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Cougars Fall To DeSales

January 29, 2019
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Cougars Fall To DeSales

DALLAS — It will go down as a loss on the overall record and, more importantly, the Freedom Conference record. But despite the final score on Monday night, Jason Rhine could take a lot of positives from the 68-59 loss to DeSales at the Anderson Center. The Misericordia coach saw his bench score 16 points. He pointed toward the amount of pressure the Cougars put on DeSales, a team that thrives on putting pressure on its opponents. But what really hurt the Cougars was the second quarter. Especially a span where DeSales made just 1 of 15 shots and finished the quarter shooting 15.8 percent. That was when Misericordia had an opportunity to capitalize on the DeSales misfortune, but the Cougars weren’t much better from the floor in the second and, ultimately, it caught up to them in the end. “We exposed a lot of their weaknesses and that really slowed up the game for us,” Rhine said. “DeSales is a team that wants to score 20 points every quarter and not give up 20 points. The fourth quarter was a separate game. It just did not go our way.” The fourth quarter was when the Cougars cracked the 20-point barrier, finishing with 21. But the Bulldogs put up 25 points, and for as much as the Cougars looked like they had one late push left, a few costly turnovers kept them from getting over the hump. With the win, nationally ranked DeSales improved to 17-2 overall and 8-0 in the Freedom Conference. Misericordia, which also came into the game ranked nationally, dropped to 17-2 and 6-1. “I told the team that yes, we lost, but I think we won a lot from this game more than we lost,” Rhine said. “There was a lot of good stuff. I was especially pleased with what I saw from our bench. That will be some growing moments for us. We can’t hang our heads. We built ourselves into this. It is a loss in the conference, but we turn around quick and get to go to Delaware Valley (on Wednesday).” DeSales led by three at the half, but despite the Bulldogs scoring the first five points of the third quarter, Misericordia was able to hang around and keep the deficit under double digits heading to the fourth quarter. Tessa Zamolyi scored five points in the third, while Leanne Forsyth added four. But it was DeSales guard Morgan Birmelin who took control of the fourth. She scored nine of her team’s 25 points in the quarter, and when the Bulldogs needed a plan to be run, it was Birmelin who the ball always went through. Birmelin scored a game-high 19 points and finished with seven assists and four steals. DeSales did take advantage of Misericordia’s turnovers, scoring 27 points off of them. The Cougars, though, did a good job of their own converting DeSales turnovers into points, scoring 20. The Cougars also held a 52-46 advantage on the boards “We talk about attacking the rim and still getting stuff in transition,” Rhine said. “We started to settle a bit and it didn’t go our way. We are a team that likes to attack the rim and grab rebounds. Rebounds is what keeps you in games. DESALES (68) Jordan 1 1-2 4, Walsh 4 3-6 11, Birmelin 6 7-9 19, Caruso 3 4-4 11, Shinkus 5 0-0 12, Jansco 2 0-0 4, Rittenhouse 0 2-2 2, Stanfield 2 0-0 5, Tritto 0 0-0 0. Totals: 23 17-23 68. MISERICORDIA (59) Carmody 1 1-2 3, Wampole 5 1-2 11, Carroll 1 2-2 4, Zamolyi 5 3-3 15, Haefele 3 3-4 10, Forsyth 2 5-6 9, Hayes 1 2-4 4, Barth 0 3-4 3, Sefcik 0 0-0 0, Waleski 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 20-27 59. DeSales 21 9 13 25 — 68 Misericordia 17 10 11 21— 59 Contact the writer: sbennett@citizensvoice.com; 570-821-2062; @CVSteveBennett on Twitter

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