|Spencer Liddic, top, and
Alexandra Chili lead Muhlenberg's respective teams and help each
other out as well.
Muhlenberg athletics photo by Lisa Youngentob
Spencer Liddic has been putting up some remarkable numbers this season at Muhlenberg. His scoring average is at 18.2, his shooting percentage rests at 55.1 and the senior forward has scored in double figures 23 times this year.
Hard work in the gym clearly made a difference for him. But so did the advice he received from Muhlenberg women's hoops standout Alexandra Chili.
Sure, it probably seems strange to some that a player from the men's team would ask someone from the women's team for help, but because Liddic and Chili share a strong friendship, it really wasn't that big of a deal.
"We spend a lot of time in the gym together working on our games," Liddic said. "Since I wanted to improve my shot, I figure I would go to the best shooter I know, and that is Alex. Alex's success is directly attributed to her hard work ethic and the time she spends in the gym perfecting her game."
You would think Chili would be a little shocked that a player from the men’s team would approach her for advice.
Turns out, she wasn’t.
“I always seek out Spencer’s guidance as well,” Chili said. “The past four years we have developed a (rapport) that has helped each of our games mature. We both play the same sport and are looking to be the best basketball players we can be. It makes sense to go someone successful to look for advice.”
Chili is certainly worth turning to for advice. The senior star is averaging 17.2 points per outing and is grabbing 5.4 rebounds per game. She has scored in double figures 21 times, an accomplishment aided by the fact that she has drilled 70 3-pointers.
Chili has also tallied 19 blocks and 35 steals, a reminder that she is more than just a great offensive player. From an offensive standpoint, she has put a lot of time into becoming a better shooter.
“This year, I have tried to work on my pull-up jumpers, because in past years, I have had trouble taking the ball too far into the lane,” Chili said. “My pull-up has made defenders really question how they want to play me and has made my offense more dynamic.”
Liddic and Chili have been friends since they arrived on the Muhlenberg campus nearly four years ago. And Liddic admires what Chili has accomplished and is thankful he has her as a friend.
“It’s been a rewarding experience being able to share in each other’s successes over the past few years here,” Liddic said. “She approaches everything she does in life with the same attitude and passion which has driven her success in nearly everything she does.”
Chili has similar thoughts.
“I’ve been so lucky to watch Spencer play these past four years. He is one of those players that doesn’t come around often at all, and more impressively, he is so humble about his accomplishments,” Chili said. “I’ve always admired Spencer’s stoicism and his ability to not let any player bother him. It’s been an honor to be grouped with such an athlete and exceptional person for four years.”
Exeptional fits both Liddic and Chili. Not just because they were named preseason All-Americans or that they are two of the better players in the Centennial Conference.
Exceptional fits because both athletes understand the importance of being a student as well.
Both players have been on the Centennial Conference Academic
Honor roll the last three seasons and both players will be named
second-team Academic All-Americans this week. They are the only
male and female players from the same school to be named
preseason All-Americans and Academic All-Americans.
For Liddic, handling life as a student and an athlete is all about prioritizing time.
“The key is time management and setting priorities,” Liddic said. “I have found that a busy schedule forces me to plan better and helps me keep up with my workload. My success is a direct result of the great teammates, coaches and professors I have encountered in my time at school.”
Chili said she learned at a young age about the importance of balancing a busy schedule and it has no doubt paid off at the college level.
“I’ve played competitive sports since my youth, so I learned important time management skills from an early age,” Chili said. “The key is simply discipline. I know that my time is limited and so I make choices to maximize the efficiency of every hour I have. It can be tough when we are traveling because it’s difficult to do work on the bus, but I have nothing to complain about. I am playing the sport I love on a fantastic team at a great institution where I am enhancing my knowledge every day.”
Muhlenberg’s men’s team will open its Centennial Conference tournament with a game against Dickinson on Friday at Franklin and Marshall. The men’s squad goes into the tourney at 17-8 overall and 11-7 in the conference.
