Second-Half Rally Not Enough for Men's Basketball vs. DeSales

Monday, January 23, 2012

Gabriel Mercer Thanks to some hot shooting from freshman Gabriel Mercer, the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team came oh so close to pulling off a dramatic 19-point comeback against DeSales. But the Bulldogs were able to weather the Mule heat wave and pull out a 79-73 win.

Mercer led the Muhlenberg charge by scoring 19 of his career-high 23 points, including all five of his 3-pointers, in the second half. As a team, the Mules hit 14 treys, one off the school record and the most in the Centennial Conference this season.

After Muhlenberg held DeSales without a field goal for the first five minutes of the game, the Bulldogs got hot, hitting 18 of their next 23 shots, including seven 3-pointers, to take a 47-33 lead into the locker room.

They increased their lead to 19 three minutes into the second half before Muhlenberg returned fire, hitting seven of its next 10 treys over the next 10 minutes to pull in front.

Mercer (right) hit his second three of the game to make it a 13-point game at the 12:04 mark. Then sophomore Austin Curry and junior Matt O'Hara hit consecutive threes, and senior Spencer Liddic drained a baseline jumper to make it 63-58.

After O’Hara drew a charge on the defensive end, Mercer hit back-to-back treys to give the Mules their first lead since the 12:08 mark of the first half.

Finally, sophomore Kevin Hargrove closed out the 19-0 run with a pair of free throws to make it 66-63 Mules with 6:22 to play.

DeSales responded by scoring 10 straight points to regain the lead, but Mercer was not done as he knocked down another three. Then Liddic and Hargrove converted back-to-back layups to make it a two-point game with 35.7 seconds left.

But the Bulldogs hit their final four free throws to seal the win.

Liddic picked up the 39th double-double of his career, two off the CC record, with 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Curry added 15 points, all on threes.

O’Hara knocked down two treys of his own and dished out eight assists; he has amassed 18 assists in the last two games. Hargrove finished with six points, six rebounds and three blocks.

The two teams combined to make 25 threes and shoot 48.1 percent from behind the arc.
Click here for box score.
Click here complete stats.