The Marts Center was rockin this past Wednesday night as the Colonels opened up their playoff run by beating the Eastern University Eagles 103-98. The win, however, did not come easy, as both teams would need extra time to finish this Freedom Conference game.
Senior Kendall Hinze led the way for the Colonels. The big man scored a career high 28 points and 14 rebounds. But Hinze’s free throw percentage is what took the Colonels to the win. Hinze shot 75 percent from the free throw line, adding 12 points to the scoreboard for the Colonels.
Both teams held the same momentum going into the half as the score was tied. But, the Colonels would keep pushing.
Senior Paul Huch hit some momentum swinging three throughout the entire game. Huch shot 80 percent from beyond the arch, adding to his total of 24 points.
The Colonels held the lead with under two minutes left in the game, but the Eagles answered and tied the score back up.
Wilkes held the advantage late in the game, but the Eagles would not backdown. Eastern would need a jump shot to send the game into overtime as the score stood 75-75.
The Colonels opened up the overtime period on a hot streak. Freshman Jourdon Wilson would score the Colonels first six points as Wilkes jumped to a lead quick.
Wilkes would outscore the Eagles 28-25 in the extra time. With under three minutes to go the Colonels would have the adavantage 86-81, but the Eagles would not be held down. A few three-pointers later the game was still very close.
The Colonels would use their excellent foul shooting to pull them through this hard fought victory. The foul line saw the Colonels shoot a 77 percent.
Wilson scored 17 points and dished out four assists, while senior Matt Mullins would also tack on 17 points and four assists.
“We knew the game would be close,” Mullins said. “We just kept trying to knock down our shots and keep on increasing our lead.”
The Colonel senior did comment on what his squad would need to improve on to bring home a ring.
“We gave up a lot of points,” Mullins said. “ If we stiffen up our defense and keep playing the way we can on offense, we can definitely bring home a win.”
The Colonels 103-98 win over Eastern set-up a clash with crosstown foe Misericordia. The game put the No.1 and No. 2 seed in the conference against each other.
Kendall Hinze scored 21 points in the Colonels loss. Hinze did, however, reach the 1,000 point milestone. Hinze helped the Colonels go into halftime with a 27-24 lead.
The Colonels lead would not last long though.
Misericordia would open up the second half with a hot three-pointer streak, giving them a 35-29 lead within the first three mintues of the second half.
Wilkes would not regain the lead for the rest of the game. Misericordia would lead by 25 points at one point, and the Colonels would not catch up.
Wilson scored seven points in his rookie year finale. Senior Paul Huch would add five points, four blocks, and two steals for the Colonels. Matt Mullins dropped four points and a steal.
Misericordia’s Steve Artzerounian would be named the Freedom Tournament’s most valuable player. Artzerounian dropped 18 points while snagging 10 rebounds in the game.
Junior Cliff Richardson summed up the loss by being optimistic.
“We have nothing but determination to get back to the MAC championship game,” Richardson said.