When Wilkes University and King’s College get together, it’s always a battle until the final whistle sounds.
Year in and year out, in every sport, the schools play highly competitive games against each other, where everything is left out on the court or field.
Over the past five years, the two schools’ men’s basketball teams prove this to be true, splitting the series five wins a piece. Back and forth, year to year, the teams always seem to get back at one another. The Feb. 22 contest was much like the series, a back-and-forth game of runs.
Blish sparks 10-2 run
The Colonels and Monarchs were knotted up at 10 about seven minutes into the first half when Wilkes went on a quick 10-2 run sparked by five points from senior guard Steve Blish.
Following the run, the Colonels went cold and King’s capitalized by outscoring Wilkes a total of 22-6 over the final 9:57. The Monarchs hit four three-pointers and were 9-14 from the field over this stretch.
Down 34-26 to start the second half, the Colonels continued to struggle shooting the basketball and King’s continued to score. The Monarchs went on an 11-0 run to start the half, extending their lead to 19 points at the 16:08 mark.
An unlikely comeback
The Colonels and Monarchs battled back and forth for about four minutes with King’s getting the lead to a score of 52-32 with 13:04 left in the game.
But just as fans and students cleared out and thought there was no hope for the Colonels to come back, Wilkes responded with a 17-0 run to bring the game to a score of 52-49 that started with 12:07 left and lasted until the 8:01 mark. This was sparked by lock down defense from the Colonels and the shooting of sophomore guard-forward Steve Stravinski and company.
Colonels can’t close
Unfortunately for the Colonels, King’s went on a 7-0 spurt to get the lead back up to 10. Wilkes could not close the gap further, as the lead for the Monarchs never came closer than six points the rest of the way.
For the Colonels, Stravinski and sophomore guard Alec Wizar led the way with 19 and 18 points respectively, each connecting on four three-pointers.
Wizar credited the loss to just making better decisions with the basketball and playing better on the defensive end.
“Making good decisions was the catalyst,” the sophomore said. “When we were smart with the ball, we got good shots. But it all starts on the defensive end, especially on the defensive boards. When we box out, and limit second shots, we can get out into transition.”
With the loss, the Colonels drop to a record of 6-9 and 1-4 in conference play. They take the court again for a conference battle at the Marts Center, Saturday at 2 p.m. against FDU-Florham.