Muhlenberg Outlasts Men's Basketball in High-Scoring Contest, 91-80
ALLENTOWN, Pa. - A monster performance from Muhlenberg's Malique Killing (38 points) helped lift the homestanding Mules past the Swarthmore College men's basketball team (0-5, 0-2) by a score of 91-80 on Thursday evening from Memorial Hall Gym.
Alec Stavetski netted 20 points off the bench for the Mules (3-2, 1-1), who finished the game shooting just under 50 percent. Killing - who hit six triples for the game - finished just two points shy of recording the 12th 40-point performance in Centennial Conference history.
Four players reached double figures for the Garnet, led by Karl Barkley's 19 points on five three-pointers. Freshman Ethan Lee scored a career-high 14 points and pulled down a career-best seven rebounds while freshman Seth Liebert and senior Will Gates added 11 points each.
Swarthmore scored at ease in the second half, netting 56 points on 54-percent shooting, but it wasn't enough to erase a 17-point halftime deficit (41-24). The turning point in the game was a 23-2 run by the Mules over a seven-minute stretch late in the first half.
Swarthmore played Muhlenberg toe-to-toe to start the contest, leading for a majority of the opening 10 minutes of play. Following a three-pointer from Lee, the Garnet found itself ahead 16-12 with 11:12 to play in the first half.
Unfortunately for the Garnet, the momentum of the game shifted swiftly and decisively in the Mules favor following Lee's triple. Over the next seven minutes of play, the Mules outscored the Garnet 23-2, turning a four-defecit into a 17-point lead in the blink of an eye. Killing and Stavetski combined to score 21 of the 23 points during the run, propelling the Mules into the halftime break with a 41-24 advantage.
In the second half, the Garnet offense was clicking on all cylinders, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Mules, who also had no problem finding the basket. The Garnet cut the deficit to seven points midway through the second half following a 12-2 run, but would not get any closer to the lead for the remainder of the contest. For every Swarthmore basket in the second stanza, Killing and the Mules had an answer, as Muhlenberg held on the 91-80 win.
Junior Jay Kober finished with nine points and a team-high eight rebounds and four assists.
Killing and Stavetski did much of their damage from the free-throw line, combining to shoot 15-of-17.
The much-improved Garnet offense eclipsed 80 points for the second time this season.
Swarthmore returns to Tarble Pavilion for the first time in two weeks when it hosts Ursinus on Saturday. Action is slated to begin at 3:00 p.m.