Montclair, NJ (12/18/10) – Junior guard Alexandra Chili (Rockville, MA / Walter Johnson) scored a game-high 27 points while sophomore guard Alita Zabrecky (Center Valley, PA / Southern Lehigh) added 22 points and five steals as 14th-ranked Muhlenberg used a pair big runs in each half to remain unbeaten with a 67-53 victory over Montclair State at the Panzer Athletic Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Mules led the entire contest and held off comebacks by the Red Hawks to move to 8-0 on the season.
Senior forward Kisandra Ayanbeku (Brockton, MA / Randolph) posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds while junior Jaime Ericson (Flemington, NJ / Hunterdon Central) added 10 points and 11 rebounds as MSU dropped its second straight and fell to 4-6.
Chili hit a three-pointer 14 seconds in for the first points of the game and after Ayanbeku answered for Montclair with a basket, Muhlenberg scored the next 16 points to take a 19-2 lead with seven minutes gone by in the game. Chili had 10 of the points in the run, including two more from behind the arc. A layup by Sheila Cook (Rockville Centre, NY / Kellenberg Memorial) made the score 25-4, however Montclair State responded with a 17-3 run over a seven-minute span to get within striking distance.
Ericson and Sara Kelley (Newtown, CT / Newtown) combined on three three-pointers in the spurt and a three-point play by Ayanbeku with 3:05 remaining brought Montclair within 28-21. But Chili answered with a jumper and then added two foul shots with five seconds left before half as the Mules led 32-21 at the break.
The second half was nearly a mirror image of the first half as Muhlenberg pushed its lead to 52-30 with 12:27 to play on a Kate Clawson (Madison, CT / Daniel Hand) jumper. Montclair made one last run getting back to eight points asMichelle Montagna (New Providence, NJ / New Providence) drained a three from the left wing with 8:44 to go making the score 54-46. Chili pushed the lead back to double digits with two foul shots and after a Red Hawk bucket, Zabrecky finished off a break at the Mules went back up by 10 points, 58-48.
Kathleen Naddaff (Randolph, NJ / Randolph) had six points and five rebounds for Muhlenberg while Cook added five points and five boards.
Montagna had 12 points for Montclair State with Kelley registering eight.
Both teams are now on extended breaks until the calendar turns to 2011. Montclair State is off until New Year’s Day (January 1) when it faces Gordon College in the Key Largo Classic in Florida at 7:00 pm. MSU will face Simmons College the next day at 5:00 pm. Muhlenberg is out of action until Wednesday, January 5 when it travels to Carlisle, PA to take on Dickinson College at 7:00 p.m.