Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Friday, January 4, 2002
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Mark Lesko

Lesko goes up for two of his 21 points (above) and receives a congratulatory hug from his mother after the game (below). The Leskos were among a delegation of about 40 parents, alumni and friends who gave the Mules strong support in Southern California.

Mark Lesko

Muhlenberg Holds on in One-Point Thriller

Senior Mark Lesko had 21 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots to lead the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team to a nail-biting 72-71 win over host Whittier in the opening round of the Purple & Gold Poet Classic.

The Mules (7-3), who have won four in a row, will face Richard Stockton in the championship game. The Ospreys started the East sweep of the West with a 69-64 win against Chapman.

The game featured 18 lead changes, the last of which came with 3:20 remaining, when senior Bill Cwieka drove in for a layup to give the Mules a 66-65 lead. Muhlenberg took a 72-66 lead on Lesko’s putback with 57 seconds left, and then things got interesting.

The Poets’ Abe Morabbi, who led all scorers with 24 points, made a three-point play to cut the gap in half. After a Mule miss, Morabbi hit a long jump shot that could have tied the game, but his foot was on the three-point line and Whitter (5-5) still trailed by one.

Muhlenberg twice missed the front end of a one-and-one in the final 15 seconds. After the second one, a Whittier player was tripped at midcourt with 1.3 seconds on the clock, but he missed the front end of a one-and-one. Lesko grabbed the rebound and held on as the clock expired.

Joining Lesko in double figures were juniors Aaron Holden (17 points) and Toomey Anderson (16) and Cwieka (11). Anderson hit four three-pointers.

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Last updated January 4, 2002