Royal Review: January 16-22

Sophomore Claire Mason won the 400-IM on the evening, as the Royals stayed in second place overall at the Landmark Conference Championships on Saturday.
Sophomore Claire Mason won the 400-IM on the evening, as the Royals stayed in second place overall at the Landmark Conference Championships on Saturday.

Women's Basketball (16-1, 5-1 Landmark)

The third-ranked University of Scranton women's basketball team went 1-1 on the week, blowing out Moravian, 76-55, on Wednesday night on the road, then falling in a heartbreaker to Catholic at home on Saturday in overtime, 82-76.

Against Moravian, Scranton put away the host Greyhounds early, opening up a 27-17 lead after one period and never looking back in a 21-point victory in which they didn't trail for 40 minutes. Scranton was led by the senior forward tandem of Alexix Roman (Hawley, Pa./Wallenpaupack) and Sarah Payonk (Schwenksville, Pa./Spring-Ford).

Roman ended the contest with a game-high 25 points, along with 14 rebounds, which matched a career-high for her in that department. Meanwhile, Payonk recorded the third triple-double of her career, ending with 10 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists. Payonk is now the first player in program history to record three triple-doubles in her career.

Sophomore guard Bridgette Mann (Canadensis, Pa./Wallenpaupack) added 16 points, while junior guard Katie Broderick (New Fairfield, Conn./New Fairfield) finished with nine points.

On Saturday against Catholic, the Lady Royals had their 50-game regular season winning streak halted by the visiting Cardinals, as Catholic snuck out a six-point victory in overtime. Scranton had also won 24 straight regular season games inside the John Long Center coming into the contest, as well.

Roman poured in a game- and season-high 28 points, recording her fifth double-double in her last six games by also pulling down 11 rebounds in the defeat. Payonk also notched a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and narrowly missed out on her second straight triple-double after finishing with nine assists.

Broderick was Scranton's third double-digit scorer on the game, finishing with a career-high 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor.

The University of Scranton women's basketball team returns to action on Wednesday, hosting Drew in another Landmark Conference contest inside the John Long Center. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.

Men's Basketball (12-5, 4-2 Landmark)

The University of Scranton men's basketball team went 1-1 during the week and currently sits in a tie for third place in the Landmark Conference, one game out of first place.

The Royals opened the week with a 78-64 loss to Moravian on Wednesday, Jan. 18, in the Long Center. Scranton held a six-point lead at halftime, but Moravian went 12-for-16 from 3-point range for the game, and the Royals couldn't keep up. Senior center John Vitkus (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac) led Scranton with 13 points and 11 rebounds, junior forward Drew Schankweiler (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg) had 11 points, and junior guard Kevin Doolan (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge) added 10 points.

On Saturday, Jan. 21, the Royals routed first-place Catholic, 92-71, in the Long Center to move within a game of first place. Junior guard Ethan Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights) made six 3-pointers en route to a game-high 26 points. Vitkus had his second double-double of the week and ninth of the season with 22 points and 11 rebounds, and junior guard Chris McCullough (Harborfields, N.Y./Greenlawn) had a career-high 15 points in the win.

The victory against Catholic was also the 299th of head coach Carl Danzig's career. He'll get his first shot at no. 300 when the Royals travel to Madison, N.J. on Wednesday, Jan. 25, to take on Drew in a Landmark Conference game at 7 p.m.

Women's Swimming & Diving (8-1)

The University of Scranton women's swimming & diving team finished off the home portion of its schedule in style on Saturday, as the Royals knocked off visiting Drew, 159-100, inside the Byron Center.

Before the meet, the Royals honored the seven seniors on the 2016-17 roster: Elizabeth Babinski (Scranton, Pa./Scranton), Natalie Caruso (Langhorne, Pa./Neshaminy), Katelyn Green (Sellersville, Pa./Pennridge), Shannon Richardson (Lafayette Hill, Pa./Plymouth Whitemarsh), Hanna Sandor (Bayport, N.Y./Bayport-Blue Point), Jessica Schmidt (Seaford, N.Y./Sacred Heart Academy) and Emma Sommers (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan).

In the meet, Scranton got off to a fast start in the 200-medley relay, taking the event in 1:55.16. Sophomore Claire Mason (Livingston, N.J./Mt. St. Dominic Academy) then won the first individual event of the day for the Royals, taking the 100-breaststroke in 1:11.56.

