Matt Fiorino was named Freedom Conference Player of the Week after his performance against Wilkes. (King's College Athletics)
Matt Fiorino was named Freedom Conference Player of the Week after his performance against Wilkes. (King’s College Athletics)

King’s College senior guard Matt Fiorino led the way with a career-high 28 points in crushing WilkesUniversity 71-54 in an impressive victory Wednesday evening at MartsCenter.

The Monarchs, who were previously 1-6 in their last seven games, improved to 7-9 overall and 2-3 in the conference. Wilkes falls to 7-8 and remains winless in conference play at 0-5.

The Monarchs controlled the tempo of the game right from the start of tip-off and went on a 14-4 run in the first six minutes of the first half, stagnating the potent Wilkes offense, which features junior guard Chris Shovlin, who leads the Freedom Conference in scoring, averaging 24.7 points a game.

King’s pushed their lead, going up to 32-17 with less than two minutes to go in the first-half, as Fiorino was 6-9 from the field.

Wilkes went on a 7-0 run with back-to-back three-pointers by senior guard Andrew Breznitsky, including a buzzer beater three to end the half, cutting the deficit to 32-24.

At the start of the second half, Shovlin got a lay-up and the King’s lead shrunk to 32-26.

King’s bounced back as Fiorino drained two straight buckets as King’s expanded their lead to 36-26. From then on King’s stayed in rhythm and was steady throughout the rest of the game.

Wilkes overall shot a season-low 33.3% from the field as Breznitsky led the team 12 points.

King’s junior guard Joe Caffrey was given the task of defending Wilkes’s Shovlin, and with the help of his teammates, made him a non-factor as he was just 2-8 from the field with only six points before leaving the game with an ankle injury. King’s head coach J.P. Andrejko was impressed with his team’s defensive effort.

“I think defensively this was our best defensive effort of the season. We had a good game plan and executed well,” said Andrejko, also calling Fiorino’s performance outstanding and saying that he showed great confidence offensively.

King’s leading scorer Kyle Hammonds was limited to 8 minutes due to illness. Connor Hughes started in place of Hammonds and played defense on Breznitsky.

Tim O’Shea scored 18 points, including a dunk in the second half.

“When Tim stays within himself he plays great and that is exactly what he did that night,” said Andrejko.

Caffrey, along with his good defense, chipped in offensively with 11 points as he was 4-6 from the field.

King’s will face off against Wilkes at home on Saturday, Feb. 16 at 3 p.m. in Scandlon Gymnasium for the final game of the regular season.