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Muhlenberg College

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

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women’s hoops moves into first-place tie

As far as secret weapons go, this one couldn’t have been hidden much better.

Bethany Enterline provided some rare offense with three baskets
Michelle Feldman
The victory put seniors Michelle Feldman (pictured) and Abra Like into a tie for the winningest class in program history, with a four-year record of 75-29. Feldman contributed four points and three assists, while Like had three points and three steals.
in a key run as the Muhlenberg women’s basketball team defeated Dickinson, 68-62, for its seventh straight win.

The victory moved the Mules (19-5, 14-3) into a tie for first place in the Centennial Conference with the Red Devils (16-7, 14-3) with one game to play in the regular season. Franklin & Marshall (18-6, 13-4) also is in the running for the top seed in the CC playoffs.

Enterline came into the contest without a point in her last five games and without a field goal in her last seven. The junior forward, whose action is limited by a persistent injury, usually plays for just a minute or two at a time.

“I just try to bring toughness to the court – be physical with the post players, wear them down,” she said. “I love to make plays, like taking a charge or getting a tough rebound. Any little play that can give a spark to the team is what I want to do.”

Muhlenberg needed a spark after seeing what had been
Men Still Alive for Playoffs

The Muhlenberg men’s basketball team finds itself in a familiar situation after falling at Dickinson, 59-50, for its fourth straight loss.

Each of the last two years, the Mules entered their regular-season finale against Ursinus at 8-9 in the Centennial Conference and needing a win to qualify for the playoffs. That is the case again this year, but the task will be a daunting one, as the Bears are ranked 17th in Division III and are 17-0 in the CC.

Muhlenberg would have clinched a playoff berth with a win against the Red Devils, but the two teams are now tied for the fifth and final playoff spot. Dickinson (12-11, 8-9) broke a 25-all tie with an 8-0 run early in the second half, and the Mules (10-14, 8-9) never caught up.

Sophomore Ryan Foster scored 13 of his team-high 16 points in the second half, connecting on three of four 3-point tries. Sophomore Obi Nwizugbo added 14 points.
Click here for box score.

a 14-point lead slashed to one (44-43) with 10:34 left in the second half. Dickinson had a possession with a chance to take the lead, but the Mules stole the ball, and freshman Kelly McKeon pushed the ball up the court and found Enterline under the basket for a left-handed layup that turned into a three-point play.

After an exchange of layups, Enterline scored two more points on a putback, then converted a long pass for another layup. The seven points, a season high, were part of a 13-4 run that gave the Mules a double-digit lead, at 57-47, with under six minutes remaining.

“It was as surprising to me as to anyone else,” joked Enterline of her offensive explosion. “I was trying to do the things I usually do and just got scoring opportunities. They were pretty easy shots.”

Easy shots are not the norm when Muhlenberg faces the tough pressure defense of Dickinson. The Mules were held to an average of 40 points in dropping their last four games to the Red Devils, but came out smoking in this one.

Two three-pointers by sophomore Alexis Bates and three layups by freshman Sheila Cook staked Muhlenberg to a 23-9 lead midway through the first half. The Mules were up by 10 points at halftime, their 33 points nearly equal to their total output against Dickinson (34 and 35) in two games last year.

The Red Devils clawed their way back, but Muhlenberg, playing its second straight close game after going more than a month without one, kept its composure and hung on for its ninth straight home win.

“It was a great team effort,” noted Enterline. “We have a lot of different threats, and when it came down to it as a team we made the plays.”

Bates finished with a team-high 16 points, Cook added 10, and junior Lauren Boyle scored 12, including three clinching free throws in the last 21.4 seconds. Junior Erin McSherry recorded nine points, 10 rebounds and five blocked shots.

McKeon added six assists, setting a school record for freshman with 94 assists on the season.

Dickinson, which came in 10th in Division III in steals per game and first in the CC in turnover margin, forced the Mules, who were second in Division III in assist-to-turnover ratio and fewest turnovers, into 22 turnovers. But Muhlenberg shot 50 percent from the field and dominated the boards, outrebounding the Red Devils, 42-24.
Click here for box score.

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