Basketball Teams Swept at Haverford

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Both Muhlenberg basketball teams fell behind early, made a run in the second half but wound up on the short side in their games at Haverford.

Hannah Rush Despite a record-setting performance by junior Leanna Tallamy, the women came up just short, dropping a 49-44 decision against the Centennial Conference leader.

Tallamy scored a team-high 15 points and grabbed a career-high 15 rebounds, becoming the first player since the 1983-84 season to lead the Mules in scoring nine straight games. She went 7-for-11 at the foul line, giving her a school-record 126 free throws made on the year. That broke the previous mark of 123 set by Anne Searles during the 1986-87 campaign and matched five years later by Felicia Perryman.

Tallamy and the Mules didn’t solve the Fords’ defense until it was too late. Muhlenberg (12-8, 9-5), which saw its five-game winning streak snapped, trailed by double digits most of the way against the first-place Fords (17-2, 11-2), who came in ranked 13th in Division III in scoring defense (51.2 points per game) and 15th in field-goal percentage defense (.329).

After starting 3-of-19 from the field and taking a 10-point deficit into halftime, the Mules trailed by as many as 14 (39-25) with 10 minutes remaining. They systematically chipped away at Haverford’s lead on the strength of lock-down defense and three-point shooting.

Three-pointers by juniors Nicole Pepe and Hannah Rush bookended a 15-4 run over the next five and a half minutes, with Rush’s second long ball pulling the Mules to within 43-40 with 4:29 to play. Muhlenberg, however, came up empty on its next three possessions, and Haverford snapped out of a nearly six-minute drought without a field goal, knocking down a three-pointer to make it 46-40 with 2:16 to play. The Mules got as close as two on a bucket by Tallamy with just over a minute left, but the Fords iced it with three free throws in the final 17 seconds.

Rush (right) dished out a game-high five assists in addition to her six points for the Mules, who held the Fords to just 5-for-27 shooting (18.5 percent) in the second half, including a 1-of-10 showing from behind the arc.
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Alec Stavetski The men’s team suffered a similar fate, falling behind by double digits and making a spirited second-half run before running out of steam in an 81-71 setback.

Alec Stavetski led the charge for the Mules (13-7, 8-5), scoring 16 of his career-high-tying 25 points in the second half to help his team nearly overturn a 17-point deficit. The sophomore drained five three-pointers, the last of them pulling Muhlenberg to within 57-54 with just under 10 minutes remaining, but the Fords (7-11, 3-10) had an answer for every challenge.

The Mules got as close as two (66-64) on a free throw by freshman Brandon LaRose with 3:46 remaining, but Haverford responded with a three-point play and made all eight of its free throws down the stretch.

Senior Kevin Hargrove coupled 14 points with 10 rebounds for the 20th double-double of his career for the Mules, who fell a game back of Johns Hopkins and Franklin & Marshall, which are tied for third in the Centennial Conference.

Junior Malique Killing finished with 11 points and handed out a career-high eight assists, half of them coming during a 12-2 run to open the second half. Killing fed Hargrove for a pair of rim-rattling dunks, then hit Stavetski on the wing for a three-pointer that made it 43-39 less than five minutes after intermission. The Fords, however, scored the next four points to keep Muhlenberg at a safe distance.

Haverford finished 28-of-55 (51 percent) from the field, becoming the first team to shoot better than 50 percent against the Mules all season.

LaRose gave the Mules good minutes off the bench, adding four rebounds to a season-high seven points.
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