Hunter Double-Double Helps Men's Basketball Bounce Back

Wednesday, January 7, 2015
 

Women’s basketball

After Monday night’s deflating loss at King’s, the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team was in need of a bounceback win to boost some spirits before the start of the second semester when McDaniel came to Allentown for the first conference game of the new year.

Things seemed in doubt when the Mules gave away a 10-point lead late in the second half, but a spirit-boosting win is exactly what they got, holding on for a 72-64 win over the Green Terror.

John Hunter “It was really important to bounce back tonight,” sophomore John Hunter said. “Team chemistry wise I think we really bounced back, which is key.”

The 6-9, 220-pound Hunter was huge (figuratively and literally) in the middle with 13 points on an efficient 4-of-6 shooting, a career-high 15 rebounds and five blocks. He also shot 5-of-6 from the line to help the Mules secure the win.

Senior guard Malique Killing found Hunter under the hoop for a wide-open hook with 37.5 seconds to go, stretching the Mule lead to five at 67-62. After slipping off a screen, Hunter was practically jumping up and down and waving his hands because he knew he was all alone. An uncontested shot like that is a rarity for a big man who deals with two and three defenders hacking at him on every shot.

“I feel like that a lot, so it’s nice to get those every once in a while,” Hunter said. “I’ve been working on keeping the ball high so I don’t get stripped.”

Killing led the scoring attack with 23 points on 8-of-15 shooting. Muhlenberg (7-5, 2-3 CC) seemed to have the game in hand up 61-51 with 3:54 to play, but a 10-0 McDaniel run put the pressure squarely back on the Mules, and they delivered. First, Alec Stavetski drilled two free throws after getting fouled on a defensive rebound, and then Killing finished a layup by contorting his body under the hoop despite heavy contact from the Green Terror. Those four points would put the Mules on top for good.

“We just played for each other and we weren’t selfish on offense. Once we do that our offense really plays well together,” Hunter (left) said following his first career double-double.

Indeed, the 72 points put up by the Mules were the most allowed by McDaniel (7-4, 2-3) in a regulation game this season. The Green Terror recently had a stretch of six straight games holding opponents to 56 points or fewer and came in sixth in Division III in scoring defense.

Along with Killing and Hunter, Stavetski (17 and eight rebounds) and Jon Schreer (12 on 4-of -5 three-pointers) helped the Mule starting five score 68 of the team’s 72 points.
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