Albano's "Perfect Game" Boosts Men's Basketball

Saturday, January 18, 2014 - page 2

The Washington College men’s basketball team can cause major problems for opponents with its pressure and scrappiness, just as it did in November when it handed Muhlenberg an overtime loss in its Centennial Conference opener.

James Albano
Albano, whose previous career high of 14 points came against Johns Hopkins earlier this season, scored his 17 points in only 16 minutes off the bench. He also had five rebounds and a blocked shot.
In the rematch, Mule senior James Albano had the answer for the Shoremen’s style: perfection.

Albano scored a career-high 17 points on perfect 5-for-5 shooting from the field and the line as Muhlenberg gained a split of the season series with a 76-62 win.

“I was able to come in and take advantage when I got open shots,” said Albano, who attributed the performance to good health. “This was the best I’ve felt in a long time. Thursday and Friday were the first time I made it through a full practice this semester and I really took that into the game, being able to play with confidence about my body.”

The win leaves the Mules (10-5, 5-3) a little healthier in the CC standings following Tuesday’s loss to Franklin & Marshall. Rather than falling back to .500 in the CC, Muhlenberg is now tied for fourth place as it heads into a key three-game road stretch.

Junior Malique Killing led all scorers with 20 points (16 in the second half), and senior Austin Curry added 10 after getting honored for his 1,000th point in a pregame ceremony.

Muhlenberg trailed only briefly (4-2) but committed 12 turnovers in the first half and had trouble shaking the Shoremen (4-11, 3-5). The game was tied at 29 with less than three minutes left in the half before the Mules ran off six straight points to take the lead for good.

John Hunter
All six of Hunter's points came on three putbacks. He added two assists, a blocked shot and a steal.
Freshman John Hunter accounted for the first two of the points with a putback, wrapping up a sensational first half in which he recorded six points and nine rebounds to give Muhlenberg a big lift off the bench.

“He played a great first half,” said Albano. “It shows how good he can be with more growth.”

The Mules grew their lead to eight when Killing went coast-to-coast off of one of senior Kevin Hargrove’s four blocked shots in the opening seconds of the second half. Washington hung around and got as close as two, 51-49, at the nine-minute mark, but Albano scored nine of his 17 points the rest of the way as Muhlenberg created some breathing room.

The Mules shot 61.9 percent in the second half and held the Shoremen, who came in leading the CC in three-pointers made, to only 5-for-23 from behind the arc.

It was a much needed win for Muhlenberg, which has games at 2013 CC semifinalist Johns Hopkins and defending champion Dickinson among its next three on the road.

“It was definitely a big game for us,” said Albano. “Anytime you go on the road you want to go with a win under your belt and feeling good about yourself.”
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