King's Men Pick Up Critical 86-77 Conference Road Win Over Eastern

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FEBRUARY 10, 2016


ST. DAVIDS --  The King's College men's basketball team used a balanced attack with four players scoring 14 or more points as the Monarchs posted a critical 86-77 Freedom Conference road victory over host eastern University Wednesday night in St. Davids.

With the win King's improved to 11-11 overall and 5-6 in Freedom Conference play with their third straight league win. The Monarchs also gained a season series sweep of the Eagles with the victory. Eastern, meanwhile, slipped to 10-12 and 4-7 in conference games. 

King's got off to a strong start when the Monarchs built a 9-2 lead  after five minutes of play thanks to four points from Tom Heston and a three-pointer by John Fazzini. The Monarchs later pushed the lead to 13-4 following another Fazzini three-pointer with 12:59 left in the opening stanza.

King's eventually built a 22-11 lead with 7:01 on the clock after a Jake Barber three-pointer. With King's holding a 24-14 advantage with 5:42 to go in the half, Eastern used a 6-2 spurt to close to 26-20 with 4:00 left.  The Eagles later cut the score to 35-32 with 0:22 remaining but the Monarchs got a big three-pointer from Connor Hughes at the buzzer to take a 38-32 lead into the halftime break.

In the second half King's quickly made it a double-digit game again after a bucket from Dan Rutecki and a John Fazzini trey upped the lead to  43-32.   The Monarchs would later go up 60-47 after a short jumper from Derek Wilkins with 11:17 on the clock.

Eastern, however, would not go away and used a 21-7 run to close to within 71-68 with 4:58 remaining. But Jake Barber sparked the Monarchs with a three-pointer to ignite a 10-2 run to push the King's lead to 81-70 with 1:44 left.

After two straight Eastern buckets cut the score to 81-74, the Eagles were forced to foul. Tom Heston made one-of-two free throws with 0:31 remaining to push the score to 82-74.  But eastern converted a bucket and foul shot by Shaquan Turk to crawl to within 82-77 with 0:20 to go. But Barber was fouled with 0:17 on the clock and made both shots for King's to give the Monarchs a 84-77 lead. After an eastern miss, Heston rebounded and was fouled, converting both shots to seal the win.

Rutecki led King's with 20 points and 11 rebounds while surpassing the 20-point plateau for the fourth time i the last six games. John Fazzini tallied 17 points, six rebounds, and five three-pointers while Barber had 16 points. Heston tallied 14 points and 10  boards while Chris Fazzini chipped in with nine points and six rebounds. 

Turk led Eastern with 16 points while Tarek Hamzeh added 11.

King's will travel to face Misericordia University Saturday at 3:00 p.m. in the Anderson Center.