ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Tied for the seventh time, the eighth and final lead change came with just 0.8 seconds showing on the clock when Muhlenberg hit the second of two free throws to defeat McDaniel 60-59 in Centennial Conference (CC) women's basketball action on Saturday.
Lindsey Nichols (Wilmington, Del./St. Mark's) led the Green Terror (14-5, 9-4 CC), recording 14 of her career-high 17 points in the second half. Steph Perez (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin East) added 15 points, connecting on five 3-pointers to give her 134 for her career and pulling her within 10 of the program record.
Leanna Tallamy recorded a game-high 27 points, including hitting 15 of 18 free throws, to lead the Mules (12-7, 9-4 CC), who forged the season split with McDaniel and pulled even for third place with five games to play. With Johns Hopkins' win over Haverford, both teams are now two games out of first place in the loss column.
Trailing 59-56 on Perez's fifth triple – her only points of the second half, Tallamy hit a layup 32 seconds later to make it a one-point game with 3:06 showing.
In the final 37 seconds, Tallamy once again went to the line and converted the second of two attempts to knot the game.
On the Green Terror's final possession, the Mules committed their sixth team foul to give McDaniel possession under the basket with fewer than 10 seconds to play. Off a missed shot in the waning seconds, Erin Laney was fouled and went to the other end for two free throws, where she converted the second attempt and the stole the ensuing inbounds pass to seal the victory.
After Laney staked Muhlenberg to a 2-0 lead, Perez responded with a triple to give McDaniel a 3-2 lead with 18:13 to play in the opening half.
Five straight points from Laney gave the hosts a 7-3 advantage before Emma Wingerd (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Hills) hit back-to-back baskets to knot the game with 12:55 showing.
Clinging to a 12-11 edge, the Mules ripped off six points in a 1-minute, 29-second span to take a seven-point lead.
The lead swelled to as large as 31-22 on two Tallamy free throws with 2:26 to play before two Perez 3-pointer keyed a 9-3 finish to the half, closing the deficit to 34-31.
Tallamy pushed the lead back to seven on a layup with 16:37 to play before five points from Nichols and four from Wingerd keyed an 11-0 run that put McDaniel in front 45-41 with 14:03 showing.
The Mules countered with seven straight of their own to go back in front by three before Nichols canned a triple to even the score at 48-all with 11:13 to play.
The game was played in a five-point window for the remainder of the contest.
Wingerd finished with 14 points and seven rebounds. Karli Zeps (Reisterstown, Md./Seton Keough) led the way on the glass with eight boards. Brittney Davis (Laurel, Md./St. Vincent Pallotti) added season highs of seven rebounds and six assists to go with five points.
McDaniel returns to action at Haverford on Saturday. Game time is 1 p.m.