Women's Basketball Puts End to Washington Winning Streak

Saturday, December 1, 2012 - page 2
 

With a 59-44 win over Washington College, the Muhlenberg women’s basketball team put an end to the longest winning streak (nine games, dating back to last season) in Division III women’s basketball.

Colleen Caldwell
Junior Colleen Caldwell dished out a team-high five assists.
Although junior Leeann Lanza didn’t know her team had just accomplished that feat, she was aware that the Mules had just handed the Shorewomen their first loss of the season, ending their quest for the first 5-0 season in school history.

“Before we even talked to Coach, Alita [Zabrecky] gathered us all together and told us that they were 4-0,” stated Lanza. “She said ‘they’re on fire, they’re pumped and they want to keep rolling, so we have to be the ones to stop their momentum.’”

Colleen Caldwell
Junior Katy Mitton made a pair of baskets in the 15-6 run.
And with some help from Lanza, Muhlenberg challenged Washington’s momentum right from the get-go.

Lanza scored six points for the Mules in the first 3:20 of play, including two on a highlight-reel-worthy reverse layup following an offensive rebound. She finished with a season-high 14 points on the day, grabbed six rebounds and blocked two shots.

Vital to the Mules’ success against Washington was their full-court pressure in the first half. They forced 10 turnovers in the first 20 minutes, including three in the first 1:14 of play.

“We’ve been a little disorganized with pressing in our other games,” said Lanza. “Today we were all working together and everyone was helping.

“Even though we try to slow down on offense and gather ourselves, on defense we go as fast as we can because we have so much depth in every position &150 we pressure everybody and we wear teams down,” added Lanza.

Another key to Muhlenberg’s victory was Zabrecky. The senior recorded her third double-double of the season, scoring 21 points and grabbing 14 boards, including seven on the offensive end. Zabrecky also had a team-high three steals.

Helping the Mules off the bench was Zabrecky’s classmate Kate Clawson, who finished with 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting and had five rebounds and two blocks. She was a perfect 2-of-2 from behind the arc, rimming in a long-range three as part of a 15-6 run that gave the Mules a nine-point lead at halftime.

Lanza opened the second half with a layup, pushing the margin to 11, and Washington never got within single digits again.

Muhlenberg (3-2, 2-1) shot 50 percent from three-point-range and limited the Shorewomen (4-1, 2-1) to just 7.7 percent shooting on 1-of-13 attempts from behind the arc.

The Mules turned the ball over just 10 times on the day, half the number they posted in their loss to Swarthmore on Thursday.

“We’ve been talking about turnovers a lot, especially in practice,” said Lanza. “We just have to take our time and make sure we make good passes and that the person we’re passing to is actually open.

“I think we relaxed a lot more than we did in the last game. We took our time and focused on getting everything settled,” she added.
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