|Justin Klingman||Ross Danzig|
|Brendan Boken||Michael Barr|
WASHINGTON, DC—If University of Scranton men’s basketball coach Carl Danzig hands out an unsung hero award this year, he might want to consider giving it to junior guard Justin Klingman (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights).
Klingman made 7 of 11 shots from the field, including 7 of 8 from beyond the 3-point arc, to finish with a career-high 23 points in leading the Royals to an 80-71 victory over Catholic University at the DuFour Center in Washington, DC, a win that secures the top seed for Scranton in the upcoming Landmark Conference tournament.
Junior guard Ross Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights/Blair Academy-NJ) added 19 points, nine rebounds, and five assists and sophomore forward Brendan Boken (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola) and senior guard Michael Barr (North Wales, Pa./Lansdale Catholic) chipped in 15 and 12 points, respectively, as the Royals won their 10th straight game to improve to 20-3 overall and 10-2 in the Landmark Conference.
Scranton has now won at least 20 games in three of the last four seasons and for the seventh time in Carl Danzig’s 13-year tenure as head coach. In addition, the Royals have won at least 10 games in conference play for the sixth straight year and for the tenth time under Danzig.
The loss was the second straight for Catholic, now 14-9 overall and 8-4 in conference play. Sophomore guard Bryson Fonville (Greensboro, NC/Page) led the Cardinals with 23 points and sophomore guard Kyle Phanord (Davie, Fla./University School) and junior center Jared Prince (Williamette, Ill./Loyola Academy) added 16 and 12 points, respectively.
Things have been going swimmingly for the Royals ever since Klingman was inserted into the starting lineup 14 games ago. He has scored in double figures 10 times during this span and his ability to knock down perimeter jump shots takes pressure off Danzig, Boken, and senior guard Tommy Morgan (Greenlawn, NY/Chaminade) to carry the load offensively.
Today was a prime example.
Klingman shredded the Cardinals’ zone defense in the first half, making all four of his 3-point field goal attempts to finish with 12 points as the Royals open up a four-point halftime lead, 35-31. He hit two more 3-pointers in the opening four minutes of the second half before Barr and Danzig gave Scranton its first significant lead, combining for 11 points during a 13-4 run that turned a four-point lead into a 13-point advantage with 9:11 remaining.
Catholic did manage to whittle the lead down to eight with 3:51 left, but Klingman and Barr swung the momentum permanently in Scranton’s favor by draining back-to-back 3-pointers. For the game, Scranton made a season-high 14 (of 24) shots from beyond the 3-point arc.
The Royals' hot-shooting continued today, making over 52 percent
of their attempts. In its last four games, Scranton is
shooting 54.2 percent from the field (104 of 192).
The Royals will play their final two games of the regular season at home beginning Wednesday, February 19, against Moravian College at 7:00 p.m. in the Long Center. Prior to tip-off, the university will present the 61st annual John ‘Les’ Dickman award to the Royals’ most valuable player (MVP). Scranton ends the regular season next Saturday, February 22, against Goucher College at 2:00 p.m. at the Long Center.