The Muhlenberg womens basketball team came out of the gates on fire,
using its run-and-gun, pressure-defense system to perfection, but hit a
roadblock and could not return to its original form in enough time to make
it to the conference playoffs. After winning seven of their first eight
games, the Mules seemed to be destined for another winning and
record-breaking campaign. More records would fall, but wins were much
harder to come by as the Mules ended up 11-14, 7-11 in the Centennial
Senior Aril Bryant finished her career with 185
assists, tying her for 10th on the Mules all-time list.
Among the early-season victories was a Scotty Wood Tournament championship
and a 133-80 win over Haverford in which the Mules broke the Division III
records for most points in a half (78) and three-pointers made in a game
(21). Muhlenbergs 133 points in the game tied for the fourth-most in
Division III history.
Upon returning in early January from a 23-day layoff, the Mules struggled
to retain their momentum from the first half of the season and lost two straight and nine
of 10. Searching for an answer to the teams struggles, Muhlenberg
even went back to a more traditional style of play. While the change in
scheme did lead to late-season wins against Washington, Gettysburg and
the Mules still finished two games out of the final playoff spot.
Doyle made a three-pointer in 54
straight games, the second-longest streak in Division III history.
Not lost in the unpredictably difficult season were some great individual
achievements. The best three-point shooter in team history, senior Gwen
Doyle ended her career with the team records for most three-pointers
in a career (186) and season (64).
Junior Kristen Piscadlo established herself as one of the top
players in the conference and received All-Centennial Conference honorable
mention. She led the Mules in points (11.8), assists (4.28), and steals
(2.2) per game and became only the second player in team history to post
back-to-back 100 assist seasons.
Junior Lacie Smith emerged as a force inside, averaging 9.8 points
and 7.3 rebounds per contest. She was most effective during the
seasons final month, averaging 15.1 points over the last eight games
of the season, including a career-high 24 points in the Mules season
finale against Ursinus.
With the continuing maturation of players like Piscadlo and Smith to go
along with six other players that will make up an experienced eight-member
senior class, the Mules may find themselves running and gunning back to
the top of the CC next season. The group of seniors will rival the six
outstanding seniors from the 2003 team that led Muhlenberg to the
semifinals of the CC playoffs. Next years seniors will have that goal
in mind, but also something that the Mules have not accomplished since
1998: a Centennial Conference championship.