WILKES-BARRE -- The result wasn't the surprise. King's has lost just one women's basketball game against rival Wilkes since the 1997-98 season.
How the teams got to a 66-41 finish in favor of the Lady Monarchs on Wednesday was another story.
King's and Wilkes came into the game with the No. 2 and No. 4 scoring offenses in the Freedom Conference, respectively, but the two teams combined to shoot 31-for-127 from the floor. King's finished at 30 percent shooting and Wilkes was at 19.4 percent.
It wasn't what either team was expecting coming into the Marts Center. But the Lady Monarchs (11-4, 4-1) know there will be games where the scoring is streaky with a pair of starters in Marissa Manning and now Ashley Davies expected to miss the rest of the season with injuries.
It's a growing-pains situation, King's coach Brian Donoghue said. We're getting more people into the game and we have some people in street clothes. We just have to play through it.
We're scoring 70 points a game, so most days we're good offensively. But we just weren't, obviously, for a very long stretch today.
Seniors Celia Rader (18 points), Katlin Michaels (15 points, 10 rebounds), Lindsay Atchison (13 points) and Molly Dahl (six points, game-high 13 rebounds) paced the King's offense. The key for the Lady Monarchs will be getting key minutes off the bench from post players like Jennifer Fabian and Tara Zdancewicz, whose roles have increased this semester.
King's blew away Wilkes early in the game, holding the Lady Colonels without a point for a stretch of six-plus minutes to build a 21-2 lead. The King's defense forced 13 turnovers in the opening half and 21 for the game.
We really shot poorly today, said Wilkes coach Chris Heery, who has the Lady Colonels off to their best start in recent history. The main thing was that out shooters just didn't make ‘em today. I mean, that's just how it is.
We got ourselves into a little bit of a hole there, and King's is just too good of a team to spot 15 like that.
Sophomore Chelsea Brown led the Lady Colonels with 16 points and seven boards. Elena Stambone scored 11, but the league's leading scorer was held to 3-of-24 shooting.
King's kept dynamic Wilkes senior Megan Kazmerski scoreless.
We were assignment-driven tonight and I thought we were pretty good with that, Donoghue said. Earlier in the year we were playing pretty good defense … but we were good tonight.
As was the Wilkes defense for stretches.
The Lady Monarchs were up by as many as 23 points at 35-12 but hit a wall at the offensive end from there.
Wilkes held them scoreless over the final 4:23 of the half and without a field goal in the last eight minutes. Neither team scored in the final three before the break for a 35-14 King's advantage.
King's didn't manage its next field goal until the 13:42 mark of the second -- a span of over 14 minutes between makes.
But the Lady Monarchs' defense was just as stingy as Wilkes' and managed to extend the lead in that stretch to 42-16 midway through the half.
KING'S (66): Celia Rader 6-20 4-4 18, Molly Dahl 2-4 2-2 6, Jessica McHugh 1-3 0-0 2, Katlin Michaels 4-13 6-12 15, Lindsay Atchison 2-7 9-12 13, Gina McLaughlin 0-0 0-2 0, Tara Zdancewicz 2-4 4-7 8, Tiffany O'Donnell 0-2 2-2 2, Kyley Henry 0-2 0-0 0, Jennifer Fabian 1-3 0-0 2, Katie Dugan 0-0 0-0 0, Cassie Erdmann 0-1 0-0 0, Meagan Boccio 0-1 0-0 0, Sara Krupinski 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-60 27-41 66.
WILKES (41): Amanda Pawlowski 0-2 1-2 1, Elena Stambone 3-24 3-4 11, Megan Kazmerski 0-6 0-0 0, Chelsea Brown 6-13 4-8 16, Ellen Rich 0-1 0-0 0, Kate Thomas 0-3 3-6 3, Kayla Brahm 0-1 1-2 1, Cara Basile 0-2 0-0 0, Lindsey Chester 2-5 0-2 5, Bridget Leavitt 0-0 0-0 0, Jana Martin 0-0 0-0 0, Angela Palmerio 0-3 0-0 0, Megan Dragan 1-2 0-0 2, Brianna Zazzaro 0-0 0-0 0, Ginny Edwards 1-5 0-0 2. Totals 13-67 12-24 41.
Halftime-- King's, 35-14
3-point field goals-- KC 3-23 (Rader 2-12, Michaels 1-1, Dahl 0-1, McHugh 0-1, Erdmann 0-1, Boccio 0-1, Atchison 0-2, O'Donnell 0-2, Henry 0-2); WU 3-18 (Stambone 2-11, Chester 1-1, Thomas 0-1, Brahm 0-1, Kazmerski 0-3)