Royal Review: February 24-March 2 (No. 25 in a weekly series)
Men’s Basketball (24-3)
The University of Scranton men’s basketball team captured the Landmark Conference championship with a pair of playoff victories in the Long Center. The title is the fifth Landmark crown in seven years and the 22nd conference title overall in program history.
The Royals reached the championship game by defeating Merchant Marine Academy, 82-64, in a Landmark Conference semifinal on Wednesday, Feb. 26, in the Long Center. Junior guard Ross Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights/Blair Academy, N.J.) had 25 points and nine rebounds, senior guard Tommy Morgan (Greenlawn, N.Y./Chaminade) and sophomore forward Brendan Boken (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola) had 15 points each, and junior guard Justin Klingman (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights) added 14 points.
Morgan also became the 41st player in Royals history to reach 1,000 points when he scored on an alley oop dunk in the second half.
In the championship game on Saturday, March 1, in the Long Center, the Royals defeated Susquehanna, 71-56, as Boken earned MVP honors after finishing with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Morgan had 16 points and seven rebounds, and Danzig added 14 points and 12 rebounds.
The conference title gives Scranton an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament, which begins on Friday, March 7. The Royals will find out their first-round opponent, site and time when the tournament field is announced on Monday, March 3, at 12:30 p.m. This will be the 25th NCAA Tournament appearance in Scranton men’s basketball history.
Women’s Basketball (24-3)
The University of Scranton women’s basketball team completed a Landmark Conference championship sweep by winning to playoff games to capture the third Landmark crown and 22nd conference title in program history.
The Lady Royals began their title quest with a 74-53 victory over Juniata in a Landmark Conference semifinal on Wednesday, Feb. 26, in the Long Center. Freshman forward Alexix Roman (Hawley, Pa./Wallenpaupack) led the way with 17 points, junior forward Meredith Mesaris (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax) had 13 points, and freshman forward Sarah Payonk (Schwenksville, Pa./Spring-Ford) added nine points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals and a block.
Scranton captured the title with a 74-61 victory over Moravian in the championship game on Saturday, March 1, in the Long Center. Mesaris was named championship MVP after scoring 26 points and pulling down seven rebounds. Payonk added 13 points and nine rebounds, and junior guard Lia DiSciascio (Broomall, Pa./Cardinal O’Hara) added 12 points and eight rebounds.
The conference championship gives the Lady Royals an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament, the 27th berth in the program’s 40-year history. Scranton will find out its first-round opponent, site and time when the field is announced on Monday, March 3, at 2:30 p.m. First-round games are scheduled for Friday, March 7.
Men’s Lacrosse (1-1)
The University of Scranton men’s lacrosse team picked up its first victory of the season with a 12-6 win at Muhlenberg on Saturday, March 1, in Allentown, Pa.
The Royals jumped out to a 6-1 halftime lead, then put the game away with six straight goals in the fourth period. Senior attacker Gus Sturm (Devon, Pa./Conestoga) led the way with three goals, and senior midfielder John Gregitis (Wayne, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep), junior attacker Will Mahle (Montgomery, N.J./Montgomery) and sophomore midfielder Alec Mikrut (Belle Mead, N.J./Montgomery) added two goals and an assist each.
Scranton returns to action on Wednesday, March 5, when the Royals host York (Pa.) at 4 p.m. at Fitzpatrick Field.
The University of Scranton women’s lacrosse team had a pair of games postponed during the week due to cold temperatures in the Northeast. The Royals are now scheduled to open their season on Saturday, March 7, when they visit King’s in Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
This Week in University of Scranton Athletics
Men’s lacrosse – vs. York (Pa.) (4 p.m.)
Baseball – vs. John Carroll, Fort Myers, Fla. (noon)
Friday, March 7
Baseball – vs. Neumann, DH, Fort Myers, Fla. (noon)
Men’s basketball – NCAA Division III Tournament (TBA)
Women’s basketball – NCAA Division III Tournament (TBA)
Baseball – vs. Elms, DH, Fort Myers, Fla. (noon)
Baseball – vs. Thiel, Fort Myers, Fla. (7 p.m.)
Men’s lacrosse – at Lycoming (1 p.m.)
Women’s lacrosse – at King’s (1 p.m.)