the Cardinal & Grey’s recovery.

The Muhlenberg women’s basketball team came from seven points down in the final four minutes to defeat Moravian, 68-65, in a rivalry game broadcast live on TV.

Sophomore Lauren Boyle scored a career-high 29 points, breaking a 64-all tie
Abra Like
Like’s steal ...
by hitting four straight free throws in the final minute. The Mules (17-3) are 23-3 the last two years in games in which the margin was five points or fewer any time in the last five minutes.

“It’s a confidence level,” said junior Abra Like, who hit a big three-pointer in the comeback. “Seeing us win all those close games last year gives you confidence, and the excitement of a close game gives you extra energy.”

After falling behind 59-52 – their biggest deficit since the Greyhounds (10-10) scored the first eight points of the game – with 3:37 left in the second half, the
Abra Like
... and full-court layup five minutes into the first half capped a 7-0 run that cut Moravian’s early lead to 10-9. The Mules took their first lead with 8:17 left in the half and were up by five at halftime.
Mules scored the next seven points. Boyle’s layup off an inbounds pass from Like, a three-pointer by senior Emily Wright and two free throws by senior Meghan Courtney knotted the score at 59 with 2:15 left to play.

Courtney blocked a shot at the other end, then passed to Like for a three-pointer that put Muhlenberg ahead, 62-59. Moravian answered with a three of its own, and a rapid exchange of layups left the game tied at 64 with just under a minute left.

On the Mules’ next possession, Boyle was fouled while receiving a pass in the post from freshman Kaitlyn O’Malley (who tied a career high with 10 points). She made both ends of the one-and-one with 40.7 seconds showing. After a Greyhound miss, sophomore Erin McSherry tracked down her 10th rebound of the game on the baseline.

With 17.1 ticks to play, Boyle was fouled, and again made both ends of the one-and-one. Moravian closed to within three by making one of two free throws with 9.9 seconds left. Muhlenberg missed a free throw with 8.8 seconds on the clock, giving the Greyhounds a chance to tie the game, but they rushed a three-point try, and the rebound went out of bounds to the Mules with 1.6 left.

Like dribbled out the clock to secure Muhlenberg’s second straight win against Moravian. The victory also extended the Muhlenberg lead in the Matte Award standings for the 2006-07 year to 7-2 heading into the spring season.

“It may not have as much meaning to the freshmen, since they haven’t experienced the rivalry, but this is a big deal,” said Like. “I remember when they beat us freshman year and it was no fun. I wanted to win this for Meghan [Courtney] and Emily [Wright].”

The Mules’ two seniors not only own two wins against Moravian, but also 73 wins in 100 career games. That puts them in a tie with last year’s seniors as the winningest class in team history.

Courtney finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots. The 11 points moved her to within 19 of 1,000 for her career, and the blocks gave her 102 for her career. She is the 20th player in Centennial Conference history to reach the century mark in blocked shots.

It was Boyle, however, who stole the show, topping her previous career high of 25. She went 12-for-12 from the foul line and shook off a 4-for-16 start from the field by making her last four shots.

“I try to get her the ball as much as possible. I know that she has a hot hand, and if she’s not hitting them now, she’ll hit ’em later,” said Like.

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Last updated February 1, 2007