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Muhlenberg College

Saturday, January 5, 2008

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women’s basketball comes back from break;
comes back to win

Points were so hard to come by at times, the Muhlenberg women’s basketball had to find creative ways of scoring.

With 12 minutes left in the second half of the Mules’ home game against Alvernia, senior Abra Like inbounded the ball from under the basket. Her pass was deflected by a Crusader, right into the hands of Like herself, who had followed the pass in. She caught the ball behind the arc and swished a shot for three of her seven points.

The strange play, which gave Muhlenberg a 58-54 lead, was part
Kelly McKeon
McKeon scored 11 of her 16 points in the first half. She also pulled down eight rebounds and dished out five assists.
of a second-half showing that enabled the Mules to overcome dreadful early shooting and defeat Alvernia, 78-72, in their first game in 19 days.

“Not at all,” said Like with a laugh when asked if she planned to pass the ball to herself. “But when I made the shot I felt like I redeemed myself. Whenever you make a mistake you want to do something good.”

The team did plenty of good things on offense in the first half, except make shots. Muhlenberg started 1-for-17 and shot just 25 percent in the first 20 minutes despite getting good looks. The Mules (7-3) trailed by only two points at the break, however, thanks to a 33-22 rebounding advantage, back-to-back three-pointers by senior Michelle Feldman and a buzzer-beating jumper by freshman Kelly McKeon.

“A lot of it was confidence,” said Like of the shooting. “We’re getting back into it and getting our legs back. It was good to see us fight through it.”

Muhlenberg made eight of its first nine attempts in the second half to take a 53-49 lead with 13:54 left. The Crusaders (3-6) came back to tie the game at 58 before the Mules scored the next five points – all off second chances – to take the lead for good.

Freshman Sheila Cook, who finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds for her second double-double, scored the first of the five points on a free throws, and junior Lauren Boyle (game-high 17 points) followed with a pair of jumpers.

The lead was down to one, 65-64, with 7:43 remaining, when Muhlenberg went on an 8-0 run to open up the largest lead by either side. Sophomore Maiza Mock scored all five of her points in the stretch, which included a drawn charge by junior Bethany Enterline.

The Mules held Alvernia to one field goal over the final 7:42, but free throws kept the Crusaders within striking distance. Boyle’s jumper with 1:25 to play doubled a two-point lead to four, and Muhlenberg clinched the win by forcing a shot-clock violation with under a minute left.

“We’ve been working on getting back to where we were before the break – that mental side where everyone is on the same page,” said Like. “It was good to have this game, especially before [Centennial Conference rival] McDaniel.”
Click here for box score.

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