Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Wilkes Men's Basketball Cruises in Second Half to Win in MAC Freedom Opener

MADISON, N.J. – The Wilkes University men's basketball team opened up Middle Atlantic Conference Freedom (MAC Freedom) play at FDU-Florham on Wednesday evening, using a dominating second half en route to a 75-52 victory highlighted by four players finishing in double-figures.

The Colonels improved to 1-0 in conference and 8-4 overall.

Wilkes got off to a shaky start to the game with FDU-Florham jumping out to a 10-2 lead that warranted a 30 second timeout just 2:34 into the game.

The break in the action appeared to work as the Colonels cut the deficit to one point three times over the next 11-plus minutes before taking their first lead of the game when Rob Pecorelli pulled down a defensive rebound following a missed Devil layup and found Marcus Robinson streaking up the court for a fastbreak layup to put Wilkes up 19-18 with 5:53 until halftime. From that point, the Colonels outpaced FDU-Florham 13-8 and entered the midway point up 32-26.
Wilkes used the intermission to refocus as it started the second half on a tear, using a 13-4 run to extend its advantage to 15 at 45-30 with 14:21 on the clock. From that point the outcome was never in question as the Colonels reached their biggest lead at 26 following a Jack Bova three-pointer with 2:47 left to make the score 72-46.

Wilkes was led by Connor Evans, who reached a season-high 13 points. Robinson added 12 points with five rebounds and a career-high eight assists, the most by a Colonel since Evans dished out 12 helpers against Marywood on 11/26/16. Mark Mullins finished with 12 points and six rebounds while Zach Brunner contributed 10 points and five
rebounds.

The Devils were led by Shawn Smith, who finished with 13 points, five rebounds, and three steals in 17 minutes off the bench. Rajaan Dixon was the lone member of the starting five to finish in double-figures with 11 points and eight rebounds.

Wilkes dominated in the paint, outscoring FDU-Florham 42-26. The Colonels also won the second chance battle 11-4.

Wilkes returns to the Marts Center on Saturday afternoon for a 3:00 p.m. MAC Freedom matchup with Manhattanville.

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