Women's Basketball Has Whirlwind Season Opener

Friday, November 16, 2012 - page 2

The Muhlenberg women’s basketball team might want to consider swapping mascots with Centenary.

Muhlenberg appeared much more like Cyclones than Mules as they tore up the hardwood in an 82-44 defeat of Centenary in the opening round of the Scotty Wood Tournament. The Mules advance to their 20th straight championship game, where they will face King’s, a 79-65 winner against Mt. Aloysius.

Leanna Tallamy
Tallamy was one of 15 Mules to play in the game, and all but two scored at least one point.
In her first career start, junior point guard Colleen Caldwell really got the “cyclone” spinning for Muhlenberg.

Although Centenary scored the first basket 16 seconds into the game, Caldwell’s offensive and defensive efforts over the next 27 seconds gave the Mules a lead that they never relinquished.

Caldwell first assisted on a layup by classmate Katy Mitton, who also made her first career start, to get Muhlenberg on the board. On Centenary’s ensuing possession, Caldwell stole the ball and found senior co-captain Kate Clawson open for a three that put the Mules up 5-2.

“It felt great to have my chance to start and see what I could do for the team,” said Caldwell. “We were able to run our plays and we were able to score off them right away.”

Caldwell finished the game with five assists, including one off a superb pass from the top of the key to classmate Erin Laney on the right block with just under 10 minutes remaining in the game.

Like Caldwell, sophomore Janelle Fleet also came onto the floor and created a whirlwind. She put up seven points in less than eight minutes off the bench and also logged two assists and a team-high four steals in the first half.

Another player making her first career start was senior co-captain Julie Kelly, who finished with eight points.

Although they led 41-22 at halftime, the Mules began the second half with intensity equal to that with which they started the first.

Muhlenberg shut down the Cyclones on their first two possessions after the break. Less than 30 seconds into the half, senior co-captain Alita Zabrecky stole the ball and pushed it down the court to score two of her team-high 13 points.

Twelve seconds later, Clawson, who added eight points on the night, added a steal and a layup of her own.

“I thought that we ran very well tonight and were able to score a lot of transition points,” said Caldwell.

In her first collegiate game, freshman Christina Santone led the team with three blocks. She also added two steals in less than 30 seconds during the final minutes of the game, bringing the team’s total to 16.

In addition to scoring Muhlenberg’s first points, Mitton also had a nice play in the final minutes of the game, grabbing an offensive board and converting a reverse layup after two missed field goals by her teammates.

“The post players have really been able to go up strong and score and get some rebounds,” said Caldwell. “We’ve changed our whole offense around by really implementing the post a lot more this year.”

Sophomore transfer Leanna Tallamy led the rebounding effort with eight boards, and the Mules posted a 54-37 advantage in that category.
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