Friday, January 28, 2011

Five-Star Matchups

As a snowy January draws to a close, the games start to heat up in the Conference as basketball teams begin to jockey for playoff position, and swimmers and wrestlers prepare for championship time.

Johns Hopkins at Muhlenberg (Women's Basketball)
The first and second-place teams in the Conference meet in a rematch of their overtime clash on Jan. 17. The Blue Jays (12-2 CC, 15-3) held off the Mules (9-3, 13-4), 86-75, as Chantal Mattiola poured in a career-high 24 points. 'Berg's Alexandra Chili scored 27 of her game-high 32 points in the second half. Hopkins has not won at Memorial Hall since 2005 (0-7) - the last time that JHU swept the season series.

Dickinson at Ursinus (Women's Basketball)
Franklin & Marshall at Haverford (Women's Basketball)
These two games are critical for the playoff chances of all four teams. The Bears (8-5, 11-6) and the Diplomats (8-5, 10-8) can go a long way to securing a spot in the five-team field with wins. The Red Devils (5-8, 7-10) and the Fords (5-8, 8-10) can ill afford another CC loss and, with victories, can get right back in the playoff chase. Ursinus defeated Dickinson, 44-33, on Dec. 11 behind a 13-point, 12-rebound effort from Lindsay Teuber. The Bears look for their first season sweep of the Devils and their first home win against the Red since 2002. The Fords are also looking for their first-ever sweep of the Diplomats, following a 53-39 win on Dec. 11 as Nina Voith had a double-double with 21-13.

McDaniel at Washington College (Men's Basketball)
The Green Terror (6-4, 9-8) looks to set some program marks when it visits the "House of Cain" and the Shoremen (5-6, 6-12). McDaniel has already defeated Washington twice this season and a third victory would be a program first. Also, the Terror has lost 17 straight times in Chestertown since an 84-80 win back in 1982. The Shoremen need to hold (home)court in their quest to return to the Centennial playoffs.

Swarthmore at Gettysburg (Men's Swimming)
The two remaining CC unbeatens meet at Bullets Pool with first-place in the dual-meet standings on the line. The Garnet (3-0, 5-0) is led by sophomore Daniel Duncan, while the Bullets' (3-0, 5-1) Matt Libby may be the best sprinter in the Conference with the Centennial's top times in the 100 and 200 free and second-best time in the 50.

Ursinus, Stevens at Merchant Marine (Wrestling)
The three undefeated teams in the Conference dual-meet standings square off at Kings Point on Sunday. Merchant Marine (2-0, 8-2), the three-time defending Centennial champ, is ranked 11th nationally and has three wrestlers among the top 10 in their respective weight classes - 165 Vincent Renaut (4th), 174 Justin Diesel (7th) and 285 Judd Connell (3rd) - while Stevens 141 Ryan Bridge is ranked 6th. Matches to watch include 157 between USMMA's Dan Twito (7-2) and Stevens' Leo Dormann (19-8); 174 between Diesel (17-1) and the Ducks' Ryan Dormann (25-2) and 184 between Ursinus' Nate Murran (19-6) and the Mariners' Erik Schott (18-3).

McElligott Invitational (Track and Field)
One of the premier meets of the indoor season takes place Saturday at Haverford - the site of the 2011 CC Championship. Athletes to watch include Haverford's Tim Schoch, Eric Arnold (mile) and Christina Neilson (400); Swarthmore's Chelsea Hicks (55, triple jump); and Ursinus' Jordan Grannum (55, 200) and Amanda Laurito (55).

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