A playoff run to remember

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On Friday, Feb. 24 the Muhlenberg men’s basketball team traveled to Baltimore, MD to take on their opponent, the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays in the Centennial Conference semi-final playoff match. After a successful, winning season, the Mules fell short to the Blue Jays in a devastating 51-85 loss. The Blue Jays were ranked seventh in Division III and suffered a 73-76 loss to Swarthmore in the championship game just two days after their victory over Muhlenberg. 

Muhlenberg struggled to make any field goals in the first half of the game and gave Johns Hopkins a double-digit lead going into the second half. The Blue Jays continued to hold the Mules in the second half and the Mules eventually fell short of their overall goal. Yet, senior Tommy McGuire ‘23 still describes the season as a success despite not leaving with the win. He expressed, “Even though our goal was to finish this season with a conference championship, I would say we were still successful this year. Off the court, our team bonded and became very close. On the court, we always competed and won a lot of games against some of the best competition the country has to offer.” 

The Mules’ competitive nature that McGuire describes is reflected in the game’s statistics. Giovanni Rubino ‘24 had 15 points in the game, becoming only the fourth Mule to score 500 points in a season. He ended the season with 510 points total, the third-best in program history. Graduate student Dan Gaines ‘22 scored 11 points and finished his career with 1,459 points for ninth on the program’s all-time list. 

The Mules look to carry this momentum into the 2023-2024 season and are excited about their team’s future.  “I am very proud of our group and look forward to watching the careers of the younger guys pan out; they have a very bright future.” added McGuire.

The season was full of memories for underclassmen to fifth years. “Although we didn’t reach our ultimate goal of winning the conference and making it to the tournament, we all look at this year as a successful one and us seniors believe we left a positive mark on the underclassmen as they move forward. Our entire team became very close this season thus creating lifelong friendships.” said first team centennial conference and captain Gaines.

The Mules ended the season with an 18-9 overall record and a 12-6 conference record. 

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