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Muhlenberg College

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

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basketball players honored

Women’s Basketball Up to No. 15, Men Up to No. 2

The Muhlenberg women’s basketball team climbed up to a tie for No. 15 in the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Division III poll. The Mules are ranked 20th in the poll.

In the NCAA statistical rankings, Muhlenberg is fourth in fewest turnovers per game (14.3) and sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.09). As a team, the Mules also rank in the top 20 in three-point field-goal percentage defense (19th at .252) and, most importantly, won-lost percentage (14th at .870).

Individually, freshman Alexandra Chili is second in three-pointers per game (3.4), and sophomore Kelly McKeon is 10th in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.37).

The Muhlenberg men are in the top 25 in Division III in four defensive categories, headed by their No. 2 standing in field-goal percentage defense (.377). They also are 13th in rebound margin (7.5), 16th in blocked shots per game (4.8) and 25th in scoring defense (61.9). Muhlenberg is the only Division III school in the top 25 in all four categories.

The Mules have held five straight opponents (Haverford, Gettysburg, DeSales, Swarthmore and Johns Hopkins) under 60 points. The last time they did that was exactly 60 years ago in the 1948-49 season, when the opponents were Bucknell, Lehigh, Long Island, La Salle and Cornell.

Muhlenberg basketball opponents have had to contend with the “Killer B’s” this season.

Women’s senior Lauren Boyle and men’s junior Peter Barnes opened the year by being named Scotty Wood Tournament MVPs, and with the season Lauren Boyle winding down they were honored together once again. Both were named to the Lehigh Valley Small College Team of the Year at the final Lehigh Valley College Basketball Media Organization luncheon of the 2008-09 season.

Boyle ranks in the top 10 in the Centennial Conference in scoring (14.1 points per game), field-goal percentage (.438), free-throw percentage (.824), assists (69) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.41). She is third all-time at Muhlenberg in points (1,409) and field goals (566) and fifth in assists (266) and free throws (239). The two-time first-team All-CC pick recently became the fourth player in league history with 1,400 points and 250 assists.

“Lauren is one of those players who doesn’t care about stats,” said head coach Ron Rohn. “I think if she cared at Peter Barnes all about records her numbers would be off the charts. She just cares about winning.”

Boyle has excelled in that area as well, leading the Mules to a four-year record of 86-20 (.811), three CC regular-season titles and two CC tournament championships, with a chance at a third next weekend.

Unlike Boyle, who made an immediate impact at Muhlenberg, Barnes has progressed to become one of the top big men in the CC after scoring a total of 17 points as a rookie.

“Peter’s come a long way since his freshman year,” noted head coach Dave Madeira. “Around the league people say how much he’s improved, and it’s through a lot of hard work on his part. He’s a force at both ends of the floor, and he keeps getting better.”

Barnes leads the Mules in scoring (12.6 points per game), rebounding (9.0 per game), field-goal percentage (.589) and blocked shots (45). He leads the CC with nine double-doubles and ranks 30th in Division III in shooting percentage. Barnes’ 85 career blocked shots tie him for sixth on the program’s all-time list.

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