WILKES-BARRE — Misericordia had already strung together an improbable series of three-pointers to send the game to overtime.
King’s never blinked.
The Lady Monarchs survived an impressive comeback by the Cougars — and one last desperation three-point shot to boot — to earn their first Freedom Conference victory of the season on Wednesday at Scandlon Gymnasium.
Sam Baro’s three-pointer with time winding down was just off the mark and the Cougars could only hit a short putback at the last possible moment.
King’s 76, Misericordia 75.
“This group has never shown any fold,” King’s coach Brian Donoghue said. ” So I’m not surprised by it. It was nice for them, with the tough time we’ve had at different points this year, to … walk out (in overtime) and play defense and get, I believe, nine straight stops.”
It was exactly what the Lady Monarchs (5-13, 1-6 Freedom) needed after how the second half ended.
Baro knocked down three shots from behind the arc in the final minute of regulation to force overtime, shaking away from a defender to put up an off-balance shot at the buzzer to tie the game.
Baro scored a career-high 26 points to lead all players, shooting 6-of-12 from deep.
Misericordia needed all of them. King’s nailed all six foul shots in that final minute — four by freshman Kasey Seitz and two from sophomore Jennifer Fabian — to keep the Cougars at bay. Missing even one would have given Misericordia the win in regulation.
The Cougars’ shooting surge didn’t carry to overtime. Three turnovers in the extra frame (two for traveling and one for a carry) ended up costing Misericordia.
“Mentally I think we got happy for a minute that we made the shot (to tie) instead of focusing on the work that we had to do,” Misericordia coach Allison Kern said.
King’s put all five starters into double figures. Marissa Manning (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Fabian (14 and 11) led the way with double-doubles. Jessica McHugh has 13 points while Seitz and Kayla Feairheller had 10 apiece.
Misericordia (7-10, 3-4) dug a hole early on, falling behind by 11 in the first half.
“We wanted to come out aggressive, to pressure and have a little bit of fight,” Kern said. “We came out mentally very passive. Didn’t set the tone from the tip like we like to do.”
Hannah Seely had 21 points and 11 rebounds for the Cougars while Justine Seely added nine points and 17 boards.
King’s held the Cougars to 21 points in the first half, the fewest the Lady Monarchs have allowed in seven league games so far this season.
“We gave up a banked three, we gave up an ‘oh-my-goodness’ three and still got to overtime,” Donoghue said. “We put ourselves in a better spot (early on) than we have recently.
“Before, that might have been a two-point defeat.”
Fundraiser on Saturday
King’s College’s brain cancer fundraiser for Donoghue will extend beyond Saturday’s doubleheader against DeSales.
The school announced Wednesday that after the Monarchs’ “Play for Gray” games, the event will continue at Uptown II on River Street in Wilkes-Barre.
All proceeds will go to Donoghue, who was diagnosed over the summer, and his family.
The evening event at Uptown II begins at 5 p.m. with a $10 cover charge, a cash bar and appetizers provided. The day begins at 1 p.m. when the Lady Monarchs host DeSales at Scandlon Gymnasium and continues during the men’s game at 3 p.m.
T-shirts and candy sales during the afternoon will also go to support the Donoghue family.
MISERICORDIA (75) — Hannah Seely 7-13 7-10 21, Katie Drayton 2-8 0-0 4, Justine Seely 4-11 1-5 9, Sam Baro 9-20 2-3 26, Nikki Baro 3-9 2-4 8, Shannon Croasdale 3-10 0-0 7, Lauren Oertner 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-71 12-22 75.
KING’S (76) — Kasey Seitz 2-11 5-6 10, Jessica McHugh 4-7 3-4 13, Jennifer Fabian 6-14 2-3 14, Kayla Feairheller 5-18 0-0 10, Marissa Manning 8-21 2-8 18, Katie Dugan 1-2 0-2 3, Sara Krupinski 0-0 0-0 0, Tara Zdancewicz 3-6 2-3 8. Totals 29-79 14-26 76.
Halftime —King’s, 33-21; Regulation — Tied, 69-69
Three-point field goals — MU 7-16 (S. Baro 6-12, Croasdale 1-2, Drayton 0-2); KC 4-21 (McHugh 2-4, Dugan 1-1, Seitz 1-2, Manning 0-3, Fabian 0-4, Feairheller 0-7)