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Muhlenberg College

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

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reserves lead men’s hoops past garnet

Tim Murray is used to waiting his turn. The 6-7 junior forward played only 34 varsity minutes in 15 games his first
Ryan Foster
Foster had two breakaway dunks in the second half. This one gave the Mules a 62-52 lead with 7:12 remaining.
two seasons on Muhlenberg basketball teams dominated by upperclassmen.

Now one of the first players off the bench, Murray didn’t have long to wait against Swarthmore. When starting center Peter Barnes picked up his second foul less than five minutes into the game, Murray came in and, along with other reserves, helped the Mules to an 80-62 victory.

The win was the second straight for the young Muhlenberg team. It came against an experienced Garnet squad that starts four seniors, including the top-scoring post player in the Centennial Conference, Ian McCormick, who came in averaging 20.4 points.

“I didn’t expect to come in that early,” said Murray, who finished with a career-high eight points and pulled down seven rebounds. “It was great to play that many minutes.”

The Mules (3-3, 2-1) trailed 9-7 when Murray came in and soon were behind 12-7. Murray had three rebounds, the last an offensive board that led to a putback basket, in a 10-0 run that gave Muhlenberg the lead for good.

As important as his points and rebounds was his defense on McCormick. The Swarthmore center scored only six points in the first half and picked up his third foul when Murray took a charge with 2:51 left in the half. McCormick scored a game-high 16 points, but was just 6-for-18 from the field.

“We knew he’s one of the best players in the conference,” said Murray. “We tried to emphasize fronting him and helping out when he did get the ball in the post. We really frustrated him.”

The Mules wrapped a 14-2 run around halftime to turn a slight 36-33 lead into a 50-35 bulge. The Garnet (2-4, 0-3) got no closer than seven points the rest of the way and was held without a field goal for the final seven minutes as Muhlenberg pulled away.

Sophomore Obi Nwizugbo led four Mules in double figures with 14 points and also pulled down a team-best eight rebounds. Junior Mike Bernardini scored 13 points, and sophomore Ryan Foster added 12.

Muhlenberg also received significant production (35 points) from its bench. Sophomore Darrell Roth scored a career-high 13 points on perfect 4-of-4 shooting from the field, and senior Greg Pask had six points, seven rebounds and two drawn charges.

“I love my role,” said Murray. “Pete’s doing a great job, and if he gets in foul trouble or needs a break I can be a spark off the bench. I just try to play good defense and get rebounds.”
Click here for box score.

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