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Muhlenberg College

Saturday, January 16, 2010

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Men’s basketball, wrestling

No drama this time as
Women’s basketball wins big

Following a pair of one-point games, it looked like the Muhlenberg women’s basketball team might be in for another tight contest at Washington.

That is, before the ninth-ranked Mules outscored the Shorewomen 27-7 to end the first half en route to a slightly less strenuous win, 75-51, to close out the week.

“They’ve played well against a lot
McKeon heads down the court after one of her steals. Her 18 points put her over 800 for her career.
of the top teams in the league,” said junior Kelly McKeon. “We didn’t want to take them lightly, and we came out ready to play.”

So, too, did Washington, which built an early 17-12 as Muhlenberg (10-2, 8-1) started an ice-cold 4-for-14 from the field. But sophomore Alexandra Chili sparked a 10-2 run with a jumper and a three-pointer, and McKeon capped the run with layup after a fantastic steal by senior Maiza Mock off an inbounds to the right of the Shorewomen’s basket.

A Washington (6-9, 4-6) triple tied the score at 22, but the Mules, backed by nine more points from Chili, outscored the Shorewomen 14-2 in the final 6:49 of the period. Chili finished with 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including 4-for-6 from beyond the arc, in the half.

“We started making shots – it’s as simple as that,” said McKeon of the two big runs. “We started a
Zabrecky hustles to save a ball from going out of bounds. She is averaging 10.5 points and 11.0 rebounds in the last two games.
little sluggish on the offensive end, but if we feed off our defense and get steals it opens up lanes to drive or pass to Chili for the three.”

Despite that sluggish start, the Mules were able to stay close by outrebounding the Shorewomen 31-16 in the period. Muhlenberg pulled down more offensive rebounds (11) than Washington had defensive rebounds (10).

“That’s a pretty good stat,” laughed McKeon.

She was instrumental in producing it, grabbing nine first-half boards and finishing with 12 for the game. Freshman Alita Zabrecky had 12 of her own, and the Mules finished with a plus-11 margin on the glass.

“We always have a focus on rebounding,” said McKeon. “Everyone went hard to the boards today and it really showed.”

As did the Mules’ defense, which produced 10 steals behind a full-court press. Perhaps none was as exciting as one by McKeon early in the second half. With help, she trapped her defender, knocked the ball loose and sprinted to the other end, where she finished with a fantastic spin move near the basket.

“We were trying new things in our full-court defense,” she said. “It was all about getting in passing lanes and making steals.”

The Mules led by double digits for the entire second half, taking their biggest lead, by 26, with 1:14 to play.

McKeon posted a double-double, adding 18 points, three assists and three steals to go with her 12 rebounds. Chili scored a game-high 25 points, and Mock had three steals in 17 minutes.

The win gave Muhlenberg double digits in victories for the 18th consecutive season.
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.

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