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Muhlenberg College

Saturday, February 20, 2010

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While a certain late-night host didn’t even last eight months at the helm of the Tonight Show, the Muhlenberg women’s basketball team is set to play the part of host for the second straight year.

Alita Zabrecky
Freshman Alita Zabrecky converted a three-point play, made a steal and drilled a three-pointer in less than a minute during one stretch in the second half.
The Mules (20-4, 17-3) will host the Centennial Conference Tournament after taking care of business and getting some necessary help. Muhlenberg easily defeated Ursinus, 80-46, and benefited from McDaniel’s 82-70 victory over Gettysburg, which dropped the Bullets into a tie with the Mules for first place (Muhlenberg holds tiebreakers over Gettysburg).

“We would have been fine [going to Gettysburg],” said senior Alexis Bates, “but it’s a great advantage to be at home.”

Being away from home and at Ursinus (12-13, 9-11) had been tough for the Mules recently; last year they escaped with a victory on a three-pointer with 1.2 seconds left. But there was no such drama this season, as Muhlenberg led by 12 at halftime and by at least 20 for most of the second half.

“The past few years they’ve really given us a run for our money here,” said Bates. “This year, finally, it was smooth sailing.”

A pair of improbable threes got the ship cruising in earnest. The Mules led 16-15 when sophomore Alexandra Chili drained a deep triple, and on the next possession junior Alexandra Berlin banked in a trey.

20 wins
The Mules became the first team in Muhlenberg women’s basketball history to win 20 games in three consecutive seasons. They are 67-15 (.817) over that span.
A few minutes later Chili and Bates connected on back-to-back threes to make it 30-19, and Muhlenberg closed the half on a 6-0 run – the last four points of which were scored by junior Kelly McKeon – to lead 40-28 at the break.

The Mules stayed hot out of the gate, putting the game out of reach with a 19-2 run to open the second period. They then managed to improve on their first-half defense, allowing just three second-half field goals on 12.5 percent shooting after giving up only nine in the first.

“We’ve been struggling the past few weeks and just pulling through at the end,” noted Bates. “Today we played great defense – there was a lot of communication. That was a big factor.”

Chili led all scorers with 14 points, and McKeon added 13 points, eight assists and five rebounds. Bates (12 points) and junior Sheila Cook (11 points) also scored in double figures.

“Today was great for the team,” said Bates. “We needed a win like this, everyone was so happy out there, and to top it all off, we’re hosting next week. It was a great day.”
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.

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