King's Men Drop Season-Finale in Overtime to FDU-Florham

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FEBRUARY 18, 2017


MADISON, NJ -- The King's College men's basketball team saw its season come to an end Saturday with yet another excruciatingly close loss as the Monarchs dropped a 95-87 overtime decision to host FDU-Florham in Madison, NJ.

With the loss, King's ended the season with a  5-20 overall record while standing 1-13 in Freedom Conference play.  FDU, meanwhile, wrapped up its season at 8-17 and 5-9.

In a year plagued by narrow defeats, the loss was especially cruel as King's was outscored  15-7 in overtime but 12 of the Devils' points came from the foul line as the Monarchs were called for six fouls in the five minutes of extra play.

In regulation, King's trailed 76-72 when Dan Rutecki converted a pair of foul shots to bring the score to 76-74 with 1:33 left in regulation.

FDU then used a three-pointer by James Moran with 0:34 on the clock to stretch the Devil lead to 79-74.  King's answered with a Jake Barber three-pointer with 0:21 remaining to bring the Monarchs within 79-77.

King's chose to foul and put Eric Ray on the line with 0:13 to go. Ray would make the first shot but gave the Monarchs life by missing the second. After a time-out, King's sent the game to overtime when Barber buried another clutch three-pointer with 0:02 left.

In the extra session King's scored first on a Barber driving lay-up to take the lead and Tyler Millan added two free throws to put the Monarchs ahead 84-80 with 4:37 on the clock.The Devils would counter with the next five points and recaptured the lead at 85-84 after two free throws by Darren Davy with 2:54 left.

After a King's turnover, the Monarchs were again whistled for a foul and Ray made both attempts to up the lead to 87-84 with 2:15 on the clock. Rutecki was then fouled and the Monarch senior made one-of-two free throws to cut the lead to 87-85 at 2:01.  But on the next FDU possession, King's was whistled for a third foul and the Devils extended the lead to 89-85 on a pair of charity tosses by Anthony Mitchell.

After a King's miss, the Monarchs were called for yet another foul, putting FDU on the line for the fourth time in overtime. Mitchell made two more free throws to put FDU on top 91-85 with 1:21 to play. After the teams traded misses, Connor Callejas made two free throws for King's to cut the lead to 91-87 with 0:48 remaining.

The Monarchs, though, failed to secure the rebound on two straight FDU misses from the field and were forced to foul after the second Devil offensive board. Ray would make both free throws with 0:17 to play to push the lead to 93-87.

Following a King's miss, the Monarchs fouled Rajaan Dixon who converted both attempts with 0:07 left to set the final score.

Barber and Callejas led King's with 17 points apiece. Rutecki posted a double-double in the final game of his college career, scoring 15 points with 11 rebounds and a team-high four assists. Nate Oliver added 13 points off the bench for the Monarchs.

For FDU, Dixon and Mitchell posted game-highs of 19 points each. Ali added 17 points while Davy finished with nine. The Devils were 28-of-39 from the foul line in the game.

Six Monarchs played their final game for the red and gold as seniors Rutecki, John Fazzini, Oliver, John Dini, and Derek Wilkins, along with junior Sean O'Brien suited up for the last time.

Rutecki finished his outstanding career 10th on the Monarchs' all-time scoring list with 1,361 points while adding 699 rebounds. 

John Fazzini finished with 603 points in his three years at King's after transferring from East Stroudsburg.  Oliver tallied 361 points in his senior year but missed 20 games with an injury this season. Wilkins posted 215 career points; Dini 94; and O'Brien 13 in his two years on the varsity squad. O'Brien will transfer to the University of Notre Dame next Fall as part of King's 3+2 Engineering transfer agreement.

King's Top-10 Scoring List
2,059 by Corey Dickerson, 1998-01
1,670 by Jeff Thomas, 1988-92
1,637 by Brian Horgan, 2001-05
1,581 by Tom Hamm, 1963-66
1,578 by George Aldrich, 1978-82
1,470 by Ed Moyer, 1983-87
1,437 by Kevin Conroy, 2008-2011
1,383 by Kasim Holloman, 2000-03
1,378 by Tom McGlaughlin, 1946-50
1,361 by Dan Rutecki, 2014-17