Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Wilkes Men's Basketball Clinches Top Seed with 101-72 Win at King's

WILKES-BARRE – The Wilkes University men's basketball team clinched the No. 1 seed in the 2018 Middle Atlantic Conference Freedom (MAC Freedom) tournament with a wire-to-wire 101-72 win over King's College in Wilkes-Barre on Tuesday evening. This is the first time Wilkes surpassed the century mark since defeating Marywood University 110-92 last season.

The Colonels improved to 18-6 overall and 11-2 in conference play.

Wilkes got on the board first, controlling the opening tip and needing all 30 seconds of its first possession before Connor Evans drove in from the right side, missing long but Zach Brunner picked up the offensive board and while in midair tipped it in to give the Colonels the first lead of the game.
King's tied the game at four just over two minutes into the contest following a layup before Wilkes hit three three-pointers on a 13-7 run to jump out to a 17-9 lead with 13:25 remaining in the first half of play.

The Colonels doubled up the Monarchs with 11 minutes remaining following a John Goffredo entry pass that found Mason Gross matched up against a much smaller King's guard, making the layup and the following free-throw to make the score 24-12. Tommy Bowen would hit a layup, increasing the score to 26-12 with 10:14 showing on the clock forcing the Monarch's to call the first time out of the game.

Wilkes went the four-plus minutes without putting a shot in, however King's run was limited to 4-0 before Rob Pecorelli drained his third shot from distance to give the Colonels a 29-16 advantage with an assist to Jack Bova with 6:11 showing on the clock.

Wilkes remained in command the rest of the half, finishing on a 20-11 run as it entered the break with a 49-27 lead. Pecorelli led the Colonels in scoring over the first twenty, finishing with 11 points and three assists while Zach Brunner added 10 points on a perfect five-of-five shooting while Robinson contributed nine points and seven rebounds. Wilkes shot a blistering 59 percent (16-27) from the floor while holding King's to 33 percent (10-30).

The Monarch's started the second period outscoring the Colonels but Wilkes rediscovered its stride with a 13-6 run to give Wilkes a 69-45 lead with 13:25 on the clock.

The second half of the game remained much of the same as neither team went on an extended run and the Colonels finished with the convincing victory.

Pecorelli led the way for Wilkes, finishing the contest with a game-high 19 points to go with six assists and three rebounds. Mark Mullins added 16 points, nine rebounds, Robinson contributed 11 points, 11 rebounds, and four assists (4-7 from three-point), and Brunner had 12 points. Mason Gross finished the contest off the bench with 15 points, seven rebounds, and six assists in 22 minutes. 11 Colonels finished with points in the game. The host shooting did not stop in the second half as Wilkes finished the event shooting 58 percent (34-59) including 42 percent (10-24) from distance.

King's was led by Chris Fazzini's 17 points, four assists, and four rebounds. Connor Callejas (16 points, three assists), Tyler Milan (14 points, three rebounds), and Joshua Bailey (10 points, three assists) all finished in double-figures.

The Colonels dominated in the paint, outscoring the Monarch's 46-28 in the paint and won the battle on the glass 51-21.Wilkes' bench outscored King's 40-12 and turned in 12 second chance points to two for the Monarch's.

The Colonels close out the regular season on Saturday when they host Eastern University in a game that may help determine the remainder of the field in the postseason tournament with tip-off scheduled for 3:00 p.m. Prior to the game, the Wilkes seniors who are playing in their final regular season home game will be honored with a ceremony.

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