JANUARY 28, 2017
LADY MONARCHS BEGIN SECOND HALF OF CONFERENCE PLAY WITH IMPORTANT WIN OVER MANHATTANVILLE
WILKES-BARRE, PA --- The King's College women's basketball team shot a season-high 41.9 percent from the field and used a stifling defensive effort to defeat visiting Manhattanville College 52-48 on Saturday at McGrane Gymnasium in Wilkes-Barre.
King's improves to 4-14 overall and 2-6 in the conference with the win while avenging their heartbreaking 57-56 loss to the Valiants two weeks ago in Purchase. Manhattanville drops to 6-12 overall and 2-6 in conference play.
The Lady Monarchs got off to a good start as Alexis Steeber scored the first four points of the game on a jumper and then a driving layup. Kayla Feairheller made it 6-0 on a steal and a fast break layup. Shae Grim then knocked down two free throw attempts with 7:15 left in the quarter. The Valiants responded with a 12-3 run to take a one point lead but Steeber scored on another driving layup to give the Monarchs a 13-12 lead after the first quarter of play.
King's began the second quarter scoring with three-pointers from Feairheller and Grim followed by a jumper in the paint from Olivia Hoffman to take a 21-12 lead with 6:50 remaining in the half. However just as they did in the first quarter the Valiants responded with a 9-0 run to tie the game with 3:33 left. Grim knocked down two free throws, the Valiants knocked down a jumper, and the Hoffman knocked down two free throws to give King's a 25-23 lead. The Monarchs were able to increase their lead to five points thanks to one of two made free throws from Rebecca Prociak and then a put back layup from Prociak but Manhattanville ended the half with layups to bring the score to 28-27 at the half.
Hoffman got the scoring started in the second half when Steeber found her underneath the basket for two points. Feairheller then stole the ball and calmly knocked down a three at the other end to give the Lady Monarchs a six point lead. After the teams traded buckets the Valiants knocked down a three-pointer to cut the lead to three points at 35-32 and it looked like the third quarter was following the same script as the first two. The Monarchs increased the lead up to seven points when Steeber found Hoffman for another layup and then Prociak knocked down two shots at the line. Manhattanville responded with a three-pointer and then a steal and a fast break layup to bring the score to 39-37 with 3:26 left. Prociak knocked down two more shots from the free throw line and then found Steeber on a beautiful inside pass for an easy layup to increase the advantage to six points. The Valiants knocked down a jumper to end the third quarter looking at a 43-39 deficit.
The Lady Monarchs began the fourth quarter the same way they did the other three with a layup from Prociak and a fast break dagger three-pointer from Erin Schmidt to take a 48-39 lead with 6:20 left in the game. Neither team was able to score until the Valiants scored on a layup with 4:24 remaining. Hoffman increased the lead back to nine points on a layup with 3:44 left. Manhattanville was forced to press and were able to score on a layup and then force a King's turnover that led to one of two made free throw attempts. However the Monarchs responded and Steeber grabbed her own rebound and scored the put back to give King's a 52-44 lead with 2:37 remaining. King's then locked in on the defensive end allowing the Valiants just one jumper and then two made free throw attempts the rest of the way to come away with the important victory.
King's used their noticeable size difference to their advantage all game forcing Manhattanville to adjust many of their shots, especially in the second half. The King's defense held Manhattanville to 21 second half points, just nine in the fourth quarter, and shooting 26.7 (8-30) percent from the field and 22.2 (2-9) percent on three-pointers. Offensively, the Lady Monarchs had their best shooting percentage of the year making 41.9 (18-43) percent of their shots including 33.3 (4-12) percent from three-point range against a team that entered the game ranked 13th in the nation in three-point defense at 23.5 percent.
Alexis Steeber led King's with 12 points and seven rebounds while Olivia Hoffman had 11 points, eight rebounds, and four blocks. Kayla Feairheller added 10 points and four rebounds while Rebecca Prociak had nine points and four rebounds. Shae Grim had seven points and six rebounds, Erin Schmidt scored three points, and Kayla Dillinger pulled down six rebounds. King's held a 42-32 rebounding advantage for the game.
Manhattanville was led by Kayleah McGuire with 17 points and Brittany Deieso with 14 points.
The Lady Monarchs will return to the hardwood on Wednesday when they host Delaware Valley University at McGrane Gymnasium at 6:00 p.m. Delaware Valley defeated King's 47-43 in the first meeting between the teams this year in Doylestown.