STAMFORD -- From the opening whistle it was clear who would win the game between St. Luke's and King, it was just a matter of by how much.

The Storm jumped all over King on the road Friday night in FAA action, taking a 30-point first-half lead before cruising to a 85-53 win.

"We started off with a big lead but we stayed poised and didn't get too excited and we played good defense," St. Luke's coach Drew Gladstone said of his team's reaction to the early surge.

The Storm (8-5, 4-3) came out of the gate on fire, pushing the ball in transition and playing aggressive defense, something Gladstone wanted to see from his team.

"It's who we are," Gladstone said of the transition success. "It's going to make or break us; when we're running and putting pressure on the ball we're exactly who we want to be -- we did that phenomenally tonight."

Because of the sizeable lead Gladstone was able to rotate 11 players in the game, with all of them registering points.

"It tremendous, we usually play with a shallower bench but tonight we had the luxury of our bench guys stepping in and playing huge," Gladstone said. "Tonight was more about a collective effort."

After three straight conference losses the timing couldn't have been better for the Storm to have a breakout game, and Friday was exactly what they needed to right the ship.

"It feels really good," said St. Luke's Walter Whyte, who lead all scorers with 25 points. "It was a tough little skid we were on but we're working our way back."

Gladstone echoed the sentiment, but stressed that this taste of success needs to make the Storm work that much harder to ensure consistency.

"It's huge," Gladstone said of the bounce back win. "We're coming off of three league losses so we were able to get a little bit of our swagger back; but they understand we need to get back in the gym and get to work to stay hungry."

On the flip side, the inauspicious start was unexpected for King's (1-8, 0-6) coach Greg Dobbs and it proved costly.

"For whatever reason, and it sounds ridiculous, but my kids weren't ready to play against St. Luke's," Dobbs said. "I think we came out on our heels and they came out on their toes."

Dobbs went on to say that St. Luke's talent can finish a team if given the opening.

"They're a very good basketball team, they've got great athletes and they come after you relentlessly," Dobbs said.

First half issues aside, King rallied at half to play St. Luke's tough through the final period, only getting outscored by two in the second half. Chris Massucco lead the Vikings with 13 points.

"I told them to go out and play with some pride," Dobbs said of his halftime message. "Forget about the final score just go out and compete."

aparelli@bcnnew.com @reportedbytheAP

St. Luke's 85, King 53

ST. LUKE'S (8-5, 4-3)

Kevin Florio 3 0-0 7 Jerry Boggs 1 2-2 4 Casey Zhu 1 0-0 2 Jordan Sechan 3 1-2 7 Jalen Latta 5 3-4 13 Shannon Smith 1 0-2 3 Andrew Washer 1 0-0 3 Johnny Hage 1 0-0 3 Walter Whyte 10 5-5 25 Colin Meany 1 2-4 4 Jonas Harper 5 3-3 13. Totals: 32 16-22 85.

KING (1-8, 0-6)

Chris Massucco 5 2-2 13 Eddie Meizels 3 1-1 7 Peter Horn 2 0-0 5 Chris Trump 4 1-2 9 Trey Canaveri 1 1-2 3 Christian Watanabe 2 0-1 4 Evan Henry 1 2-4 4 Jackson Trimmer 1 0-0 3. Totals: 19 7-12 53.

ST. LUKE'S 50 35--85

KING 20 33--53

3-pointers: STL--Florio, Smith, Washer, Hage; K--Horn, Trimmer.