Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Friday, November 30, 2001
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Some of the best in Centennial Conference basketball will be on display when Muhlenberg hosts a doubleheader against Franklin & Marshall tomorrow. The men tip things off at 2:00, followed by the women.

Both F&M teams are nationally ranked, and the F&M men and Muhlenberg women are two of the four remaining undefeated CC basketball teams. All four teams made the CC playoffs last year and were picked to do so again.


Poll Test: If the CC preseason poll is accurate, this game is an early-season matchup of the best team in each division. Franklin & Marshall was picked to win the West Division, while Muhlenberg was a unanimous choice to win the East.

Series History: Franklin & Marshall holds a slim 56-55 lead in a series that has seen its share of memorable games, especially of late. Last year, the Diplomats captured the regular-season meeting, 64-52, but Muhlenberg came back from a 11-point second-half deficit to win a CC semifinal game, 78-59, and snap F&M’s 21-game home winning streak. Since the start of CC play, the Mules have defeated Diplomat teams that were ranked in the top 10 three times: in the 1995 CC championship game (when F&M was undefeated and ranked No. 1), in the 1996 regular season (undefeated and No. 2) and in the 1999 CC semifinals (No. 7). Two years ago, F&M came into Memorial Hall ranked fifth and escaped with a 71-70 win.

Scouting the Diplomats: Franklin & Marshall (6-0) enters the game ranked fourth in Division III by both and Basketball America. The Diplomats lead the CC in scoring offense, field-goal percentage, three-point field-goal percentage, rebounding margin, assist-to-turnover ratio and turnover margin. F&M is led by sophomore center Steve Juskin (17.7 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 16 blocks), who had a triple-double against Elizabethtown. Sophomore guard Larry Fain (14.2), senior forward Casimer Thomas (12.2) and senior forward Alex Kraft (11.7) also average in double figures in points. Kraft is the two-time CC player of the year.

Scouting the Mules: Muhlenberg (3-1), which has won its last two games, leads the CC in scoring defense, blocked shots and steals. The Mules set a school record with 15 blocks in a 64-57 win at University of the Sciences on Tuesday. In that game, senior Mark Lesko became the 30th member of the program’s 1,000-point club. He leads the team in scoring (19.3 ppg) and rebounding (6.5 rpg) and is shooting 80 percent from the field this year. Since the start of the 1991-92 season, Muhlenberg is 99-25 (.798) at Memorial Hall.


If You Want to Be the Best...: This game marks Muhlenberg’s third of the young season against a team that has received votes in the Division III poll this year. Although they have yet to receive votes, the Mules won the first two of those games.

Series History: Franklin & Marshall has an 18-6 all-time lead against Muhlenberg in a series in which the road team has won five of the last seven regular-season meetings. One exception was last year, when the Diplomats posted a 71-59 win in Lancaster. The previous season, the teams played twice in Allentown, with F&M taking the regular-season meeting, 68-61, and Muhlenberg winning in a Centennial Conference playoff game, 57-40.

Scouting the Diplomats: After opening the season with three straight wins, 28th-ranked Franklin & Marshall (3-2) dropped games to No. 23 Gwynedd Mercy and No. 16 Messiah this week. The Diplomats are led by sophomore center Amy Abernathy, who is averaging 15.6 points and a CC-leading 13.2 rebounds per game. Senior guard Amy Kreitz also averages 15.6 points, while senior guard Lauren Howanski chips in 12.6 points per game and is 39 points away from 1,000 for her career.

Scouting the Mules: Muhlenberg (5-0) is off to its best start since 1975 and enters the game with a school-record 12-game home winning streak. Sophomore center Susan Marchiano is averaging 16.8 points and 8.8 rebounds while shooting 66.1 percent from the field. Senior guard Lindsay St. Lawrence averages 10.6 points, and sophomore forward Becky Richmond contributes 9.6 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.


Five Muhlenberg wrestlers advanced to the second day of the Petrofes Invitational, held at Messiah College.

Junior Nate Yeasted and sophomore Josh Carter are in the championship semifinals of their respective weight classes. Yeasted, the fourth seed at 133, is scheduled to face the top seed, from Washington & Jefferson. Carter, the third seed at heavyweight, has an unseeded wrestler from Springfield as his next opponent.

Alive in the consolation bracket are junior Joe Salerno (157) and freshmen Jeremy Hart (133) and Dylan Moulton (141). Hart, who was unseeded, upset the fifth seed from host Messiah to advance.

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Last updated November 30, 2001