Men's Basketball Goes Big to Beat Moravian

Sunday, November 30, 2014
 

Sam McClellan It took a big-time effort for the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team to defeat Moravian, 84-77, in its first game back from Thanksgiving break.

Big men John Hunter and Sam McClellan combined for 25 points and 20 rebounds as the Mules (4-2) snapped a two-game skid and got back on the winning track heading into a week with two Centennial Conference games.

The win also clinched a tie for the 2014-15 Matte Award. Muhlenberg will take its 8-2 lead into the spring season, with the next Matte contest scheduled for February 28 in baseball.

Hunter scored a career-high 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field. The 6-10 sophomore, who also pulled down eight rebounds, made his first nine attempts before missing on a dunk late in the game.

McClellan, a 6-6 freshman who entered the game with season totals of five points and six rebounds, broke out with six points and a team-high 12 rebounds.

The duo split the 40 minutes, never taking the floor at the same time against a Moravian team that for most of the game played with no one taller than 6-4.

“We had some size on them, and it is just all effort on the boards,” said McClellan (left). “John had a great game offensively and the guards did a great job getting the ball down low.”

Malique Killing Senior Malique Killing led all scorers with 23 points and added six assists – several of the highlight-reel variety – and three steals. Freshman Owen McLeod was 3-for-4 from three-point range en route to a career-high 11 points, and sophomore Brandon LaRose added eight points and seven rebounds.

McClellan’s putback broke a 17-all tie midway through the first half and kicked off a 13-2 run that gave Muhlenberg its first double-digit lead. But the Greyhounds (1-5) cut the gap to five by halftime and opened up a three-point lead in the second half.

The score was tied at 62 before Killing (right) made four straight free throws to put the Mules ahead for good. Hunter followed with a layup off a superb pass from the wing by junior Alec Stavetski to extend the lead to six.

It was 71-67 with under five minutes to play before Muhlenberg put the game away with an 8-0 run. Killing scored four of the points and assisted Hunter and freshman Nick Rindock for the other four.

The Mules, who set a program record by winning their first three games and scoring at least 80 points in all of them, shot 52.5 percent from the field.

“We played great the last six minutes, and that’s what it took to get the win today,” said McClellan. “We have the chemistry and the teamwork and the belief that we can win these games.”
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