Women's Basketball Wins Low-Scoring Game at Hopkins

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Men’s basketball

The Muhlenberg women’s basketball team’s 49-43 win over Johns Hopkins might awaken a bit of “March Madness” among Mule basketball fans.

Alita Zabrecky
Zabrecky has 984 career points and needs 16 more to become the ninth 1,000-point scorer in team history.
In the last two seasons, Muhlenberg defeated Johns Hopkins only during Centennial Conference championship games, and by a total of 32 points. The regular seasons were different stories.

Today’s win snapped a five-game regular-season losing streak against Johns Hopkins, dating back to January of 2010. The win was the first at Goldfarb Gym for the members of the senior class.

“It’s a tough gym to play at and it’s always a tough game against them,” said senior co-captain Alita Zabrecky. “I think that we just focused really early on executing our plays and being relaxed and that was how we got the win.”

Zabrecky and the Mules (6-2, 4-1) held the Blue Jays (4-7, 2-5) to 25.0 percent shooting on the night and just four points during the final 7:30 of play. They also held Hopkins sharpshooter Stacy Fairey scoreless for over 18 minutes of the second half after she drained three treys in the last 6:06 before halftime.

“We wanted to contest her much more in the second half than we did in the first and make sure we didn’t give her a wide-open look,” stated Zabrecky. “We wanted to get a hand in her face and contest her shot.”

Julie Kelly
Kelly finished with nine points to pass her scoring total from all last season. She is fourth on the Mules with 55 points in eight games; last year she netted 48 in 24 games.
On the offensive end, Zabrecky notched her fourth double-double of the season, scoring the first and last two points of the low-scoring contest and finishing with 19. She also pulled down 10 rebounds, five of them on the offensive end.

“I don’t really know how I do it. I just try to box out and hope the ball comes my way,” laughed Zabrecky of her knack for grabbing boards despite standing several inches shorter than many of her teammates and opponents.

Even though the Blue Jays never led, they tied it up twice, once in the beginning of the game and once at the start of the second half. Both times, Zabrecky scored on the next possession to put the Mules back on top.

Although Hopkins threatened again with 12:40 remaining, cutting the Mules’ lead to one after a three-pointer, junior Erin Laney sank a turnaround jumper to put the Mules back up by three. She finished with six points, all of them in the second half.

Senior Julie Kelly and her six second-half points also had a hand in holding the lead for Muhlenberg. After Zabrecky extended the lead to five with 5:50 remaining, Kelly hit a three from the left corner to push the lead to eight.

The Mules kept the rebounding battle perfectly even at 43 apiece, led by junior Leeann Lanza, who grabbed 11 boards. Prior to the game, Johns Hopkins was averaging an 11.1 advantage over its opponents on the boards.

Sophomore Hannah Rush finished with a team-high five assists, and junior Colleen Caldwell added four.

The win came in somewhat different style for the Mules, who scored 100 in beating Bryn Mawr on Wednesday and had not won a game in which they scored fewer than 50 points in 13 years.

“Winning games that are played at a slower pace definitely comes down to executing our offenses, being patient and using the shot clock,” added Zabrecky. “In slower games, you have to be conscious about the lead and how much time you want to take off the shot clock before getting a good shot.”
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