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Muhlenberg College

Monday, February 28, 2011

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women’s basketball sent north

NCAA basketball The Muhlenberg women’s basketball team is headed to upstate New York.

After winning the Centennial Conference championship yesterday, the Mules were sent to the University of Rochester for the first rounds of the NCAA Division III Tournament. Muhlenberg will play Williams in a first-round game on Friday at a time to be determined. The other game in the pod matches Rochester against Daniel Webster.

The Mules may be unfamiliar with the Ephs (the two schools have never met in women’s basketball), but they
Cook Named Player of the Week

Sheila Cook Senior Sheila Cook was named Centennial Conference player of the week for the first time in her career, and she did it the last time she had the opportunity to win the honor.

Cook had her two biggest games of the season in the CC playoffs, totaling 43 points to lead the Mules to their sixth championship. She was a perfect 6-for-6 from the field in the first half en route to a 22-point performance in the semifinal win against Gettysburg, and she scored a game-high 21 in the championship contest against Johns Hopkins.

Cook shot 54.5 percent in the two games added 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. She moved into the top 10 on the program’s all-time scoring list with 941 career points.

are very familiar with the New England Small College Athletic Conference. This is the third time in the last six years that Muhlenberg is paired with a NESCAC school for the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Mules defeated Wesleyan (Conn.) in 2006 and lost to Tufts last year, both on neutral courts.

In 2009, Muhlenberg faced yet another NESCAC school in the second round, defeating Bowdoin on its home court to advance to the “Sweet 16” for the first time in program history.

The first-round game pairs two schools that were ranked in the top 15 in the country before falling on hard times when the calendar turned to 2011.

In the poll released on January 3, Williams was ranked No. 4 with a record of 11-0 and Muhlenberg was No. 14 at 8-0. The Ephs (21-5) lost to then-No. 1 Amherst, 85-63, to fall to No. 13 in the poll, then reeled off seven straight wins to climb back up to No. 8. But they finished the season with four losses in their last six games, including a 71-64 loss to Amherst in a NESCAC semifinal game on Saturday.

Muhlenberg, on the other hand, finished the regular season strong. The Mules (21-5) split 10 games following their 8-0 start, falling out of the top 25, but went a perfect 8-0 in February. They capped that run with a 72-61 win at Johns Hopkins in the CC championship game on Sunday.

Muhlenberg is making its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance and its fifth in the last six years. The Mules are 4-6 in their previous NCAA trips. Williams is 7-5 in its NCAA Tournament history, reaching the “Elite 8” in 1999 and the “Sweet 16” in 2006 and 2010. Last year, the Ephs beat Muhlenberg rival DeSales in the second round.

CC regular-season champion Johns Hopkins received an at-large berth and will play Richard Stockton at Christopher Newport.
Click here for the tournament bracket.

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