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Muhlenberg College

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

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Women’s basketball

Men’s basketball sends seniors to playoffs

Like many basketball players entering college, Mike Bernardini was primarily concerned with his offense
Tim Murray
Senior Tim Murray made his first start of the year and scored two points.
when he came to Muhlenberg four years ago. So it was a sign of how far he has come that his biggest play in his last scheduled home game with the Mules came on the defensive end of the court.

Bernardini’s drawn charge with 12.7 seconds left helped Muhlenberg hold off Dickinson, 76-70, on Senior Night. The win sent the Mules back to the Centennial Conference playoffs after a one-year absence.

With one game left in the regular season, Muhlenberg (15-9, 11-6) is in third place in the CC, a game ahead of Gettysburg. If the Mules stay ahead of Gettysburg, they earn a bye to the semifinals of the CC playoffs. If the two teams tie, Muhlenberg will host a first-round playoff game next Wednesday.

The Mules finish up at Ursinus on Saturday, while Gettysburg hosts McDaniel.

Muhlenberg’s fifth straight CC win was just the latest in a
Brian Frankoski
Frankoski scored five straight points to give the Mules a 27-20 lead with seven minutes left in the first half.
string of close games. The Mules led by 12 with less than seven minutes left, but the Red Devils (11-12, 5-12) came back to tie the score at 68-all with 1:53 left.

On the next possession, junior Peter Barnes scored down low to put Muhlenberg back up by two.

After a Red Devil miss, the Mules turned the ball over with less than 50 seconds on the clock. Junior Brian Frankoski stole a long outlet pass, however, and junior Ryan Foster made a couple of free throws with 35.9 seconds left, making the score 72-68.

Dickinson was trying to score points quickly on its next possession when Bernardini saved the day.

“It was probably the first recorded charge of my career,” he joked. “I saw the guy coming in out of control, stepped in and just hoped I got the call.”

He did, and he also made two free throws 1.1 seconds later to put the nail in the coffin.

Bernardini, one of four seniors who have led the Mules to their first 15-win season since 2002 and their first 11-win CC season ever, finished with 11 points. Classmate Darrell Roth began the game on fire in his first starting of the season, scoring 8 of his 10 points in the first 4:34. Chris MacIntosh dished out six assists.

Sophomore Evan Tozer led the balanced Muhlenberg attack with 13 points, and Barnes finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds for his CC-leading 10th double-double.

“I can’t even put into words how happy I am for them,” said Barnes of the senior class. “This is a class I came in looking up to, and I’ve learned an unbelievable amount from them – life skills and basketball skills.”
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.

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