Simcox prepares to play her former Wilkes teammates.

 

On a night that saw a crowd of over 700 spectators ready to cheer on their respective teams in a classic cross-town rivalry matchup against Wilkes University, the King’s women’s basketball team wanted nothing more than to earn their fifth conference win of the season. The Lady Monarchs did just that, reeling off a 42-25 run late in the game for a 68-47 victory.

With the win, the Lady Monarchs improved to 13-3 on the season and remained perfect in conference play (5-0) while Wilkes fell to 4-11 with a conference mark of 0-5 for the year.

King’s got off to a quick start in the first half as senior Samantha Simcox netted an easy jump shot and first-year player Marissa Manning hit two field goals to give King’s an early 6-2 lead.

Wilkes, who had lost seven straight games coming into the night, played like a team with something to prove and showed that they were not going to let themselves be an easy victory. With just over nine minutes remaining in the first half, the Lady Colonels were able to take a 12-9 lead. They again knotted up the score at 14-14 with a jump shot in the paint by first-year player Elena Stambone.

From there, King’s scored eight consecutive points as junior Celia Rader hit a three-pointer and Simcox stole the ball and ran down the court for an easy lay-up to put King’s up 19-14. Rader drained another three at the 2:26 mark to extend the lead to 24-18. After Wilkes pulled back to within two, senior Paige Carlin came up with four points just before the buzzer, giving the Lady Monarchs a 26-22 halftime lead.

After their first-half shooting troubles, it was hard to anticipate the offensive turnaround King’s displayed in the second half.

“Our shots were not falling in the first half, but everyone stayed positive at halftime,” Simcox said. “We could have gotten down, but we talked about how we needed to keep shooting and that the shots would eventually fall.”

After Wilkes tied the game 29-29 with a small 7-3 run to open the half, King’s answered back as Simcox scored seven points against her former team while Carlin drove in for a hard lay-up to put King’s up 38-29.

When Wilkes brought the score to within five points at 38-33, the Lady Monarchs began clicking offensively. Rader netted another three-pointer before junior Lindsay Atchison added one from the foul line.

This was quickly followed by three-pointers from Simcox and junior Molly Dahl, as well as a bucket in the paint from Simcox to complete a 17-2 marathon and give King’s a 55-35 advantage with just over six minutes left in regulation.

After Wilkes hit a field goal, Simcox made it rain from beyond the perimeter one last time to advance the score to 58-37 in favor of King’s. From that point on, King’s put in substitutes to get some game-time experience and shortly after took their largest lead of the game. Wilkes wouldn’t draw much closer for the remainder of the game as the Lady Monarchs finished off their 68-47 win.

Simcox had a big day for King’s, posting a game-high 19 points. Rader contributed with 13 points while Carlin finished with 11 points.

“I go and play the best I can during every game, but it was just a good team win,” Simcox said. “We could have given up when our shots didn’t fall in the first half, but we kept shooting and played like we knew we could.”