Hot Shooting Men's Basketball Wins Third Straight

Saturday, December 1, 2012
 

Women’s basketball

Following a three-pointer in transition by Alec Stavetski in the first half, the frustrated Washington College coach turned to his bench and yelled, “He’s a shooter! That’s ALL he does.”

And he does it quite well.

Kevin Hargrove
This lefty hook by Hargrove gave the Mules a 33-28 lead with 4:21 left in the first half.
For the second straight game, Stavetski was a spark off the bench, scoring 18 points on the strength of perfect 4-for-4 shooting from three-point range, to help the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team to their third straight win, 86-71.

Sophomore Malique Killing scored 20 points for his third straight 20-point game, junior Austin Curry poured in a season-high 16, and senior Matt O’Hara tied a career high with 10 assists as the Mules (4-2, 2-1) posted a rare comfortable win in Chestertown.

In the first 19 years of the Centennial Conference, Muhlenberg won only four games at the Cain Center, two in overtime, another by one point and the most recent (five years ago) by six points.

And even though Stavetski, a freshman, is now 1-0 for his career at Washington, he knew all about the history.

“The seniors wanted to win so bad,” said Stavetski. “We came in here and did a great job.”

Washington (0-5, 0-3) led for most of the early part of the game and was up 26-24 with seven minutes remaining before the Mules closed the half on a 17-6 run, holding the Shorewomen to two field goals in 12 attempts.

Kevin Hargrove
In addition to his 20 points, Killing had five assists and four steals.
Killing scored the first seven points of the surge on driving layups (drawing a foul on one) and added the last three on free throws after he was fouled while attempting a shot from behind the arc. In between, Stavetski scored five straight points, three on the shot that prompted the outburst from the Shoremen coach.

After going just 3-for-17 from three-point range in the first three games of his career, Stavetski is 9-for-14 in his last three, pushing his scoring average to 11.0 points per game. (And for the record, that’s not ALL he does – he pulled down a team-high seven rebounds against Washington.)

“It was a lot of Matt and Malique telling me to keep shooting,” he said. “They showed a lot of confidence in me, and that helped me get over the jitters a little.”

The entire team shot with confidence at Washington: 57.1 percent for the game, including 60.9 percent in the second half, which started with a Curry hitting a three to extend the lead to double digits. The Shoremen got no closer than seven points the rest of the way, with Muhlenberg extending its lead to 20 on a pair of free throws by sophomore Jesse Lerner with a minute left.

O’Hara, who also had 10 assists at Washington last year, flirted with his first career double-double, scoring eight points, and juniors Brandon Bovino and Kevin Hargrove each had nine points and six rebounds. The three straight wins, in which the Mules are averaging more than 81 points, have helped put in the rear-view mirror last week’s CC-opening 66-52 loss to Gettysburg.

“We’ve really taken an all-business approach,” said Stavetski. “We’re treating every game as if it’s a championship game and going hard for 40 minutes, always together as a team and never separating.”
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