WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – Chris DeRojas poured in 25 points while Paul Huch scored 17 points and pulled down 18 rebounds as the Colonels defeated the Curry College Colonels 89-67 on Monday night. The victory made Wilkes the only team with two wins in the Wilkes-Barre Challenge.
Just as the night before, Wilkes jumped out of the gates hot behind the long-range shooting of DeRojas. The senior from Dallas, Pa. hit three three-pointers in a matter of one and a half minutes to help the Colonels to an early 20-9 lead. Huch added a three-pointer himself in the early run, while Bernard Edmonds hit on back-to-back layups.
Curry settled down after the early start from Wilkes, and at the 10 minute mark the Colonels from Curry had reduced the deficit to just four points. The margin varied between four and eight points the rest of the half, but with just over a minute left Curry hit a three-pointer to reduce the deficit to two. Wilkes couldn't connect at the end of the period, making the score 41-39 at the break.
DeRojas hit four three-pointers in the half and connected on all three of his free throws to lead Wilkes with 15 points. Huch added seven points and six rebounds, while Kendall Hinze played quality minutes, scoring six points and pulling down seven rebounds in just seven minutes played. Curry made three more field goals than Wilkes, but the Colonels from Wilkes connected on nine free throws which was the difference.
The beginning of the second half began with another run by Wilkes, with scores by Edmonds, Huch, Hinze and another three-pointer from DeRojas pushing the Colonel lead to 11. Once again, Curry fought back, narrowing the Wilkes lead to four with yet another three-pointer with 11:57 left to play. The rest of the half saw Wilkes take multiple trips to the free throw line, where the Colonels from Wilkes performed wonderfully.
With 8:28 left, Matt Mullins hit a three-pointer to give the Colonels from Wilkes a 12 point cushion, and from that point on Curry would never bring the deficit to within less than 10. Curry shot many three-pointers as the game wound down, but couldn't make the necessary shots to climb back into the contest. Wilkes put on the clamps down the stretch, cruising to an 89-67 victory.
DeRojas finished with 25 points on five three-pointers and eight-of-nine from the free-throw line, while Huch had 17 points and 18 rebounds, including 10 points and 12 rebounds in the second half alone. For their efforts, DeRojas and Huch received All-Challenge Team awards. Hinze finished with 17 points and eight rebounds, while Tyler Breznitsky put in 11 points in just 20 minutes played. Wilkes made 27 free throws in the game, 18 of which were in the second half where they went 18-of-22 from the charity stripe.
Other players on the All-Challenge team wereSedale Jones and Jarrell Jackson from Curry College, Kyle Hammonds from King's College, and Peter Aiken from Albany Pharmacy.
Wilkes will be back in action when they host Marywood University on Wednesday, Jan. 5. That game will begin at approximately 8:00 p.m. in the Marts Center. Curry returns home to host Salem State on Thursday, Jan. 6 at 7:00 p.m. (Game recap courtesy of Wilkes University Sports Information)