Men's Basketball Comeback Falls Short vs. F&M

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Matt O'Hara
Senior Matt O'Hara contributed eight points, six rebounds and three steals.
The earlier you fall behind, the more time you have to catch up. So although the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team fell into a huge early hole in its game against nationally ranked Franklin & Marshall, it still had plenty of game left to close the gap.

And catch up the Mules nearly did, cutting a 20-point deficit to one before ultimately falling, 74-69, in a rematch of last year’s Centennial Conference championship game.

Sophomore Malique Killing led all scorers with 27 points in the loss, which dropped Muhlenberg (8-6, 4-3) into a three-way tie for third place in the CC.

The Diplomats (12-2, 7-0) were unconscious at the start of the game, making their first five shots and 10 of their first 13 en route to opening up a 25-6 lead less than eight minutes into the game. It was 31-11 midway through the half before a 16-6 Mule run cut the deficit in half.

F&M, ranked 14th in Division III, led by 14 at halftime and by 17 after making a three-point to start the second half, but Muhlenberg came back with an 8-0 run to close to within single digits, at 48-39, for the first time since early in the first half.

The margin was back up to 13 (55-42) seven minutes into the second half before the Mules went on a 10-0, fueled by seven points from Killing, to get within three. With 4:52 left on the clock, Killing made a pair of free throws following a Diplomat miss, and suddenly Muhlenberg trailed by only one, 59-58, before an increasingly vocal crowd.

F&M quieted the cheering by making a three-pointer just 13 seconds later. Down 67-64 with less than two minutes to go, the Mules had one possession with a chance to tie the game but turned the ball over, and the Diplomats scored the next six points to ice the win.

Killing scored 20 of his 27 points in the second half and added four assists. Junior Austin Curry finished with 10 points, with junior Kevin Hargrove adding nine.

Senior Hunter Forsman had his best game of the season, scoring seven points and pulling down six rebounds.
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