King’s Men’s Hoops Drop 75-64 Decision to Eastern

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JANUARY 7, 2017


WILKES-BARRE, PA --- Season-high performances from Dan Rutecki and Connor Callejas were not enough as the King's College men's basketball team fell to Eastern University 75-64 on Saturday at McGrane Gymnasium in Wilkes-Barre.

The Eagles improve to 6-7 overall and 1-1 in the Middle Atlantic Conference Freedom while the Monarchs fall to 4-8 overall and 0-2 in conference play.

Rutecki and Callejas combined for 82.8 percent of King's points as the Monarchs had their second-worst shooting performance of the season. Rutecki was 11-16 from the floor including 1-3 from beyond-the-arc and 4-5 from the line for 27 points while Callejas shot 7-17 from the floor, 6-13 on three-pointers, and knocked down all six free throws for 26 points. The rest of the team shot a combined 4-29 for 13.8 percent.

Eastern jumped out to a 7-2 lead forcing the Monarchs to call a timeout with 16:30 left in the first half. After a three-pointer by Callejas the Eagles went on a 7-2 run to increase their lead to seven points at 14-7 with 13:31 left.  A three-pointer from Shaquan Turk gave the Eagles their largest lead of the first half at 22-14. The Monarchs responded with a 10-2 run to tie the game with 7:48 left in the half behind five points by Rutecki and a three from Callejas.

Callejas then gave the Monarchs their first lead of the game when he knocked down another three-pointer with 6:26 left. The Eagles retook the lead behind two jumpers and a free throw before King's tied the game at 29 with 4:56 left on two Rutecki foul shots. Eastern received five straight points from Austin Duncan and a jumper from Austin Carroll to take a 36-29 lead with 2:45 remaining. Callejas and Rutecki knocked down five of six free throws to cut the lead to 38-36 at halftime.

The game remained close in the first five minutes of the second half as the teams traded buckets The Eagles used a 14-4 run over a six minute span to grab a 10-point lead at 59-49 with 10:09 left. A three from Rutecki and a fast break layup by Callejas cut the deficit to five points before Easter scored layups on back-to-back possessions to bring the lead back up to nine. The Eagles increased the lead to 11 before a Tyler Millan three-pointer cut the score to 65-57 with 5:23 left in the game. That was as close as the Monarchs would get as they missed three-pointers on their next two possessions. Trailing by eight with two minutes left the Monarchs were forced to foul and the Eagles closed out the game at the free throw line.

Dan Rutecki recorded his second double-double of the year with a season-high 27 points, coming one point shy of his career-high, and a season-high 14 rebounds. He also equaled his career-high of five steals. Connor Callejas, who equaled his season-high point total by halftime, finished with a season-high 26 points and five rebounds.

The Eagles were led by Shaquan Turk with 24 points and Victor Pena with 14 points and 12 rebounds. Austin Duncan scored 18 points while Lincoln Holley had nine points and 10 rebounds. The Eagles shot 49.1 (27-55) percent from the field and held a 37-34 rebounding advantage.

The Monarchs will return to the hardwood on Wednesday when they host FDU-Florham at 8:00 p.m. at McGrane Gymnasium.