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Muhlenberg College

Sunday, February 28, 2010

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NO THREE-PEAT FOR WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

While one member of the Muhlenberg women’s basketball team reached a milestone during the Centennial Conference championship game, the Mules fell short of an unprecedented one.

Junior Kelly McKeon scored her 1,000th career point, but McDaniel topped Muhlenberg, 72-56, to deny the Mules (21-5) their third straight CC championship, a feat no team has ever accomplished, in a game that was much closer than the final score.

Kelly McKeon
McKeon became just the second Mule with 1,000 career points, 500 rebounds and 300 assists, joining Anne Searles. She is just 27 assists shy of 400 and 51 short of the school record.
Though Muhlenberg will not receive the CC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in three years, the Mules are likely to receive an at-large bid to the dance. They were ranked second in the NCAA regional rankings entering the week and boast a 13-point road victory over Landmark champ Moravian, which is first in the region. They will find out for sure on Monday at 12:30 p.m. Eastern, when the pairings are streamed live on www.NCAA.com.

The championship game was tight in the early going until a late first-half run by McDaniel (20-6). Sophomore Kathleen Naddaff hit a jumper to pull Muhlenberg to within two, 18-16, but the Green Terror responded with a 12-2 run. The Mules managed just four points in the final 5:16 of the period and trailed 32-20 at the break.

Muhlenberg quickly made it a close game coming out halftime on the strength of easy points in transition. Twice in a row McKeon sent long passes to junior Alexandra Berlin for easy layups. McKeon then a stole a McDaniel inbounds, spun and hit a layup and one.

The free throw pulled the Mules to within seven, and then McKeon again found Berlin on a long pass from the defensive end for a layup, cutting the deficit to five.

Muhlenberg couldn’t get closer than five until McKeon’s milestone bucket sparked a run. She drained a jumper from the right elbow for career points 1,000 and 1,001, beginning an 8-0 run that tied the game at 48 after McKeon made a fantastic pass to Naddaff under the basket for a wide-open layup.

McDaniel regained control of the game thereafter, hitting a layup to retake a lead it would never relinquish. Sophomore Alexandra Chili brought the Mules to within two, 56-54, with 5:11 to play, but the Green Terror then held them scoreless for more than four minutes and ended the game on a 16-2 run.

McKeon led the Mules with 14 points, all of which came in the second half, eight rebounds and six assists. Berlin had 12 points on 6-for-9 shooting, and Chili finished with 11 points.
Click here for box score.
Click here for complete stats.

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