Mules Wear Down Garnet 64-50


ALLENTOWN, Pa. - The dynamic duo of freshman Will Gates and senior captain Matt Allen combined for 38 of Swarthmore's 50 points,  but it wasn't enough to combat an outstanding performance from Muhlenberg sophomore forward Spencer Liddic, who dominated the paint with 24 points and 19 rebounds to lead the Mules (12-8, 10-3) past the visiting Garnet 64-50 on Wednesday evening in Centennial Conference action.

Gates and Allen combined to connect on seven three-pointers to keep Swat (5-15, 4-9) in the game until the final whistle, but it was the Garnet's shooting from inside the arc - just 13-of-41 for the game - that was the difference in the Mule victory.

Gates scored 20 points in the Garnet defeat.

Gates scored 20 points in the Garnet defeat.

For the first 10 minutes of play, the Garnet played neck-and-neck with the second-place Mules.  Thanks to the play Allen and Gates - who combined for 13 of Swat's first 15 points - the Garnet found themselves tied with the Mules 15-15 following a three-pointer from Gates the right wing with 8:36 left to play in the half.

But from that point, the Swarthmore offense went ice cold - not scoring another point for the rest of the half.  While the Swat defense  did its part - limiting  Muhlenberg  to 0-of-10 shooting from three thanks to a puzzling zone defense - the Mules finished the half on a 12-0 run, taking a 27-15 lead into the locker room.

For the first half, the Garnet shot just 18.5 percent from the field, connecting on just 2-of-14 shots from inside the arc.

Despite the first-half shooting woes, the offense picked up significantly in the second stanza and the Garnet found themselves in the game until the final whistle. Down 17 points with 9:27 left to play in the game, Allen caught fire - hitting three-consecutive three pointers, cutting the Mules' lead to 48-38 with 6:49 left to play. Swat shot an improved 41 percent from the floor in the second half.

The Garnet would get the lead down to single digits, but the larger Mules simply wore down the Swat defense late in the second half. Liddic led the way in the post, scoring 17 of his 24 points in the second half. The Mules finished off the Garnet 64-50.

Muhlenberg - the Centennial's top rebounding team - won the glass 50-35 and maintained a 14-4 edge in second-chance points.

Senior Danny Walker added a season-high nine rebounds. Allen's 18 points is a season-high.

The Garnet - still on the fringes of the playoff hunt - return to action on Saturday when Johns Hopkins visits Tarble Pavilion. Action is slated to begin at 3:00 p.m.

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