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Muhlenberg College

Monday, December 15, 2008

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hoop teams split with hounds

The last Muhlenberg athletic events of the calendar year 2008 served as a reminder that while defense may win more games, there’s a reason the first letter in ESPN stands for “entertainment:” There’s nothing quite like an offensive shootout.

The Muhlenberg men’s team salvaged a split of the home basketball doubleheader against Moravian,
Mike Bernardini
Mike Bernardini’s three-pointer with 5:50 left gave the Mules the lead for good.
tightening on defense down the stretch for a 69-54 win. That came on the heels of a record performance by freshman Alexandra Chili in the women’s team’s first loss of the season, 98-87.

The results left Muhlenberg with a 6-3 lead in the Matte Award standings for 2008-09. The next scheduled Matte contest is a women’s lacrosse game on March 11.

Defense early and late was the key in the men’s game. The Mules (4-2) held the Greyhounds (3-6) without a field goal for the first 6:29, opening up a 14-3 lead. But Moravian clawed back to take a 27-25 lead into the locker room.

The second half remained close, with neither team leading by more than five points until the final five minutes. The Mules trailed 50-48 with nine minutes left before holding the Greyhounds to one field goal the rest of the way, closing out with a 21-4 run.

Junior Peter Barnes, saddled with foul trouble for most of the first half, scored nine of his game-high 21 points in the game-winning run, and junior Ryan Foster added five of his 10, two on an alley-oop layup off a pass from junior Brian Frankoski.

Sophomore Evan Tozer helped Muhlenberg to the early lead by making back-to-back three-pointers and finished with 17 points, matching his career high. Freshman Spencer Liddic chipped in with seven points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.

The first half of the women’s game was everything you’d expect from two teams that came in nationally ranked and went to double overtime last year: 10 lead changes and three ties. The second half was nothing like that.

Moravian and Muhlenberg combined to shoot 63.8 percent – 76.5 percent (13 of 17) from three-point range – and score 114 points in the final 20 minutes.

The Greyhounds (7-1), who came in ranked 23rd by the WBCA and 26th by D3hoops.com, made all five of their three-point attempts in the first four minutes of the second half to open up a double-digit lead. The bulge swelled to 20, 71-51, with just over nine minutes left before Chili nearly singlehandedly brought the Mules back.

Chili made seven three-pointers in the final 6:13, including one on which she was fouled. The four-point play brought Muhlenberg (ranked 14th by D3hoops.com and 18th by the WBCA) to within five, 84-79, with 3:21 left, but that was as close as the game would get.

Chili finished with 33 points, the most by a Muhlenberg player since 1992 and a school record for freshmen. Her nine three-pointers tied the school record set by Gwen Doyle against Haverford in the 2004-05 year.

The sensational performance overshadowed one by senior Erin McSherry, who scored a career-high 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting.
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.

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