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Loss leaves Dogs wanting a Mullikin

January 13, 2007|by JOHN O'BRIEN/Staff Correspondent

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - With running mate Mike Jarboe having an off night, Mike Mullikin was the obvious choice to take the last shot for Urbana in the Hawks' game Friday against No. 3 Martinsburg.

So obvious that Martinsburg coach Dave Rogers tried to hammer it in his players' minds during a timeout before the final sequence.

Didn't matter.

Mullikin hit the game-winner, a hanging right-handed layup from the left block that went under the arm of a Martinsburg defender to earn the Hawks a 51-49 comeback win, improving their record to 10-1.

"We knew exactly who they'd give the ball to," Rogers said. "It was going to be 20 (Jarboe) or 15 (Mullikin). We knew they'd keep the ball in their hands, and we knew they'd drive to the bucket."

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Mullikin's drive gave him a game-high 21 points on a night when Jarboe managed just two points on 1-of-8 shooting.

A.J. Gardner added 19 points off the bench for Urbana. He and Mullikin combined for 16 fourth-quarter points as the Hawks overcame a 10-point deficit.

Urbana shot 70 percent in the final quarter, hit all four free throws and 2 of 3 from 3-point range.

Meanwhile, the Bulldogs (4-3) shot 31 percent and made only 1 of 4 free throws in being outscored, 20-10.

"They take charge and get it done down the stretch," Rogers said of the Hawks.

It started after Xavier Peters scored a layup with seven minutes remaining that gave Martinsburg a 41-31 lead.

Mullikin hit two free throws, Gardner scored in transition and Jarboe went coast-to-coast with a loose ball to make it 41-37 with 5:19 left. On their next possession, Gardner nailed a 3-pointer to cut the lead to one, and Mullikin banked in a shot with 3:40 left that gave Urbana its first lead of the game.

The teams battled back and forth when Isaac Thornton hit a game-tying 3-pointer from the left wing for the Bulldogs with 18 seconds left.

After a timeout with 10 seconds left, Mullikin found himself being guarded by Martinsburg's center, Aaron Crim, after a defensive switch. He drove left and banked in the game-winner with only a few seconds left.

Crim's desperation heave was short at the buzzer.

Crim led Martinsburg with 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting. He hit 2-of-4 3-pointers, while the rest of the Bulldogs made only 1 of 13.

Thornton scored 12 and Peters 10. Isaiah Alford led the team with eight rebounds, though he scored just four points on 2-of-8 shooting.

Gardner made 5-of-9 3-pointers and Mullikin added a team-high six rebounds.

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