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Muhlenberg College

Thursday, January 14, 2010 - page 2

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men’s basketball regains first place

Well, that was fast.

Two days after its first Centennial Conference loss of the season dropped the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team into a three-way tie for first place, a 76-71 victory at Gettysburg, combined with a Franklin & Marshall loss, put the Mules (8-5, 6-1) back alone atop the standings.

“Since we lost to F&M, coach has been saying that today’s game is even bigger,” said senior Obi Nwizugbo. “This is
Obi Nwizugbo
In addition to his big defensive play, Nwizugbo scored seven points, six of them in the second half after the Bullets cut the lead to one, and tied for the team lead with three assists.
going to really affect the standings later in the season.

“And we love to win in this gym.”

Washington topped F&M in overtime to give the Diplomats their second loss of the season and send them to second place with Gettysburg. But while the Shoremen’s win helped the Mules out, Muhlenberg knows it needs to take care of business against them on Saturday.

“It was good to see F&M lose, but we’re focused on Washington,” said Nwizugbo. “Our record there hasn’t been good.”

Nwizugbo made perhaps the most important play in improving the
Ryan Foster
Foster’s five threes moved him into a tie for third on the Mules’ all-time list with 137 for his career.
Mules’ record at Gettysburg. After a layup by sophomore Spencer Liddic capped an 11-2 Muhlenberg run and give it its largest lead of the game, 68-55, the Bullets (7-6, 5-2) came storming back with an 8-0 run of their own.

With a chance to make it a one-possession game with less than three minutes to play, Andrew Powers, the reigning Centennial Conference player of the year, drove to the hoop, but Nwizugbo blocked his layup attempt to keep the Mules ahead by five.

“Everyone knows Powers was the player of the year,” said Nwizugbo. “To go against a kid like that one-on-one and do that, when he’d usually draw a foul call, was big. It felt good.”

With the score still 68-63 with 1:12 remaining, the Mules’ two offensive stars of the game hooked up for the bucket that sealed the win. Senior Ryan Foster drove down the right side and made a fantastic pass to a wide-open Liddic under the basket. Liddic converted, and from there he and Foster combined to go 6-for-7 from the free-throw line.

“They both played great today,” noted Nwizugbo. “They did exactly what you expect two all-conference players to do, especially in big games.”

Foster carried Muhlenberg in the first half, hitting five three-pointers in the first 7:26 and finishing with 16 points on 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc in the period. Freshman Matt O’Hara’s second triple gave the Mules their biggest lead of the half, 36-26, with 2:51 left.

A Gettysburg three cut the lead to one, 48-47, with 12:20 left in the second half. But Liddic scored six of his 14 second-half points during a six-minute stretch in which the Mules outscored the Bullets 20-8 and built their lead to 13.

Nwizugbo’s block brought Gettysburg’s late run to an end, and Liddic and Foster did the rest on offense. Foster finished with 23 points and three blocks, and Liddic recorded a double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds.

Click here for box score.
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