Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Saturday, February 10, 2007
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THRICE AS NICE FOR MEN’S BASKETBALL

If the game is close down the stretch, the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team will probably win.

Today was no different, as the Mules held off McDaniel on the road, 69-68, for their third win in a row.

Justin Fields
Fields scored the winning points in another game earlier this season, that time on a tip-in at the buzzer for a first-round win at the Scotty Wood Tournament.
With the game tied at 68-68 with 1.5 seconds remaining, Muhlenberg senior Tom Scott found classmate Justin Fields for a layup attempt, but Fields was fouled.

“We practice that play every day for situations just like that one,” Scott said. “It’s not where I typically throw the pass from because we had the ball in the corner, but we executed it anyway and it worked out pretty well.”

Fields made the second of two free throws to give the Mules (8-14, 7-9) a one-point lead, 69-68, and McDaniel immediately called a timeout.

“We looked at each other in the huddle and told each other that we weren’t going to lose this game no matter what,” Scott said.

The Green Terror (10-12, 7-9) set up for a half-court heave at the buzzer, but it was off the mark, giving Muhlenberg the win.

This was the Mules’ seventh game of the season decided by five points or fewer, improving their record to 5-2 in such games.

Muhlenberg senior Christopher Strachan opened scoring with a three-pointer just over one minute into the game, and the Mules never gave up the lead. They led by as many as 10 in the first half and went into the locker room with an eight-point lead, 33-25.

In the second half, the Mules took another 10-point lead, 44-34, with 14:30 to go, and then the Green Terror made it interesting. McDaniel went on a 13-5 run over the next three minutes to cut the lead to two, 49-47. Muhlenberg grew the lead back up to nine with 8:09 to go, but another run by McDaniel – 12-4 this time, capped by three free throws from Ryan Brandenberg after he was fouled in the act of shooting behind the arc – cut the lead to just one, 63-62.

Muhlenberg led by as many as four with 1:22 to go, but two McDaniel free throws followed by a steal and a fast break layup tied the game at 68-68 in the final seconds. Fields then scored the winning free throw to give the Mules the win.

Fields led a balanced scoring attack in which five Muhlenberg players notched double figures. He finished the game with 13 points. Scott added 12 points and nine boards, while seniors Brandon Mefford and Jimmie Riggins each contributed 11 points. Sophomore Mike Bernardini added another 10 for the Mules.

Mefford’s 11 points tied a career high.

“Someone asked me about scoring 11 points today, and I answered them by holding up three fingers,” Mefford said. “They asked me what that meant, and I said that’s how many games I have left. All of the seniors are realizing how few games are left, and they have really stepped it up. Even the underclassmen have been playing hard for us because they want to see us go out in style.”

The win today helps Muhlenberg’s push towards qualifying for the Centennial Conference playoffs. The Mules are now in a four-way tie for the fifth and final playoff spot with two games remaining, including one against second-place Ursinus.

“We’re confident that we have a shot at making the playoffs,” Mefford said. “We can’t look too far ahead, but our confidence and morale are definitely up.”

Click here for box score.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL GETS TERRORIZED

With a six-game win streak on the line, the Muhlenberg women’s basketball team lost to McDaniel, 55-43. Earlier this season, the Green Terror snapped Muhlenberg’s 11-game victory streak and handed the team its first loss of 2006-07.

Senior Meghan Courtney led the Mules (19-4, 12-4) in today’s defeat with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Sophomore Erin McSherry added a career-high 11 boards.

The game stayed close for most of the first half. McDaniel (20-2, 14-1) started the game on a 10-0 run, but then Courtney took over. She scored eight of the team’s 10 points in a 10-2 run that cut Muhlenberg’s deficit to two, 12-10, with 13:05 remaining in the first half.

Neither team scored a field goal over the next 6:31, as the only point during that stretch came on a free-throw by McSherry to bring the Mules within one, 12-11.

The Green Terror increased their lead to six, 17-11, on fast break layup with 5:34 to go, but once again the Mules staged a comeback and eventually tied the game at 20-20 on a three-pointer from the corner by senior Emily Wright with just under a minute remaining. McDaniel regained the lead on a free throw with 46 seconds left on the clock and went in the locker room with a one-point lead.

In the second half, the Mules found themselves trailing by only three, 36-33, with 10:36 to go, but McDaniel went on an 11-0 run over the next five minutes to pull away. Muhlenberg got no closer than nine in the final five minutes and dropped the game, 55-43.

Click here for box score.


Questions or comments? Send mail to falk@muhlenberg.edu
Last updated February 10, 2007