The women’s team is 20-5 overall and 15-5 in the conference. It opens its tourney run against Franklin and Marshall at Johns Hopkins on Friday.
Both players are excited about the possibility of winning a conference title. Regardless of what happens, though, they have certainly enjoyed the opportunity to go through their college sports experience together.
“I’m focused on winning each game in front of us to keep our season alive,” Chili said. “I look at the postseason as a reward for all the hard work we’ve put in throughout the long season, so I try to cherish every possession with intensity and heart. The team, the players and the coaches are special to me. I know I will continue these relationships for the rest of my life.”
Liddic has similar thoughts: “We have positioned ourselves nicely for what we hope is a great playoff run. I believe we are just hitting our stride and can hopefully carry the momentum into the playoffs. We really came together as a team this year and made that final push to the playoffs. We’re hoping to create a few more memories this weekend.”
Men’s Poll Notes
Cabrini men’s basketball star Cory Lemons became only the third player in Colonial States Athletic Conference history to win back-to-back- conference player of the year awards. Lemons is averaging 17.5 points, 6.3 rebounds and 6.5 assists per game for the sixth-ranked team in the country. Coach Marcus Kahn, has been named the conference’s top coach for the fourth consecutive season. ... Georgio Milligan of No. 12 Franklin and Marshall became the program’s all-time leading scorer on Saturday in a 63-53 win over Dickinson. Milligan scored 26 points and pushed his career total to 1,809. ... Najea Brown and Corey Chandler scored 16 points apiece for No. 13 William Paterson in its final game of the regular season, a 75-49 non-conference win over CCNY. The Pioneers are 22-3 overall and have won their last six games.
Women’s Poll Notes
Perfection was the story of the day for No. 8 Mary Washington, which wrapped up the regular season at 25-0, capping the run with a 97-47 win over Wesley. Jenna McRae scored 21 while Katie Wimmer and Claire Brooks scored 17 points apiece as the Eagles finished unbeaten in the regular season for the second time in seven years. ... Juniata secured its best finish in program history in the Landmark Conference, winning all 14 league games, including a 77-48 win over Susquehanna. Meagan Raville poured in 16 points to lead the way for the No. 10 team in the country. ... Lebanon Valley rolled to an 85-49 win over Arcadia in its season finale, its biggest margin of victory this season, and Kiely Chaklos paved the way with 18 points and nine rebounds. She was just shy of her first career double-double for the 20th-ranked Dutchmen. ... Danielle McFadden scored 19 points and pulled down 14 rebounds for No. 24 Kean in its 53-47 win over Richard Stockton in its final game of the regular season. The win gave the Cougars homecourt advantage throughout the New Jersey Athletic Conference playoffs.
Junior forward Paul Reynolds of Wesley was named the Capital Athletic Conference’s Player of the Week after helping the Wolverines win two games last week. He scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in a 68-65 win over York before pouring in 16 points and grabbing eight rebounds in a 73-70 win over Mary Washington. ... Messiah women’s basketball standout Dori Gyori scored 17 points in the Falcons’ 63-57 win over Elizabethtown. Earlier in the week, Gyori reached the 1,000-point plateau. For Elizabethtown coach Yvonne Kauffman, it was the final regular season game of her career. She has won 689 games since the 1970-71 season. ... The men’s Skyline Conference showdown between Mount St. Mary and Farmingdale State definitely lived up to the hype. The Rams edged the Knights 68-67 after a last-second putback attempt came in and out of the rim. Joe Stabach scored 19 for Mount Saint Mary and Dyshaun Flournoy pumped in 17 points for the Rams. ... Lindsay Fluehr of the Scranton women’s basketball team came up big in the Royals’ 72-59 win over Moravian. The freshman guard came off the bench to score 13 points, grab seven rebounds and dish out seven assists.
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