#13 Mules Slip Past Shorewomen, 71-63

#13 Mules Slip Past Shorewomen, 71-63

Kile With 10 Points and 10 Rebounds For 10th Career Double-Double

ALLENTOWN, PA – Alita Zabrecky had game-bests with 18 points and three steals as host #13 Muhlenberg held off visiting Washington College, 71-63, on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Hall in Centennial Conference women's basketball action.  The Mules improve to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in Centennial action, while the Shorewomen drop to 2-3 and 1-3 respectively.

After Washington junior center Erin Kile (Benton, PA/Benton) scored the opening bucket, Muhlenberg scored the next nine points to take a 9-2 lead with 13:25 to go in the first half on a layup by Kathleen Naddaff.  The Shorewomen would counter with a 13-6 run to tie the score at 15-15 on a jumper by senior guard/forward Sally O'Donnell (Cape May Court House, NJ/Wildwood Catholic) with 7:36 to go in the first.  Following a Kile layup that tied the game at 19-19 with 6:05 left, the Mules would go on a 11-3 run to take a 30-22 lead with 2:33 left in the half on a layup by Zabrecky.  However, WC scored five of the final seven points of the first half to trail by just five at halftime, 32-27, as sophomore guard Katie Bay (Downingtown, PA/Downingtown West) scored the final basket of the half on a layup with 40 ticks to go.

In the second half, sophomore forward Erin Fitzgerald (Greensboro, NC/Bishop McGuiness) scored on a traditional three-point play to cut the Mules' lead to 36-32 with 18:06 left before Muhlenberg scored seven unanswered points to take a 43-32 lead with 16:41 to go on two free throws by Alexandra Chili.  The seven straight points ignited a 13-2 run that pushed the hosts' lead to 49-34 with 14:47 remaining on a three-pointer by Julie Kelly.  Washington would cut the Muhlenberg lead to just five points at 58-53 with 5:40 left in the contest on two Fitzgerald makes from the charity stripe.  It was as closes as WC would get though as Muhlenberg would score the next four points to extend its lead to nine points, 62-53, with 3:45 to go in the tilt on a Zabrecky lay-in.  Sophomore guard Claire Mattox (Arlington, VA/Potomac School) drained a triple to cut the Mules' lead to 62-56 with 2:44 left.  The two teams would trade two-point baskets and the Mules lead 64-58 with 1:56 left.  Chili would connect on two from the line to put Muhlenberg up 66-58 with one minute left, but Mattox scored on a second-chance layup to trim the hosts' cushion to 66-60 with 38 ticks remaining.  The Mules made three five throws in the final 38 seconds and O'Donnell hit a three with 10 seconds remaining in the game for the Shorewomen to provide the final margin.

Naddaff and Chili joined Zabrecky in double figures in points for the Mules as Naddaff had 14 and Chili added 13 points, including a perfect 10-for-10 from the foul line.  Chili and Naddaff tied for the team high in rebounds with six and Chili handed out four assists to lead all players.  The Mules shot 36% from the floor, 25% from three-point land and 65% from the free throw line (24-for-37).  Muhlenberg forced 25 WC turnovers and turned it into 26 points, while turning it over only nine times and surrendering just five points off of its miscues.

O'Donnell scored 14 points to lead the Shorewomen, while Kile had her 10th career double-double with 10 points and a game-best 10 rebounds.  Kile also blocked a pair of shots to lead all players, while Mattox totaled a team-topping two steals.  Freshman guard Jackie O'Connell (Northampton, PA/Northampton Area) had three assists to lead the guests.  WC shot 37% from the floor, 18% from behind the arc and 77% (23-for-30) from the free throw line.  The Shorewomen held a 45-34 edge in rebounds.

The Shorewomen will entertain visiting Swarthmore on Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m. in Centennial Conference action.