Mules down McDaniel 70-64 in conference opener
WESTMINSTER, Md. - Sheila Cook netted a game-high 18 points to go with seven rebounds, leading 10th-ranked Muhlenberg to a 70-64 victory over McDaniel in the Centennial Conference (CC) women's basketball opener for both teams on Tuesday.
Sally Grace (Catonsville, Md./Mount de Sales Academy) tallied 14 points to lead the Green Terror (0-3, 0-1 CC), who opened a season 0-3 for the first time since 1977-78.
Ali Moreland (Davidsonville, Md./South River) chipped in 13 points and five assists while Cara Thompson (Hagerstown, Md./North Hagerstown) recorded her first double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
Kaitlyn O'Malley and Kelly McKeon added 14 points apiece for the Mules (2-1, 1-0 CC), who notched their sixth straight victory over McDaniel. Alexandra Chili chipped in 12 points.
With her team trailing 50-47 on a Catherine Mills (Ijamsville, Md./Urbana) free throw at the 11:19 mark, Cook hit a short jumper to spark an 8-0 burst over a 2-minute, 35-second span that gave the visitors a 55-50 lead. Cook contributed six of the eight points during the span.
An Ashley Lyles (Laurel, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) three-point play closed the deficit to 64-62 with 3:06 on the clock but a Chili wide-open 3-pointer from the right wing stretched the lead back to five and sealed the victory for Muhlenberg.
Keyed by eight points from O'Malley, the Mules opened up a 12-3 lead in the game's first 4:23.
A Chili jumper gave Muhlenberg a 16-8 lead with 13:01 to play in the first half before two Grace free throws with 11:45 on the clock started an 13-6 stretch that closed the deficit to one four-and-a-half minutes later.
The Mules stretched the lead back to five late in the half before a Lyles layup in the final 20 seconds closed the halftime deficit to 33-30.
Muhlenberg stretched the lead back to seven in the first minute of the second half before a 20-10 span, including seven straight points over a span of 1:25 gave the hosts their three-point advantage.
McKeon added seven assists and five steals for the Mules.
Katelyn Fischer (Reisterstown, Md./Seton Keough) and Grace added three assists for the Green Terror, who had 18 helpers on 25 baskets.
Lyles added nine points, six rebounds and four blocked shots.
McDaniel returns to action at home against Swarthmore on Tuesday. Game time is 7 p.m.