MBB: Colonels escape trap game with 58-57 win over Delaware Valley

WILKES-BARRE — The Wilkes University Colonels won the slimmest way possible Saturday afternoon, beating the Delaware Valley University Aggies 58-57. The Colonels picked up their fourth win in a row and hold on to sole possession of first place in the Middle Atlantic Conference Freedom Division.

The Aggies came into this game flying high following their huge upset win over Eastern on Wednesday night and looked to keep hopes of a birth in the conference tournament alive with a win over the Colonels.

The Colonels started the game off strong, jumping out to a quick lead and controlled the first half until the Aggies surged in the final two minutes. The Aggies used great play from Lybryant Robinson, who had a game high of 19 points, to hang around in the first half. The Colonels went into halftime trailing 28-24.

The second half started the same way the first ended with the Colonels slumping. The Aggies jumped out to an eleven point lead with about eleven minutes to go in the game. Colonels’ Head Coach Izzi Metz called a timeout and the momentum in the game shifted.

“I thought our defense played really well throughout the game,” Metz said. “But (the defense) got us some points and that gave us some energy.”

The Colonels stormed back behind great play from Tommy Bowen (14 points) and the big man Mason Gross (11 points). Bowen and Gross helped the Colonels with multiple and-one layups that got the crowd into the game. While the Colonels clawed their way back, the Aggies, who carried a 2-5 conference record and just four wins on the season into this game, started to sputter. The Aggies turned the ball over and leading scorer Robinson was held off the board following the Colonels comeback.

“We really came out slow, and really lacked energy,” senior Gross explained. “Honestly Tommy Bowen really set a tone for us coming off the bench.”

Gross also brought some energy to the Colonels bench and crowd with two big and-one layups, including one that tied the game up at 42-42. The Colonels went on to take the lead and did not trail after that.

The sputtering Aggies were able to keep the wheels from falling off and continue fight, tying the game up at 51 with time winding down in the later stages of the second half thanks to an Alex Matsinye (17 points) three pointer.

The win keeps the Colonels in first place in the MAC Freedom conference and also helps create some separation in the standings following DeSales handing Eastern their first loss. The Colonels, now 7-1 have a one game lead on DeSales (6-2) and Misericordia (6-2) and a two game lead on Eastern (5-3). These four teams currently hold the spots for a birth in the MAC Freedom tournament. The King’s College Monarchs sit in fifth place one game behind Eastern in the standings.

“We know that we need to keep playing well and we look to use the momentum from this four game winning streak for the next game,” Metz said. “You can ask all of our players, our next task is a big home against Fairleigh Dickinson.”

The Colonels will be back in action at home Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. when they take on Fairleigh Dickinson-Florham Devils in the Marts center. The Devils picked up their first conference win Wednesday, but lost once again Saturday to fall to 1-7 in the conference.

Wilkes 58, Delaware Valley 57

Delaware Valley (57) — Alex Matsinye 5 6-7 17, Damian Washington 4 0-0 8, Andre Butler 2 1-1 6, Austin Chabot 2 0-0 4, Austin Stoeckel 0 0-0 0, Lybrant Robinson 7 3-3 19, Joe Russell 1 1-3 3, Ryan Naccarato 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 11-14 57.

Wilkes (58) — Rob Pecorelli 5 0-0 11, Marcus Robinson 4 0-0 9, Zach Brunner 3 1-1 7, Connor Evans 1 0-1 3, Mark Mullins 0 0-0 0, Tommy Bowen 4 6-7 14, Mason Gross 5 1-2 11, Landon Henry 1 0-0 3, Jack Bova 0 0-0 0, John Goffredo 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 8-11 58.

Delaware Valley`28`29–`57


Three-point goals — DV 4 (Matsinye, Butler, Robinson 2); WIL 4 (Pecorelli, Robinson, Evans, Henry).