Men's Basketball Comes Up Big at Hopkins

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Wrestling, women’s basketball

When freshman Malique Killing took the floor for the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team at Johns Hopkins, the Blue Jay student section mocked his 5-foot-9 height.

But Killing prove to play much bigger than his size as he delivered a pair of huge plays in the second half to propel the Mules to a 58-54 win in a key Centennial Conference matchup.

The victory moves the Mules (12-7, 6-6) into a tie for fourth place in the conference, one game out of third. It also

Malique Killing
Killing's 324 points this season are the most by a Mule freshman in eight years.
helped them exact some revenge from the first matchup when Hopkins came back from 10-point halftime deficit to win in Memorial Hall.

“The first game we got a little too comfortable with that lead,” sophomore Kevin Hargrove said. “Today we just stressed staying focused. That’s all we talked about at halftime, and that’s why we were able to get the win today.”

Hargrove was named Muhlenberg’s MVP of the game as part of Johns Hopkins’ Wall-O’Mahony Alumni Basketball Weekend, named in honor of two former Blue Jay basketball teammates who died in the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center.

The award has extra meaning for Hargrove because he grew up in Queens.

“I lived through it; everyone I know was affected by it,” he said of 9/11. “So it’s really special to win this award. I feel so sorry for the families of those two players, and I’m really glad they continue to honor them.”

Thanks to 10 points from Hargrove and eight from classmate Austin Curry, Muhlenberg built a 31-27 lead at the break.

The Blue Jays (10-9, 6-6) cut their deficit to one at the 12:41 mark, but the Mules responded with a 13-2 run to seize control.

Senior Spencer Liddic got it started with a three-point play off a putback. He finished with

Kevin Hargrove
Hargrove with the Wall and O'Mahony families.
nine points and seven rebounds to move into third place in school and 12th place in conference history with 1,574 points.

Killing then converted an acrobatic, driving layup over his shoulder after a Hopkins bucket. Classmate Gabriel Mercer hit a foul line jumper, and Killing knocked down a foul shot.

On the next play, Killing picked off a Blue Jay pass at midcourt, converted the fastbreak layup and drew a foul. He knocked down the free throw to stretch the lead to double digits for the first time.

Junior Matt O’Hara completed the run with a pair of free throws to make it 54-42 with 8:32 to play.

Hopkins would eventually get to within two with 34 seconds left, but Killing knocked down two more free throws to ice the game. Muhlenberg shot 84.2 percent (16-of-19) from the charity stripe, while the Blue Jays attempted just one foul shot the entire game.

Killing led the way with 16 points, while Hargrove added 12 points and seven rebounds. O’Hara also grabbed seven boards, one off his career high, and dished out four assists.

Curry chipped in 10, including the Mules’ only two treys, to help give them back-to-back wins for the first time in almost a month.

“This was a big win for our confidence,” Hargrove said. “We stayed focused the entire game, and if we can do that the rest of the way we can keep on winning.”
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