January 18, 2014

Mules Use Strong Second Half Surge To Top Shorewomen, 66-54

Pledger Tallies Double-Double With 10 Points and Game-High 13 Rebounds

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Host Muhlenberg outscored visiting Washington College, 39-21, in the second half to turn a 33-27 halftime deficit into a 66-54 victory in a Centennial Conference women's basketball game at Memorial Hall on Saturday afternoon.  The Mules improve to 8-7 overall and 5-4 in the Centennial, while the Shorewomen drop to 5-9 and 4-4 respectively.

The Shorewomen jumped out to a 10-3 lead just 5:30 into the game on a second chance layup by senior forward Latisha Pledger (Chesapeake, Va./Indian River).  The Mules responded with nine of the next 11 points to knot the game at 12-12 with 12:01 left in the first half on a Laura Gregory basket.  Washington would score the next five points, all by senior forward Erin Fitzgerald (Greensboro, N.C./Bishop McGuiness) to take a 17-12 lead with 10:52 remaining when she drained a free throw.  Muhlenberg trailed 23-18 with 5:50 left in the first half when they went on a 9-4 run to tie the game at 27-27 with 2:24 left in the first half on an Abby Stenger lay-in.  The Shorewomen countered with the last six points of the opening half to take a 33-27 lead at intermission.  Sophomore guard Kelly Sugalski (Malvern, Pa./Great Valley) scored the final two points of the half on a jumper with 23 seconds left after junior guard Emily Hubley (West Chester, Pa./Bayard Rustin) scored the previous four points on a layup and two free throws.  Hubley had 12 points at halftime to lead all players.

Muhlenberg came out strong in the second half, scoring the first eight points to take a 35-33 lead on a traditional three-point play by Leanna Tallamy with 16:58 left to give the Mules their first lead of the ballgame.  The Mules lead 42-40 with 11:51 left in the contest when they scored the next six points to take a 48-40 lead with 9:35 left on a Leeann Lanza jumper and led to a WC timeout.  After a Washington free throw cut the lead to 48-41, the Mules scored the next four points to cap the 10-1 spurt at 52-41 with 8:11 left on two free throws by Hannah Rush.  The Shorewomen would get it within seven points at 53-46 with 5:51 left in the game on a jumper by freshman guard Daniela Falcone (Potomac, Md./Connelly School of the Holy Child), but could draw no closer as Muhlenberg scored 10 of the next 14 points to lead 63-50 with 3:27 left on a conventional three-point play by Gregory.  The lead for the Mules the rest of the way fluctuated between 10 and 13 points.

Tallamy had a team-high 15 points for Muhlenberg, while Erin Laney joined Tallamy in double figures for the hosts with 12 points.  Gregory, Lanza and Tallamy each had six rebounds to lead the team, while Rush and Colleen Caldwell passed out four assists to lead all players.  Caldwell also had three steals to lead all participants.  Muhlenberg shot 33% from the floor (20-for-60), 20% from three-point range (2-for-10) and 62% from the foul line (21-for-39).  Muhlenberg held a 24-3 edge in points off of turnovers, as they turned it over just five times, while Washington lost the ball 17 times.  The Mules had 13 of the game's 15 steals.

Pledger tallied her fourth double-double of the season and the second of the year versus Muhlenberg with a game-best 13 rebounds and 10 points.  It was also her second straight double-double.  Pledger had both of Washington's steals in the game.  Hubley scored a game-best 17 points for WC and nabbed eight boards.  WC shot 35% from the floor (17-for-48) and 71% from the charity stripe (20-for-28).  The Shorewomen missed all 10 three-point tries in the contest.  Washington held a 44-39 edge on the glass.

Muhlenberg held a 24-14 advantage in points in the paint and 22-12 in bench points.  Each side had 11 points on second chance opportunities.

The Shorewomen, who had their three-game conference and overall winning streak come to an end today, are back in action on Wednesday night with a 6:00 p.m. game at Johns Hopkins in Centennial Conference action.

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