Mules Rally Past Shorewomen, 76-75, for Overtime Win
Pledger Scores Career-Best 23 Points, Grabs 11 Boards in Loss
CHESTERTOWN, Md. -- Visiting Muhlenberg College rallied from an 11-point second-half deficit to pull out a 76-75 overtime win over host Washington College in a Centennial Conference women's basketball game this afternoon inside Cain Athletic Center. The Mules improved to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in conference play with the win, while the Shorewomen fell to 0-3 and 0-1 with the loss.
The Shorewomen led by as many as 12 points in the first half and took a 30-21 lead into halftime after forcing 17 Muhlenberg turnovers in the first half. Muhlenberg scored the first eight points of the second half to trim the lead to 30-29 on a jumper by Katy Mitton with 18:43 to play. The Mules took their first lead of the game on a pair of Erin Laney free throws with 14:37 remaining, putting Muhlenberg in front, 36-35. With the score tied at 38-38, Washington ran off seven straight points to build a 45-38 lead on a lay-up by senior forward Latisha Pledger (Chesapeake, Va./Indian River) with 10:56 on the clock. Muhlenberg scored the next four points to trim the margin to three before the Shorewomen scored the next right to complete a 15-4 run, gabbing a 55-44 lead on a three-pointer by junior guard Jackie O'Connell (Northampton, Pa./Northampton Area) with 7:11 remaining in regulation.
Washington held a 57-46 lead before nine straight Muhlenberg points cut the lead to 57-55 on a pair of free throws by Leanna Tallamy with 4:47 left. The Mules stayed within six points the remainder of regulation, cutting the lead to 65-63 on a jumper by Colleen Caldwell with 1:33 remaining. A Washington turnover on the ensuing possession gave the ball back to the Mules, who tied the score at 65-65 on a jumper by Laney with 33 seconds to go. After a turnover by the Shorewomen, Muhlenberg had a chance to win the game in regulation, but Janelle Fleet misfired on a jumper with two seconds on the clock.
Neither team led by more than two points in overtime until a pair of free throws by senior guard Katie Bay (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown West) gave the Shorewomen a 73-69 advantage with 2:02 to go. Muhlenberg cut the lead to 73-71 when Tallamy converted a pair of free throws on the other end with 1:35 left and took the lead for good when she converted a fast-break lay-up and made a free throw with 1:04 remaining, giving the Mules a 76-73 edge. The Shorewomen turned the ball over on the ensuing inbounds, but the Mules gave the ball back with 44 seconds to play. A pair of Mattox free throws then cut the lead to 76-75 with 43 seconds on the clock. Leann Lanza missed a jumper for the Mules with 18 seconds left and Mattox grabbed the rebound, but a shot by O'Connell with one second to go was stuffed by Lanza to end the game.
Tallamy led the Mules with 18 points in the win, while Laney scored 15. Caldwell dished out a game-best seven assists to go along with six points, while Lanza scored eight points and blocked a game0best three shots.
Pledger led all players with a career-best 23 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Pledger shot 13-of-14 from the free-throw line in the loss and was the only Shorewoman to reach double figures in scoring. O'Connell shot 3-for-4 from three-point range and finished with nine points and a team-best +15 plus/minus rating in 12 minutes of play. Freshman center Nina Haller (Chevy Chase, Md./Bethesda-Chevy Chase) added nine points, nine boards, and two blocks, while Mattox had eight points and a team-best four assists.
Muhlenberg shot 43% from the field in the game to Washington's 38%. Led by Pledger, the Shorewomen were 25-for-28 at the free-throw line, while the Mules were 24-for-35. Washington also held a 44-34 advantage on the glass. The two teams combined for 63 turnovers (33 for Washington, 30 for Muhlenberg) and 47 fouls (26 for Washington, 21 for Muhlenberg) in the game.
The Shorewomen return to action Tuesday with an 8:00 p.m. home game against Bryn Mawr.