Muhlenberg College

Allentown, Pa.
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Thursday, January 20, 2005
Winter Scoreboard
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Men Complete Comeback, Women Run Out of Time
Wrestlers Defeat Albright

The strength of the Muhlenberg wrestling team all season has been its three upperweights, and although none of the three won contested bouts at Albright, the Mules got clutch performances elsewhere in the lineup and won, 31-16.

Sophomore Michael Tenenhaus and senior Frank Pepe, who each entered with only one win in a contested bout, both prevailed by decision. Tenenhaus’ 7-3 win at 125 gave Muhlenberg (4-7) a 15-0 lead following two forfeit wins to open the bout. Pepe, who had wrestled everywhere from 157 to 174 this year, moved all the way up to 184 for the first time and took a 5-2 decision to close out the match.

The Mules also got a rare pin from senior 149-pounder Jeremy Hart – just the seventh in his career out of 61 wins. Freshman Brian Saval picked up a 5-0 decision at 157, and junior Chris Gibson tied for the team lead with his third major decision at 165.

Click here for box score.

Senior Chase Licata scored a career-high 22 points to lead the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team to its second straight Centennial Conference win, 63-56 at home against Swarthmore in a makeup of the game snowed out on Wednesday.

The Mules (8-7, 5-3), who are a game out of first in the CC, overcame a six-point halftime deficit with strong defense. The Garnet (2-13, 1-7) scored only 23 points and shot 32 percent in the second half.

Muhlenberg’s second-half defense helped slow down Swarthmore’s Matt Gustafson, the CC scoring leader, who became his school’s all-time scoring leader in the first half. Gustafson scored 19 points in the first 20 minutes, leading the Garnet to a 33-27 edge at the break, but was held to 1-of-7 shooting and five points the rest of the way.

The Mules made their comeback without the second-leading scorer in the CC, sophomore Jeff Stewart, who went to the bench with his fourth foul six minutes into the second half. Muhlenberg trailed at the time, 42-37, but went on an immediate 15-3 run to take the lead for good.

The key play in the run was a five-point possession. With the Mules down by a point, Licata drove in for a layup at the 11-minute mark and was fouled. He missed the free throw, but sophomore Justin Fields controlled the rebound after a scramble and was fouled on his putback. Fields hit his free throw, giving Muhlenberg a 49-45 lead.

Sophomore Chris Pothering drilled a three-pointer the next time down to run the lead to seven.

Swarthmore had several possessions down three late in the game, but each time the Mules came up with a defensive stop. The last stop came with 22.1 seconds left and Muhlenberg clinging to a 59-56 lead, when senior Ryan Bonda stole a pass on the baseline and drove coast-to-coast for a clinching layup. Licata added two free throws for the final margin.

Licata scored 11 points in each half and added seven rebounds. Bonda ended with 12 points, and Fields had seven points and six rebounds. Stewart was held to eight points, ending his double-figure scoring streak at 18 games, but did pull down a game-high 12 rebounds.

Click here for box score.

• Women’s Basketball: Muhlenberg didn’t get the win it needed badly against Swarthmore, but could feel good about a spirited comeback effort that fell just short in an 85-82 loss.

It was the fourth consecutive Centennial Conference setback for the Mules (8-6, 4-4), who had never lost to the Garnet (8-6, 5-4) at Memorial Hall.

Swarthmore shot 56 percent in the first half and led by 17 points, 49-32, at halftime. The Garnet scored the first seven points of the second half to extend its advantage to 24 before Muhlenberg turned up the defensive pressure and began to creep back in the game.

The Mules finally got within single digits (71-63) on a putback by junior Lacie Smith with 4:03 left. Subsequent consecutive baskets by sophomore Meghan Courtney cut the gap to four.

The Garnet appeared to have stemmed the tide when it scored the next six points. The spread was still 10 points (80-70) heading into the final minute when Muhlenberg made a final push. A three-point play by junior Kristen Piscadlo and three-pointers by freshman Abra Like and junior Tiffany Kirk made it 82-79.

Swarthmore made the comeback tough by hitting on 10 of 12 free throws, but missed two with 6.8 seconds left to give the Mules a chance to tie. A three-point attempt hit the back iron at the final buzzer, however.

Piscadlo finished with 17 points, six assists and four steals, while junior Stephanie Coluccini led the team with 18.

Click here for box score.

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Last updated January 20, 2005