LANCASTER, Pa. – Muhlenberg scored the final 17 points of the game to steal a 72-58 come-from-behind victory over Franklin & Marshall on Tuesday night in Centennial Conference (CC) women's basketball. The Diplomats fell to 5-7, 3-4 CC with the defeat as the Mules improved to 8-4, 6-2.
Down 55-53 after three quarters, F&M tied the game just nine seconds into the fourth following an elbow jumper from Sarah Haddon. The Diplomats took a 58-55 lead with 8:05 left thanks to a three from Lindsey Powers, but were unable to score again as Muhlenberg finished the game on a scorching 17-0 run en route to the 72-58 win.
The late run was part of a larger comeback from the Mules, as it was all F&M in the first quarter. Erica Brown, Haley Pilone, and Haddon all tallied four points before Sarah Pisani connected on a three to give the hosts a 15-2 advantage with 5:28 left in the first. Muhlenberg pulled within three at 17-14, but four more from Haddon and a jumper from Powers returned the lead to 21-16 at the first intermission.
Five points from Brown and four from Pilone to start the second gave the Diplomats their biggest lead of the night at 33-16 with 5:36 left in the second. The Mules cut the deficit late in the half, but a pair of old-fashioned three-point plays from Pisani and Kristin Hamill preserved an eight-point, 40-32 advantage at halftime.
After the break, Muhlenberg continued to close the gap, eventually taking its first lead of the game at 42-41 with 6:27 remaining in the third. Four points from Haddon helped return the lead to F&M, but an 11-5 run to close the quarter gave the Mules the two-point edge entering the final stanza.
Haddon notched her second double-double of the season after recording team highs for points (15) and rebounds (13). Pisani also reached double digits with 11 points, to go along with five assists on the night. Brown and Powers chipped in nine apiece, while Pilone finished with eight.
Muhlenberg's Brandi Vallely led all scorers with 22 points in addition to eight assists, eight steals, and seven rebounds. She was joined in double figures by Christina Manning with 11.
F&M returns to the court on Thursday, hosting Washington College for a CC showdown at 6:00 p.m.