Women's Basketball, Seniors Finish Regular Season in Style

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Men’s basketball

Senior Alita Zabrecky of the Muhlenberg women’s basketball team got the longest standing ovation of the afternoon as she walked off the hardwood of Memorial Hall for the last time on Senior Day.

Kate Clawson
Clawson is averaging 17.3 points over the past four games, moving into a tie for 10th on the Mules' all-time list with 71 career three-pointers.
While her outstanding career at Muhlenberg was certainly something to applaud, as was the team’s 75-63 victory over Ursinus, the reason for her extended ovation was a collision with one of the Bear players. The crowd cheered as Zabrecky helped the momentarily stunned player to her feet and finally made her way off the court.

“I had to go out in style,” laughed Zabrecky. “Actually, I went to point to show Emily [Lesher] who I had been guarding, so I had my head turned and just ran into her.

“It was pretty emotional,” she added of playing in her final home game. “I was telling people that I was sweating through my eyes during the national anthem because I was tearing up. It’s kind of sad but it was nice to go out with a win, especially such a big win because we clinched the third seed in the Centennial Conference playoffs.”

Alita Zabrecky
Zabrecky was a perfect 3-for-3 from three-point range.
The Mules (17-8, 14-6) will begin those playoffs with a game against second-seeded Swarthmore on Friday night at top-seeded Gettysburg.

Zabrecky helped lead the Mules to the win by scoring 17 points in the first 20 minutes of action. She finished with a game-high of 21 and also added five assists and two steals.

Although Ursinus (12-13, 9-11) never led, they limited Muhlenberg’s lead to single digits until the final 2:21 of the game. The Bears tied the score five times, but the Mules’ stingy defense prevented them from capitalizing on opportunities to take the lead.

For the second game in a row senior Kate Clawson, assisted by sophomore Hannah Rush, hit back-to-back three-pointers in the second half to fuel the Mules’ final run of the game.

“She’s been hitting some huge shots and it’s been great for our team,” stated Zabrecky. “I don’t want to say too much because I don’t want to jinx her – I want her to keep going.”

The Bears had cut Muhlenberg’s nine-point lead to just two with 8:32 remaining. Neither team could find the bottom of the net for the next three-and-a-half tense minutes until Clawson hit her first three-pointer, kicking off a 10-1 run.

Clawson finished with 18 points on 4-for-5 shooting from behind the arc and had two blocks and two steals. As a team, the Mules shot a season-high 55.6 percent from long range.

Rush and junior Colleen Caldwell combined for 12 assists and only two turnovers, helping Muhlenberg to a team total of 18 assists on 23 field goals.

Along with the two seniors (who were honored with classmate Julie Kelly prior to the game, sophomore Nicole Pepe and junior Leeann Lanza also reached double digits in scoring. Lanza finished with 10 points and three blocks, while Pepe added 11 and grabbed five offensive rebounds.

The victory extended the Mules’ winning streak to six and allowed them to avoid playing in a first-round playoff game.

“I think it’s super helpful,” said Zabrecky. “Obviously at the end of the season, bodies are worn down so it’s nice to be able to slowly get into it and have a lot of time to prepare for our opponents.”
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