MBB: Colonels fall to Eastern in heartbreaking fashion on Senior Day

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — The Wilkes University Colonels fell in their regular season finale on Saturday, 69-66, against the Eastern University Eagles. The Colonels honored their four seniors: starting Andre Spruell (3 points), Zach Brunner (6 points), Mason Gross (4 points), and John Goffredo (0 points).

The Colonels came into this game with home court in the Middle Athletic Conference Freedom tournament locked up, so they did not have much to play for. The Eagles came into the game knowing a win would put them in the two seed for the upcoming tournament.

The game started with the Eagles jumping out to a 5-0 lead before the Colonels could get a basket, but Brunner and Spruell answered to make it a 7-5 game. The Eagles continued to surge on the Colonels seniors, as they jumped out to an 11-point lead. Rob Pecorelli then got going for the Colonels hitting four three-point shots to lead the Colonels charge back into this game. Wilkes took a one-point lead into halftime in this one following their impressive run to get back into the game.

The Colonels came out in the second half strong, as they controlled play for the most part. Pecorelli continued to knock down threes for the Colonels and they lead by as many as ten. The Eagles hung around though and continued to slowly chip into the Colonels lead. The Colonels lead by five with one minute to go, but the Eagles’ Antonio Chapman (19 points) took over.

Chapman hit a three with 56 seconds remaining, and following a Colonel turnover the Eagles Jordan Johnson made a layup to tie the game up. Following a Rob Pecorelli miss on a shot just outside the paint, Chapman grabbed the rebound and sprinted down the floor. Chapman pulled up outside the key and drained the go ahead three-point shot with 0.2 seconds left on the clock and gave the Eagles their first lead of the second half. The Colonels tried to throw up a hail mary of a shot but it failed and the Eagles grabbed the win and swept the season series.


“I’m not too worried about momentum,” Colonels Head Coach Izzi Metz said. “We did not have Zach Brunner at full strength and we did not have Connor Evans, our starting point guard.”

The Colonels did get some good news though as Clay Basalyga dressed in his first game since injuring his ankle in practice, Brunner played 15 minutes after leaving Tuesday’s game with an ankle injury, and Connor Evans, even though he did not dress, seemed to be walking around normally following his knee injury.

“[Connor] is day to day,” Metz said. “Zach gave us good minutes tonight, his ankle was sore but it’s getting better and he should be 100 percent for Wednesday.”

Following all the action on Saturday, the MAC Freedom seeds are set. The Colonels have the top seed and will host the fourth seeded Misericordia. The Eagles slipped into the two seed with the win, meaning that they will play host to third seeded DeSales. Both teams will play in the semi-final games Wednesday, with the winners playing for the conference championship.

Eastern 69, Wilkes 66

Eastern (69) — Antonio Chapman 8 0-0 19, Austin James 4 0-0 11, Darius Washington 3 1-1 9, Victor Pena 3 2-4 9, Jordan Johnson 4 1-1 9, William Blet 3 2-2 8, Gabe Perez 0 2-2 2 Austin Duncan 1 0-0 2, Miles Carter 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 8-10 69.

Wilkes (66) — Rob Pecorelli 8 0-0 22, Marcus Robinson 4 0-0 9, Mark Mullins 3 3-5 9, Jack Bova 3 0-1 8, Zach Brunner 3 0-0 6, Mason Gross 2 0-0 4, Andre Spruell 1 0-0 3, Landon Henry 1 0-0 3, Tommy Bowen 1 0-0 2, John Goffredo 0 0-0 0, Zach Walser 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 3-6 66.

Halftime score — Wilkes 34-33

Three-point goals — EAS 9 (Chapman 3, James 3, Washington 2, Pena); WIL 11 (Pecorelli 6, Bova 2, Robinson, Henry, Spruell.)