Muhlenberg Roughs Up Men's Basketball, 79-56
SWARTHMORE, Pa. - Three players reached double-figures for the Swarthmore College men's basketball team (0-6, 0-2), led by senior Michael Giannangeli's career-high 13 points, but visiting Muhlenberg used a big second-half to cruise to a 79-56 victory over the Garnet on Wednesday evening from Tarble Pavilion.
Four players reached double-digits for the Mules (6-1, 1-1), led by sophomore Austin Curry's 22 points. Senior Spencer Liddic was a force in the paint, pulling down 21 rebounds to tie a Centennial Conference single-game record.
A 35-28 game at the half, the Mules pulled away early in the second, led by Curry's 10 second-half points and 48 percent shooting as a team.
In the first half, the Mules raced to an 11-2 lead in the opening four minutes and held on to a seven-to-nine point advantage throughout the half. Still, the Garnet hung around, fueled by eight points from sophomore Jordan Cheney in the paint and clutch three-pointers from Giannangeli and junior Matt Turner. Free throws in the final two minutes of the half from sophomore Davis Ancona and Gates as well as strong defensive effort helped Swarthmore stay in game, trailing just 35-28 at the half.
In the second half, foul trouble eventually doomed the Garnet cause. Swarthmore accumulated six fouls in the opening three minutes of the second half, helping Muhlenberg open the half on a 9-2 run. With Swarthmore on the ropes, the Mules delivered the knockout punch less than a minute later, as a three-pointer in transition from Curry and jumper from 'Berg freshman A.J. Dean extended the Mules lead to 50-32 with 15:44 to play, effectively icing the game.
From that point on, the Garnet would not get any closer than 14 points away from the lead, as Muhlenberg finished off the 79-56 win.
Cheney added four blocks to go along with his eight points. Cheney also played excellent defense on Liddic in the paint, forcing the preseason All-American to one-of-nine shooting from the field.
Sophomore Jordan Federer added eight points and two steals. Gates finished with a team-high eight rebounds.
Swarthmore returns to action on Saturday when it travels to Ursinus. Play is set to begin at 3:00 p.m. from Collegeville.