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Muhlenberg College

Sunday, December 16, 2007

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men’s basketball returns with win

Peter Barnes Note: This article was altered on Dec. 17 to reflect changes in the official statistics.

A week of final exams and a long bus trip didn’t cool off the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team.

Playing for the first time in eight days, the Mules defeated North Carolina Wesleyan, 72-61, in the first round of the Briggs Elliott December Classic for their fourth straight win. They advanced to play host Randolph-Macon, an 81-74 winner against Arcadia, in the championship game.

This win came against a solid Battling Bishop team whose previous three losses were to a Division I squad, East Carolina, by 19 points and two Division III teams that have been ranked in the top 10 this year, Virginia Wesleyan by 23 points and Guilford by 11 points.

Muhlenberg (5-3) trailed 27-23 with two minutes left in the first half before wrapping a 15-3 run around halftime to open up an eight-point lead. Junior Mike Bernardini scored the first 10 of the 15 points and finished with a season-high 20 points.

The Bishops (4-4) never got closer than six points the rest of the way, although they did cut their largest deficit, 14 (58-44 with five minutes left) to six (64-58 with two minutes left). The Mules clinched the victory by going 8-for-8 from the foul line in the final 1:37.

Sophomore Peter Barnes (left) scored seven points and pulled down a career-high 14 rebounds, 12 in the second half. Muhlenberg out rebounded North Carolina Wesleyan by a 24-14 margin in the second half.

Freshman Evan Tozer chipped in 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting.
Click here for box score.

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