SCRANTON, Pa. – Muhlenberg College shot 9-of-13 from the floor in the final 8:49 of the game to pull away for a 66-57 win over the Washington and Lee men's basketball team in the opening game of the PNC Bank Royal Rumble hosted by the University of Scranton on Monday evening.
The Generals (2-5) took their first lead of the second half when senior forward Drew Kimberly (Fairfield, Conn. / Fairfield Ludlowe) capped a 13-3 run by hitting 1-of-2 free throws at the 9:10 mark. MC then caught fire from the field led by the play of junior guard Malique Killing, who scored 15 of the Mules' 22 points in the final 7:24 of the contest.
Despite Muhlenberg's (8-1) hot shooting, the Generals remained within striking distance, trailing by just five points (60-55) following a three-pointer by junior forward Patrick O'Connor (Richmond, Va. / Douglas Freeman) with 1:22 left in the game. However, Killing hit a layup with 39 seconds left and the Mules hit four free throws in the final 26 seconds to put the game away.
W&L held a 22-18 lead late in the first half after four straight points from senior guard Kevin Gill (Richmond, Va. / Benedictine), but a three-pointer by senior guard Austin Curry and seven straight markers from Killing gave Muhlenberg a six-point (28-22) lead. Gill drilled a triple with 57 seconds left in the half and the Mules carried a 28-25 lead into the break.
The Generals shot just 36.7 percent (18-49) from the floor and committed 20 turnovers in the contest. Gill led the way with 16 points, while O'Connor and sophomore forward Andrew Franz (Charlotte, N.C. / Ravenscroft) added 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Muhlenberg shot 56.0 percent (14-25) in the second half in finishing the game at 46.9 percent (23-49). Killing paced the Mules with 28 points on 9-of-17 shooting from the field and 9-of-9 from the charity stripe. Senior center Kevin Hargrove added 11 points, while Curry chipped in 10 markers.
Washington and Lee will face either Scranton or Rosemont in the consolation game on Tuesday at 2:00 pm.