Center Valley, PA (February 23, 2019) - The DeSales University men's basketball team won its fourth MAC Freedom Championship with a 78-66 win over Wilkes University on Saturday afternoon in Billera Hall.
- Final Score: DeSales - 78, Wilkes - 66
- Records: DeSales (21-6 overall); Wilkes (18-9 overall)
- The title is DSU's fourth and first since the 2014 season.
- The Bulldogs earn the MAC Freedom's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament and will find out their opponent on Monday afternoon.
How it Happened
- DeSales never trailed in this one and dominated the first-half shooting 54.5 percent and hitting seven 3's, while holding Wilkes to just 34.4 percent shooting and 1-for-11 from outside the arc in building a 48-30 halftime lead.
- It was a seven point game (27-20) when DSU went on a 13-1 run to take a 40-21 lead. Sophomore Matt Kachelries had two 3's and junior Tracy Simsick scored five points during the run.
- Wilkes dug in and refused to go away quietly in the second-half, chipping away at the lead and pulling within 10 (51-41) just 3:05 into the second-half.
- After a lay-in from freshman Keba Mitchell and two technical free throws from Kachelries the lead went back to 14 points before a 7-0 Colonel run pulled the visitor's within seven (55-48) with 14:13 remaining.
- The game was back-and-forth over the next several minutes and saw DeSales leading by nine (69-61) before a four-point play from Marcus Robinson got Wilkes within four (69-65) at the 2:52 mark.
- Senior Luke Connaghan was fouled on DSU's next possession and after one Wilkes free throw sophomore Mike Bealer had the biggest bucket of the game, a lay-up on backdoor cut and terrific pass from Conaghan to give the Bulldogs a 73-66 lead with 1:47 to go.
- DSU got a defensive stop on the next possession and after a shot clock violation got one more stop and junior Julian Wing put the exclamation point with a lay-up off a feed from junior Ben Pratt to ice the victory.
Top Bulldog Performers
- Kachleries returned from injury to scored a game-high 18 points, hitting four 3's in the win.
- Simsick was outstanding on the offensive end with 16 points on 7-of-14 shooting.
- Pratt was named the Tournament Most Valuable Player finishing with 13 points, five rebounds, and three assists.
For the Foes
- All five starters scored in double digits for the Colonels including Tommy Bowen with 15 points, Robinson and Mark Mullins with 13 points, and Rob Pecorelli and Connor Evans with 11 points.
Inside the Box Score
- DSU held Wilkes to just 34.3 percent from the floor for the game and a 4-for-23 effort from outside the arc.
- The DeSales bench out-scored Wilkes' bench, 27-3, in the game.
- The Bulldogs blocked 12 shots and out-rebounded Wilkes, 39-37.