JANUARY 14, 2017
MONARCHS DROPS TIGHTLY-CONTESTED ROAD GAME AT MANHATTANVILLE
PURCHASE, N.Y. --- The King's College men's basketball program and Manhattanville College don't have a long history of playing each other but what they do have is a long history of tight games and Saturday's matchup was no different at Kennedy Gymnasium in Purchase, N.Y. The Valiants were able to protect their home court with a 65-61 victory in a game that came down to the final seconds.
The Valiants improve to 6-9 overall and 2-2 in conference play while King's sees their record fall to 4-10 overall and 0-4 in the conference.
In the 20 previous meetings between the two programs there have been 12 games decided by 10 or less points and four overtime games including two that went into double overtime. Included in those numbers are eight of the nine previous meetings at Kennedy Gymnasium in Purchase. Today's game featured 10 ties and 12 lead changes with the largest lead of the game being eight points.
The back-and-forth play began right away as Manhattanville scored first and then the Monarchs got back-to-back layups from Ryan Wasley and Dan Rutecki to take a 4-2 lead. The teams then traded buckets until Connor Callejas nailed a three with 15:30 left in the half to give the Monarchs an 11-6 advantage. Manhattanville responded with a 8-2 run over the next three minutes to take a 14-13 lead. The Monarchs would take the lead back at 18-16 when Tyler Millan hit a three with just over 10 minutes left in the half. The Valiants then knocked down a three of their own as the teams traded baskets. The game went back and forth the rest of the half with neither team able to gain more than a one possession advantage. The Valiants hit a jumper right before the half ended to tie the game at 33 heading into the break. Eight of the game's 10 ties occurred in the first half of the game and the lead changed 11 times.
The Monarchs came out strong in the second half and were able to build a six-point advantage at 43-37 in the first five minutes after a three-pointer by Callejas. Callejas then gave the Monarchs their largest lead of the game with a fast break layup with 13:27 left in the game. After Callejas knocked down a jumper on a fast break with 11:01 remaining the Valiants started to chip away at the Monarch lead and went on a 14-6 run over the course of 3:30 to tie the game at 55. Neither team was able to score over the course of the next three minutes until the Valiants took the lead on a layup with 4:22 left. Manhattanville increased the lead to five points on a three-pointer with 2:32 left before Dan Rutecki scored inside the paint on a layup and then knocked down a jumper with 32 seconds left to cut the deficit to one point at 62-61.
After a King's timeout the Monarchs fouled the Valiants and Timmy Quinlan made one of two free throws with 22 seconds left to give Manhattanville a two-point advantage. On the ensuing possession Andrew Hudak was sent to the line when he was fouled with 12 seconds remaining. He missed the front end of the one-and-one but the Monarchs remained alive when the ball was knocked back to Hudak who drove to his left and put up a shot off the backboard. His shot looked like it was in the net but it rolled around the rim and out and into the hands of a Valiant defender. King's was forced to foul and Manhattanville knocked down two free throws to set the final score.
The Monarchs were led by Connor Callejas with 14 points and seven rebounds. Dan Rutecki moved up to 13th on King's all-time scoring list with 12 points to give him 1,215 for his career. Joshua Bailey scored 10 points while Andrew Hudak had six, Tyler Millan scored five, Ryan Wasley, Joe Lonardi, and Derek Wilkins had four each, and Jake Barber scored two points. The Monarchs shot 40.3 (25-62) percent from the field and took a season-low 10 free throw attempts making six of them. King's did a good job of holding onto the ball as they committed a season-low nine turnovers while forcing 15.
Manhattanville was led by Alex Tuci with 20 points and six rebounds. Chris Ayson scored 12 points and Charles Nardon had 10 as the team shot 52.3 (23-44) percent from the field and 76.5 (13-17) percent from the free throw line.
The Monarchs will return to the confines of McGrane Gymnasium on Wednesday to host Misericordia University at 8:00 p.m.