Freshmen Excel as Men's Basketball Downs Moravian

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 - page 2

There must be something in the water at Moravian. Whenever the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team makes the short trip to Bethlehem, it sure seems to bring out the best in its freshmen.

John Hunter Jon Schreer (right) knocked down four three-pointers en route to a career-high 14 points and fellow freshman John Hunter (left) pulled down a game-best 11 rebounds off the bench to spark the Mules to a 75-56 victory over their Lehigh Valley rivals. Muhlenberg’s sixth straight win in the series evened the annual Matte Award competition at five apiece, with the women set to face off in two weeks.

“I don’t know man,” Schreer said. “You get that feeling with the crowd getting going, and you get pumped up coming into the game. We have this big rivalry with them, and it’s just a great atmosphere.”

On a night when the Moravian student section greeted them with a ‘Blue Out’ and a rowdy environment, it was the Mules (3-0) who nearly blew out the home squad with an impressive performance. Muhlenberg was able to pull away on the strength of its perimeter shooting and a suffocating defense that held the Greyhounds to 28-percent shooting in each half.

“Coach keeps telling us that the keys are defense and rebounding,” said Schreer, who added three rebounds and a steal. “The other weekend [against Gwynedd Mercy] we gave up 80 points, and that’s not usually going to win us games. He kept saying defense, defense, defense and ingrained it into our heads. We just kept fighting and didn’t let them get any good looks.”

Jon Schreer Two years ago in Bethlehem, it was Malique Killing who scored the final eight points, including a spectacular game-winning layup with two seconds remaining, to hand the Mules a wild victory in his first collegiate contest. This time, Muhlenberg needed no such heroics. Though Killing poured in a game-high 23 points to go along with five rebounds and four assists, it was the Mules’ bench that paved the way for a comfortable result.

Senior James Albano finished with six points and four blocks, including two in one possession, to go along with the production of the two freshmen.

Schreer gave Muhlenberg the lead for good, at 19-17, with a corner three at the 8-minute mark of the first period. A three-pointer by senior Austin Curry, one of the team’s eight long balls, and a pair of free throws by Schreer capped a 13-5 run that ended with the Mules ahead 29-20, and when Killing spun into the lane and fed Hunter for an easy layin at the halftime buzzer, Muhlenberg took a 33-24 advantage into the break. After that, it was all Mules.

Sophomore Alec Stavetski (14 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists) knocked down back-to-back treys to stretch the lead to 45-30, and Albano found Stavetski all alone under the basket for an easy bucket on the ensuing possession. The Greyhounds scored the next five points, but Schreer put any hopes of a comeback to rest by draining consecutive deep three-pointers that made it 53-35 midway through the second.

“It’s very encouraging,” Schreer said. “We got great minutes from our bigs off the bench. They played great. Our guards stayed under control; we kept everything balanced and we finished up the game strong. Those guys really stepped up, and we’re proud of them.”
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