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Muhlenberg College

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

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men’s basketball ekes out win

Ryan Foster After breezing past Haverford, 73-41, in its Centennial Conference opener back in December, the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team expected a more competitive game when it traveled to the Fords’ home gym.

Did the Mules ever get one.

Although Muhlenberg never trailed, its 53-50 victory at Haverford was full of tense moments. But whether it’s by 30 or three, the important thing is to win. The Mules and Fords entered the game as two of five teams tied for fourth place in the CC, and now the Mules (11-8, 7-6) are tied with only Washington for fourth.

Muhlenberg led 17-16 with six minutes to go in the first half before holding Haverford (9-10, 6-7) without a field goal until the final seconds of the half. The Mules took a 27-22 lead into the locker room.

The advantage ranged from two to five points until junior Ryan Foster hit a pair of three-pointers midway through the second half, giving Muhlenberg a 40-32 lead. Foster (right) hit another three – his fifth of the game – with 6:48 to play to extend the lead to 13, at 47-34.

The Fords, who had won four in a row – including an upset of then-nationally ranked Gettysburg – came back with back-to-back three-pointers and began to force the Mules into turnovers. An 8-0 run cut Muhlenberg’s edge to 51-50 with 15 seconds left, but senior Mike Bernardini hit two free throws with nine seconds on the clock, and a potential game-tying three-pointer at the buzzer was off target.

Foster was the only player from either team to score in double figures, pouring in 19 points. Bernardini finished with nine.

The win completed the Mules’ first season sweep of Haverford since 2002. The last time the Mules won when scoring fewer than 55 points was 10 years ago, also at Haverford (48-46).
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.

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