On Saturday, Dec. 3, the Muhlenberg Mules traveled to Baltimore, Maryland for a basketball showdown against the (6-1) Johns Hopkins University Blue Jays. The (4-1) Mules knew they were in for a tough game, since they were playing against the two-time defending Centennial Conference basketball champions. As the referee tossed the basketball up in the air, none of that mattered. The only thing that mattered was that the Mules would dictate the tempo and dominate the scoreboard.
“Beating Hopkins doesn’t really change the outlook… As a team, we know what we are capable of and what we need to do to get big wins.”Jayson Williams-Johnson ‘25
“It felt great playing against Johns Hopkins on Saturday and even better getting the win,” said Jayson Williams-Johnson ‘25. “We approached the game the same way we have been with other teams this year. Although they are two-time defending CC champions we treat no team [as more] special than another rather than just going in and doing the things we have to do to get a win.”
During the game, the Mules were powered by the duo of Giovanni Rubino ‘24 and Charlie Gillikin ‘25. Rubino was the leading scorer for the Mules tallying 23 points with six of his points coming from the free throw line, where he connected on all attempts. Gillikin had one of the best games of his Muhlenberg career thus far, totaling 16 points off the bench while going five for seven from the perimeter. However, the Mules’ offensive attack did not rely solely on Rubino and Gillikin during the game, since Dan Gaines ‘22 and Williams-Johnson both dropped double-digit point totals.
The first half of the game was tight with Muhlenberg only holding a four point advantage at halftime. The Mules kept their momentum against the red-hot Hopkins team.
In the span of just over two minutes of the second-half, the Mules jumped off the second half with an 8-2 run. Despite the early run in the second half, the Mules knew that they needed to play their style of basketball in order to hold off Hopkins. Although Muhlenberg took a 15 point lead in the second half, the Blue Jays kept on fighting. There were a few instances where the Blue Jays brought the game back within single digits but Muhlenberg continued to persevere. With just over a minute left in regulation, Hopkins cut the Mules’ lead to just four. After a few clutch free throws, the Mules were able to capture an away win against the seventh ranked Division III team in the nation with a score of 84-77.
“Beating Hopkins doesn’t really change the outlook on our season, maybe to people on the outside but not us. As a team, we know what we are capable of and what we need to do to get big wins such as this one. It’s important for us to stay locked in and do the things as a team to continue to win Centennial Conference games and other games as well, to continue getting wins like this for the rest of the season,” said Johnson.
The Mules are ready for the rest of the season, as they look to be a top team in the Centennial Conference and make a bid for the championship.