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Muhlenberg College

Saturday, February 27, 2010

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Track & field Men’s basketball

women’s basketball shakes things up,
moves into championship game

On Friday, at the last practice before the Muhlenberg basketball team played in the Centennial Conference playoffs, the coaching staff surprised the team with milkshakes. The
Alexandra Chili
Chili scored 13 of her 20 points in the first half.
Mules went out the next day and devoured their first course en route to the CC championship.

Muhlenberg used a stifling defense and good shooting in the first half to build a 17-point lead and held on to defeat Dickinson, 62-50, in the first CC semifinal. The main course comes on Sunday when the Mules face McDaniel, a 72-67 come-from-behind winner against Gettysburg, for their third straight title.

This will be the third meeting of the season between the Mules and Green Terror, with each winning a close game on the other’s home court. McDaniel has been known to cause Muhlenberg some indigestion in the playoffs, knocking the Mules out three straight years from 2002 to 2004.

“It was the next best thing to Disney World,” joked senior Alexis Bates about the milkshake surprise.

The ingredients for the semifinal win came as no
Maiza Mock
Senior Maiza Mock was a big part of the Mules’ defensive effort. She pulled down seven rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench.
surprise. The Mules (21-4) shot 50 percent in the first half while holding the Red Devils to 25-percent shooting. Although Muhlenberg cooled down in the second half, Dickinson didn’t heat up much and ended up shooting under 30 percent for the game.

“We were extremely well-prepared for this game,” said Bates. “We had a great week of practice. We played with our hearts, and we weren’t nervous. A lot of teams get nervous for these big games, but we kept our cool.”

Muhlenberg never trailed in the game and led 19-15 with less than 10 minutes to go in the half before putting on the defensive clamps. The Mules outscored the Devils 16-3 to take a 17-point lead, their biggest of the game, with under a minute to play. Dickinson went almost eight minutes without a field goal in that stretch.

Junior Kelly McKeon scored eight of
Alexandra Berlin
Junior Alexandra Berlin had a steal and layup in the Mules’ first-half run.
her 12 points in the run, starting it with a steal and layup.

The Red Devils began making some shots in the second half and finally cut the gap to single digits, 50-41, with 8:41 remaining. That was as close as it would get, however. The spread was 11 with less than five minutes to play when sophomore Alexandra Chili found junior Sheila Cook open behind the Dickinson press just across the halfcourt line. Cook dribbled in and made the layup for two of her 12 points, and the Mules rode out the game from there.

Chili finished with a game-high 20 points and added six rebounds, four assists and four blocks. McKeon’s 12 points put her within eight of 1,000 for her career.

Bates just missed her first career double-double, scoring nine points and pulling down a career-high 14 rebounds. The excellent game came on the heels of a season-best 12-point performance against Ursinus.

“I’m just trying to give it my all, because every game could be my last,” said the senior. “I just want to enjoy it, because basketball is such a big part of my life.”

She’ll get at least one more game, and it will come against a plucky McDaniel team that came from 11 points down with 15 minutes ago to unseat Gettysburg. The Mules, one game away from their third straight championship, have a long history of close games against the Green Terror, which is looking for its first title since 2005.

“McDaniel and us match up very well,” Bates said. “It’s usually a very physical game when we play. It will be tough.”
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