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Monday, November 15, 2010 - page 3

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women’s basketball outruns greyhounds

The starting lineup may have been missing some familiar faces, but the final result looked very much the same for the Muhlenberg women's basketball team.

Despite playing without two senior starters, including their all-region point guard, and featuring a lineup that aside from all-CC guard Alexandra Chili had a combined seven career starts, the Mules were able to withstand a strong second-half charge from local rival Moravian to dispatch the Greyhounds, 68-55.

Muhlenberg racked up 18 steals and eight blocks, while
Kathleen Naddaff
Junior Kathleen Naddaff scored 8 points in her first career start.
the two teams that were nationally ranked most of last season combined the turn the ball over 64 times.

According to senior guard Alexandra Berlin, getting the season-opening win in such a sloppy style could actually serve as a positive because it will not allow the team to feel totally satisfied and risk getting complacent.

"I'm happy we came out with the win, which was our main goal," she said. "But we definitely have a lot of things to work on. We definitely need to be more aggressive. Playing without Sheila [Cook] and Kelly [McKeon] definitely hurts, but we also played well in spurts and can take a lot of positives from this."

Both teams showed signs of rust in the opening minutes trading turnovers and missed shots. But Muhlenberg calmed down and built a double-digit lead by the nine-minute mark. That's when Chili went to work.

The junior scoring machine netted 12 of the
Kate Clawson
Sophomore Kate Clawson had 8 points and 6 rebounds.
Mules' final 20 points of the first half, including back-to-back three pointers, to help create a 14-point cushion at the break.

The Greyhounds, however, would not go easily. Showing the signs of a team that won 25 games last season, Moravian rallied after the break and used a 14-2 run to pull within seven with 14:20 to play in regulation.

But just as quickly as the lead shrunk, Chili (back-to-back layups) and Berlin (a 3-pointer and layup) got it back by scoring nine straight points to put the Mules back in control for good.

"We knew that they were going to make a run; they're a good team," Berlin said. "But we held through it, tried to stay calm and were able to come out with the lead and get the win."

Chili finished with a game-high 22 points, while Berlin added 12 points to go along with four steals. Freshman forward Leeann Lanza led inside with eight rebounds and four blocks in her Muhlenberg debut.

The 13-point margin of victory ties last year's mark as the largest for the Mules against Moravian since 1979. And with Scotty Wood weekend just a few days away, Berlin said it was good to have a game to help the team get in sync before their annual tournament.

"We were a little bit nervous, but once we got in the game our nerves calmed down," Berlin said. "It was nice to have a lot of people in the gym and it was a great atmosphere.

"We're just going to have to work hard these next few days of practice and try to get better. This was a good start, but now we're looking forward and we're really excited for Scotty Wood."
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