Scranton's next individual win was notched by junior Raquel Wasserman (Pound Ridge, N.Y./The Fox Lane), who won the 50-freestyle in 25.28, which was followed up by a victory by freshman Anne Gormley (Havertown, Pa./Merion Mercy Academy) in the 100-freestyle.

In the 200-breastoke, Mason became a two-time winner on the day, taking the event in 2:35.89, then won again in the 200-IM (which was the final individual event of the day), hitting the wall in 2:18.84 to finish on top. Wasserman also collected another victory later in the meet, taking the 100-butterfly in 1:02.01.

The final event of the afternoon was the 200-freestyle relay and Scranton ended the day on top, as the Royals "A" team finished in 1:42.11 to end the day on a high note for the Royals.

The University of Scranton women's swimming & diving team returns to action Saturday, traveling to Susquehanna for their final dual meet of the regular season. Things get underway at 1 p.m.

Men's Swimming & Diving (4-4)

In their final home meet inside the Byron Center on the 2016-17 season, the University of Scranton men's swimming & diving team dropped a tough 136-126 decision to visiting Drew on Saturday.

Before the meet began, Scranton honored the three senior members on the 2016-17 roster: Matthew Finnegan (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City Senior), Justyn Irizarry (Metuchen, N.J./John F. Kennedy Memorial), and Adam Kierstan (Telford, Pa./Souderton Area).

On the day, sophomore Robert Kahrs (East Windsor, N.J./Notre Dame) was victorious in the 100-freestyle, hitting the wall in 49.90.

Meanwhile the Royals 200-free relay team of Irizarry, sophomore Christopher Whalen (West Islip, N.Y./West Islip), sophomore Brayan Winiarz (Long Pond, Pa./Evergreen Community) and freshman Raymond Diorio (Warren, N.J./Watchung Hills) won the final event of the day with a time of 1:32.88.

The University of Scranton men's swimming & diving team returns to action Saturday, traveling to Susquehanna for their final dual meet of the regular season. Things get underway at 1 p.m.

Wrestling (12-1)

The University of Scranton wrestling team suffered its first loss of the season, but posted two more victories to move within one win of matching the program's single-season record for wins in a season.

The Royals began the week by defeating local rival King's, 27-10, on Tuesday, Jan. 17, in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Scranton trailed 8-3 after three matches and still faced an 11-10 deficit heading into the 174-pound bout. But junior Zachary D'Apolito (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Valley Senior), sophomore Daniel D'Agostini (Allentown, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic), freshman Keegan Connelly (Schnecksville, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic) and senior Salvatore Montuori (Clark, N.J./Arthur L. Johnson) ran the table to lift the Royals to the win.

On Saturday, Jan. 21, the Royals split a pair of matches at Mount Saint Vincent, defeating the hosts, 51-6, before suffering their first loss of the season, 25-15, to New York University.

Against Mount Saint Vincent, Scranton received pins from junior Nicholas DePierro (Manalapan, N.J./Freehold) at 125 pounds and freshman Nicholas Ciaccia (Freehold, N.J./Howell) at 133. D'Apolito added a technical fall at 174 pounds, and Montuori had a major decision at 285.

Against NYU, DePierro picked up his second pin of the day and 10th of the season, the most on the team. Senior Ian Evans (Laurys Station, Pa./Parkland) completed a perfect 3-0 week with a decision at 157 pounds. He is now 26-2 on the season and 116-20 for his career, nine wins shy of matching the program's career record for victories.

The Royals are a win shy of matching the most wins in a single season in the program's 49-year history, set in 1980-81 when the Royals went 13-4. They'll get their first shot at tying the mark on Tuesday, Jan. 24, when they host Muhlenberg on Senior Night at 7 p.m. in the Long Center.

This Week in University of Scranton Athletics

Tuesday, Jan. 24
Wrestling – vs. Muhlenberg, Senior Night (7 p.m. 

Wednesday, Jan. 18
Men's basketball – at Drew (7 p.m.)
Women's basketball – vs. Drew (7 p.m.)

Saturday, Jan. 28
Men's swimming & diving – at Susquehanna (2 p.m.)
Women's swimming & diving – at Susquehanna (2 p.m.)
Women's basketball – vs. Elizabethtown (2 p.m.)
Men's basketball – vs. Elizabethtown (2 p.m. 

Sunday, Jan. 29
Wrestling – at Penn. College of Technology (12 p.m.)


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