WILKES-BARRE (PA) – King's College opened the second half with a 14-1 run as the Monarchs pulled away to a 71-54 home victory over visiting Delaware Valley College in a Freedom Conference game.
The win kept the Monarchs' conference tournament chances alive as they improved to 12-10 overall and 5-6 in league play. They are one game behind the two teams tied for fourth.
One of those squads is the Aggies as the defending Freedom champions dropped their third game in a row and fell to 11-11 overall and 6-5 in the conference. They are tied with Manhattanville College for the fourth spot with three games. One of those three is a trip to Manhattanville next Tuesday, February 18. Delaware Valley first hosts Misericordia University on Saturday and the Cougars are tied with FDU-Florham (which the Aggies host in the regular-season finale on February 22) for second place with 7-4 league marks.
Delaware Valley scored five of the game's first seven points before King's notched nine points in a row to take the lead for good. A Chris Moran layup with 12:18 left in the opening half pulled the Aggies to within three at 13-10, but the Monarchs answered with a 10-0 run over the next six minutes as four different players scored. Delaware Valley did score 12 of the half's final 18 points, including a 3-pointer by Zach Sly with four seconds left, to trail 29-22 at the break.
However, the first five minutes of the second half was all King's as the 14-1 spurt, including five each from Alex Cardoza and Dan Rutecki, jumped its lead up to 43-23. The lone Aggie point was a free throw by Francis Arnold as they did not hit their first field goal in the second half until a Moran layup with 13:44 remaining. They never got closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
The game featured 52 fouls with both teams combining for 58 free throw attempts. The Monarchs held a 45-26 advantage on the boards, including 20 offensive rebounds. Rutecki finished with 18 points and 15 boards while Tom Heston and Kyle Hammonds had 11 points and seven rebounds apiece.
Moran led Delaware Valley with 12 points. Sly finished with 11 points while Arnold had nine. Adonis Fleming came off the bench to notch seven points and nine rebounds.