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Wednesday, February 9, 2011 - page 2

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men’s basketball edged in ot
but still in playoff hunt

When is a loss not a loss? When a team's standing doesn't change.

The Muhlenberg men's basketball team came into its key game with Dickinson in a
Spencer Liddic
Liddic's dunk off a pass from Curry early in the first half kicked off an 8-0 run.
four-way tie for third place in the Centennial Conference. And even though the Mules lost a tough 70-69 decision in overtime, they came out of the game in exactly the same position.

Remarkably, all three teams with which Muhlenberg was tied also lost, two at home to teams below them in the standings.

At 8-7 in the CC, the Mules are even with their next two opponents, McDaniel and Haverford, as well as Gettysburg. Franklin & Marshall (13-2) clinched the top seed for the CC playoffs by beating Gettysburg, and Dickinson (10-5) strengthened its second-place standing with its win. And coming up from behind is Ursinus, which improved to 7-8 by winning at Haverford.

Muhlenberg came from eight points down with eight minutes left in regulation to force overtime, then nearly overcame a seven-point deficit in the extra period. The Red Devils, who thrived on three-pointers all game, made two long-distance shots in the first 77 seconds of overtime and added a free throw to go up 70-63.

A putback by junior Spencer Liddic and a three-pointer by senior Evan Tozer made it a two-point game. After a Dickinson miss, freshman Austin Curry was fouled while driving in for a layup with 25.2 seconds to go. Curry, whose two free throws with 1:20 left accounted for the last points of regulation, made the first and missed the second.

On the scramble for the rebound after the miss, the ball was batted out of bounds, and Muhlenberg was awarded possession. The ball was tied up after another missed shot, and the possession arrow was pointing in the Mules' favor, but with only one second on the clock. A fallaway jumper at the buzzer drew iron but did not go in, and Dickinson escaped with its first win at Memorial Hall since 2003. The Mules fell to 1-3 in one-point games.

Curry scored 14 of his team-high 19 points in the first half, helping Muhlenberg build an eight-point lead. The Red Devils hit a three just before the end of the half to take a 31-30 lead into the break.

Dickinson extended its lead to eight, at 53-45, before the Mules came back behind the inside play of Liddic and freshman Kevin Hargrove, who combined for the last 11 points in a 14-2 run that gave Muhlenberg a 59-55 edge at the three-minute mark.

The Red Devils went back in front on a three-pointer and a traditional three-point play, but Curry tied the score with his two foul shots. Both teams missed chances to take the lead in the final minute of regulation.

Liddic finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds for his CC-leading 12th double-double, and Hargrove had 16 points, 8 rebounds and 6 blocked shots.
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