Men's Basketball Wins Title; Killing Reaches Milestone

Saturday, November 16, 2013
 

Football Women’s basketball Cross country, men’s soccer

Scoring his 1,000th point wouldn’t have meant as much for Malique Killing if the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team had lost in the Scotty Wood Tournament final. Fortunately, he got to celebrate both the milestone and the championship.

seniors
Mule seniors Hargrove, Bovino, Austin Curry and Albano accept the championship trophy from Dean of Students Karen Green.
Killing scored 28 points to earn MVP honors as the Mules held on to defeat Gwynedd Mercy, 81-80, in a thriller that came down to the final seconds. The Scotty Wood championship was the third for Muhlenberg in the last four years.

Killing reached the milestone, appropriately, on a steal and layup with 10:54 left in the second half. The 33rd member of the Mules’ 1,000-point club, he needed only 56 games to get there.

“That’s the greatest thing in the world to me right now,” said Killing. “I never got to score 1,000 in high school, so to get it in two years and two games in college is definitely a big deal to me. I have to thank my teammates for getting me the ball, finding me when I’m open and allowing me to shoot 20 times a game. They deserve as much credit as I do.”

Killing’s basket gave his team a 61-58 lead and was part of a 12-1 run that ended with the Mules up by 10 points, 72-62, with 7:26 left.

The spread was still 1 0 points, at 76-66, with 5:46 to play, but Muhlenberg had trouble putting the Griffins away. An 8-0 run cut the lead to two points at the two-minute mark, and a layup with 31.2 seconds left made it a one-point game.

Alec Stavetski
Stavetski scored 43 points in the two Scotty Wood Games, shooting 8-for-14 from three-point range.
Killing was fouled with 15.6 seconds on the clock and made the first free throw but missed the second, leaving the Mules with a tenuous 81-79 lead. A Gwynedd Mercy player was fouled with 6.2 ticks left and made the first free throw. After he missed the second, the Griffins corralled the offensive rebound. But on a drive to the basket, sophomore Alec Stavetski tipped the ball away, and senior James Albano snagged it before it went out of bounds.

“I saw them driving to the basket, and I was not going to let them get a layup to win the game,” said Stavetski, who scored 19 points and was named to the all-tournament team. “I just snuck around and batted it to try to get it off his legs. Even if it was off me, they wouldn’t have had much time.”

It wasn’t quite over just yet. Albano was fouled with 1.1 seconds left and missed the front end of a one-and-one. Gwynedd Mercy got off a desperation shot, but it was well off the mark and the Mules had the championship they missed out on last year.

“Last year we came up short against a really good team,” said Killing. “This was a great team win for us. We’ve been grinding for months and months, and it’s a good time to get rewarded for it. Now we get ready to kick off the rest of the season.”

Senior Kevin Hargrove battled foul trouble in the championship game, finishing with 16 points and a team-high nine rebounds in only 19 minutes. Senior Brandon Bovino added 11 points and eight boards.

Coming on the heels of the women’s win against Misericordia in their championship game, the win capped an exciting weekend of basketball in Memorial Hall.

“It’s great for the school,” said Stavetski. “The student section came out and supported us really well, so that all bodes well for us going into the rest of the season.”
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