WILKES-BARRE — Looking to finish off a critical run, Wilkes had just the guy to deliver the dagger.
Finally on the verge of taking control of the game in the second half, Wilkes got a quick steal after an inbound play. With Marywood already running up the court, there was no one within 20 feet of Chris Shovlin at the far side.
The prodigal guard took a moment, caught his breath and had plenty of time to calmly knock down the three for a double-digit lead.
Timeout Marywood. Ballgame Wilkes.
The Colonels opened the new year with one choppy half and one strong one, enough to dispatch Marywood 66-48 on Wednesday in the second annual Cross County Challenge at the Marts Center.
Shovlin, who made his return to Wilkes after a six-year absence last semester, led the team in scoring in the first nine games. On Wednesday, he picked up right where he left off, scoring a game-high 26 points on 10-of-19 shooting, including 5-of-11 from behind the arc.
Fellow guard Tyler Breznitsky added 13 points as the Colonels (6-4) look to reconstitute their offense following some attrition to the roster before the semester break. Point guard Jourdon Wilson left the team in early December and Rickrode said forward Bernard Edmonds will sit out the rest of the season to focus on academics.
We've been working on some different things since right before we went to (the Monarch Classic at King's in December), Wilkes coach Jerry Rickrode said. But we only had a practice to do that and then one more before another game. And then we had the break.
So it's a work in progress. The offense is supposed to be a patient one. But you're not supposed to just pass, pass, pass. You have to make some plays as well. Did a little bit better in the second half.
Playing their first game in more than three weeks, the Colonels struggled out of the gate and found themselves tied with the Pacers 25-25 at halftime.
It wasn't until the 12-minute mark of the second that Wilkes was able to take command, relying on the backcourt of Shovlin and Breznitsky to bury Marywood.
A quick sequence saw Pat Furst score a driving layup followed by a quick steal and Shovlin's back-breaking three.
The junior-eligible guard scored 20 of the Colonels' 41 second-half points.
In the second half, the pace of the play offensively was better, Rickrode said. (Instead of) a chess match, guys were actually penetrating, skipping it and that kind of stuff, and we got some movement.
The Colonels shot 56 percent from the floor after halftime while holding the Pacers (2-8) to just 35 percent for the game. Outside of recent transfer Kendall Harris (19 points, nine rebounds), Marywood produced little on offense.
Wilkes will have a tougher task against Scranton at 8 tonight as the Cross County Challenge wraps up, following King's facing Marywood at 6 p.m. at the Marts Center.
When you hold a team under 50, it's a pretty good effort, Rickrode said. Offensively, it got a little bit better.
MARYWOOD (48): Ryan Corrigan 3-9 0-0 8, Shane Kellaher 1-5 1-2 3, Matt Tintle 2-5 3-4 7, Kendall Harris 5-12 8-14 19, Andrew Andrle 3-6 1-2 8, Ian Stout 0-1 0-0 0, Tyrone Baker 0-0 2-4 2, Daniel Tintle 0-1 1-2 1, Jonathan Velazquez 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 14-40 16-28 48.
WILKES (66): Tyler Breznitsky 5-12 1-3 13, Jeremy Hartman 0-5 0-0 0, Cameron Hinkel 3-4 0-0 6, Chris Shovlin 10-19 1-2 26, Nic Wilkins 3-7 0-0 6, Craig Thomas 0-0 0-0 0, Alec Wizar 1-1 0-0 3, Mike Boylan 0-0 0-0 0, Pat Furst 2-3 0-0 4, Cliff Richardson 1-2 0-0 2, Jim Brackett 2-2 0-0 4, Brendan Sheldon 1-4 0-0 2, Lee Strause 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 28-60 2-5 66.
Halftime— Tied, 25-25
3-point field goals— MU 4-16 (Corrigan 2-6, Harris 1-3, Andrle 1-4, Kellaher 0-1, M. Tintle 0-1, Velazquez 0-1); WU 8-20 (Shovlin 5-11, Breznitsky 2-4, Wizar 1-1, Wilkins 0-1, Hartman 0-3)