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Muhlenberg College

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

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Women’s basketball

Men’s basketball topples defending champs

The debut of the “Zach attack” was a little bit wack.

In his first career start for the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team, junior Zachary Rosenberg shot an airball on the first possession of Monday’s 73-65 win at Swarthmore.

Things went a lot better in the second start. Rosenberg scored a
Brian Frankoski
Starting at point guard in place of the Mules’ injured captain, junior Brian Frankoski had 8 points and 8 assists.
career-high 12 points, and his shooting and hustle helped the Mules to a big 86-68 win over
video of Peter Barnes dunk
Click above to see the video of Barnes’ dunk.
defending Centennial Conference champion – and defending national semifinalist – Ursinus.

The two teams began the day tied for fifth place in the CC. With the win, Muhlenberg (10-7, 6-5) moves into a tie for fourth with Johns Hopkins, while the Bears (9-9, 5-6) slip into a three-way for sixth with Haverford and Washington.

“I missed the hoop by about 10 feet,” joked Rosenberg of that first shot. “It was a little nerve-racking [starting for the first time]. There were still some nerves tonight. But I’m a shooter, and I take every opportunity. I got the ball and let it fly, and it went in this time.”

It went in twice in the first four minutes against Ursinus, capping a game-opening 15-3 spurt, which included a thunderous, posterizing dunk by junior Peter Barnes that helped set the tone for the game. The Bears never quite recovered, although they closed to within four points on three different occasions.

Rosenberg also recorded a rebound and an assist in the opening run and finished with five rebounds (four on the offensive end), five assists and a blocked shot in addition to his 12 points. He also drew an offensive foul early in the second half.

“I always try to play as hard as I can,” he said. “You never know how long you are going to be able to play.”

The Mules shot 47.1 percent in scoring a season-high 46 first-half points. Ahead by 14 at the break, they were up 17 midway through the second half when Ursinus began to make a push.

A 7-0 run cut the spread to 10, and a subsequent 8-0 run brought the Bears to within five, 67-62, with the six-minute mark approaching. Two free throws with 5:14 left made the score 70-66, but Muhlenberg stayed poised. Junior Ryan Foster hit a three-pointer on the next possession, and the Mules reeled off the final 13 points of the game, holding Ursinus scoreless for the last 4:04.

“We haven’t finished a team like that all year,” noted Rosenberg.

Barnes enjoyed great success against the Bears’ guard-oriented lineup, scoring 20 points on perfect 7-of-7 shooting. He also pulled down 10 rebounds and blocked three shots. Five Mules in all scored in double figures, with sophomore Evan Tozer (15 points), freshman Spencer Liddic (13) and Foster (11) joining Rosenberg and Barnes.

“I thought we just played so hard tonight. Everybody was picking everybody up,” said Rosenberg.

And just in time. “This is the start of our run to the playoffs,” he continued. “We’ve got seven more conference games, and coach figures we need to win six to guarantee a playoff spot. This was the start of something that could be really special.”
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.

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