Royal Review: February 20-26

Royal Review: February 20-26

Men's Basketball (21-6)

The University of Scranton men's basketball team captured its seventh Landmark Conference championship and 24th conference title overall with a 68-63 victory over Moravian in the Long Center on Saturday, Feb. 25.

Senior center John Vitkus (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac) capped a big week by being named championship MVP. He scored a career-high 27 points on 11-for-14 shooting from the field, and added five rebounds, two blocks and a steal.

Junior guard Ethan Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights) added 12 points, six assists and five rebounds, and freshman guard Kyle DeVerna (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) added nine points and four rebounds off the bench.

The Royals reached the title game by defeating Catholic, 75-68, on Wednesday, March 22, in a semifinal in the Long Center. Danzig had 14 points, six rebounds and three assists, junior guard Kevin Doolan (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge) had 15 points and six assists, and Vitkus finished with 14 points and five rebounds.

Scranton will make its fourth straight NCAA Tournament appearance and 28th overall when the Royals travel to Williamstown, Mass. to take on Oswego State in a first-round game on Friday at Williams College. Game time will be announced later this week.

Women's Basketball (24-3)

It was a big week for The University of Scranton women's basketball team, as the Lady Royals knocked off Moravian (71-60) and Catholic (58-42) to win their second straight Landmark Conference championship. The victories also clinched a spot in the upcoming NCAA Division III Tournament for the Lady Royals, marking the 30th time in program history they will play on the national stage.

First on Wednesday against Moravian, the Lady Royals trailed by one entering the fourth quarter in the Landmark semifinal game inside the Long Center, but Scranton attacked back in the final period, outscoring the visiting Greyhounds, 25-13, to take the 11-point victory.

In the win, the senior forward tandem of Sarah Payonk (Schwenksville, Pa./Spring-Ford) and Alexix Roman (Hawley, Pa./Wallenpaupack) led the Lady Royals all night long. Payonk finished with a double-double, scoring a game-high 20 points to go along with 11 rebounds. Payonk also had six assists, three steals and two blocks in the win.

Meanwhile, Roman finished with 14 points and, sophomore guard Bridgette Mann (Canadensis, Pa./Wallenpaupack) finished with 17 points and went a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line, as well.

On Saturday in the Landmark championship game in Washington, D.C., Scranton put away host Catholic in the second half, riding a strong defensive effort the entire afternoon. In the win, the Lady Royals held Catholic to their lowest point output of the season, and outscored them 12-5 in the third quarter to take a double-digit lead they would never relinquish.

In the victory, junior guard Katie Broderick (New Fairfield, Conn./New Fairfield) earned Most Valuable Player honors, as she poured in a career-high 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting from 3-point range. Roman ended the day with 17 points, while Payonk had nine points and snatched a game-high 12 rebounds.

The Lady Royals will host the first and second rounds of the NCAA Division III Tournament in the Long Center on Friday and Saturday, March 3 and 4. They will face University of New England in a first-round game on Friday at a time to be announced.


The University of Scranton wrestling team finished its season by placing 14th at the NCAA East Regional on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 25-26, at York College in York, Pa.

Senior Ian Evans (Laurys Station, Pa./Parkland) capped his career with a fifth-place finish at 157 pounds. He finishes his career with 122 career victories, the second most in the wrestling program's 49-year history. He completed his senior season with a 32-5 record, tying his career high for victories in a season, which is tied for fifth most in school history.

Senior Salvatore Montuori (Clark, N.J./Arthur L. Johnson) capped his career by going 29-11 on the season, all at 285 pounds, a career high for victories and tied for eighth-most in a single season in program history. And freshman Keegan Connelly (Schnecksville, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic) had an impressive collegiate debut, posting 25 wins at 197 pounds, tied for 13th-most in a single season in Royals history.

Baseball (2-1)

The University of Scranton baseball team opened its season by going 2-1 on the weekend, sweeping a doubleheader against Albright on Saturday, March 25, then falling to Widener a day later.

The Royals took the opener against Albright at Diamond Nation in Flemington, N.J. by a score of 5-3. Senior second baseman Patrick O'Dell (Phoenixville, Pa./St. Joseph's Prep) singled, doubled, drove in two runs and scored one. Sophomore right-hander Matt McDonald (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights) worked three hitless innings of relief to get the save.

In the second game, a 3-2 win in 10 innings, O'Dell delivered the walk-off hit with an RBI single in the bottom of the 10th. Sophomore righty Pat Rohr (Audubon, Pa./Devon Prep) retired all nine batters he faced in relief to get the win.

On Sunday, the Royals couldn't slow Widener in a 21-13 loss at the University of Delaware in Newark, Del. Junior outfielder Ryan Coonahan (Oreland, Pa./La Salle College H.S.) had three hits, two RBIs and a run scored.

The baseball team will be back in action on Saturday, March 4, when the Royals travel to Owings Mills, Md. to take on Stevenson at 11 a.m. and Keystone at 2:30 p.m. at Stevenson.

Men's Lacrosse (1-0)

The University of Scranton men's lacrosse team opened its 2017 season with a 14-5 win over Muhlenberg on Saturday, Feb. 25, at Fitzpatrick Field.

Freshman Connor Kirkwood (Millburn, N.J./St. Peter's Prep) had an impressive collegiate debut with five goals to lead the Royals. Scranton (1-0) also received three goals and an assist from junior midfielder Conor Carey (Long Beach, N.Y./Chaminade), two goals each from senior attackman Jake Haimson (Montville, N.J./Montville) and junior midfielder Jack Kiess (Glen Rock, N.J./Ramapo), and a goal and an assist from both junior attackman Matt Carfaro (Long Valley, N.J./West Morris) and junior midfielder Brendan McLaughlin (Garden City, N.Y./Garden City).

Scranton will be back in action on Wednesday, March 1, when they travel to Cortland, N.Y. to take on 19th-ranked Cortland State at 3:30 p.m.

Women's Lacrosse (1-0)

The University of Scranton women's lacrosse team kicked off its 2017 season on Sunday against Shenandoah at home, and the Royals pulled away in the second half, taking a 10-4 victory in non-conference action.

Sophomore Elena Gallo (East Meadow, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) and freshman Shannon Warburton (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh) scored two goals apiece to lead the offense in the victory. Gallo also notched an assist in the victory, as Scranton outscored Shenandoah, 6-2 in the second half.

On defense, senior Marne Rossetti (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills) started the match and made four saves in the first half to earn the win. She was replaced by freshman Erin Putnam (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks South) in the second half, and in her first collegiate game, made six saves to preserve the victory for Scranton.

The University of Scranton women's lacrosse team returns to action on Wednesday, hosting Misericordia in a non-conference tilt at Fitzpatrick Field. The match will get underway at 4 p.m.

This Week in University of Scranton Athletics

Wednesday, March 1
Men's lacrosse – at #19 Cortland State (3:30 p.m.)
Women's lacrosse – vs. Misericordia (4 p.m.) 

Friday, March 3
Men's basketball – vs. Oswego State, NCAA first round at Williamstown, Mass. (TBA)
Women's basketball – vs. University of New England, NCAA first round at Long Center (TBA) 

Saturday, March 4
Baseball – at Stevenson (11 a.m.)
Men's lacrosse – at #2 Rochester Inst. of Technology (12 p.m.)
Women's lacrosse – vs. Lebanon Valley (1 p.m.)
Baseball – vs. Keystone, at Stevenson (2:30 p.m.)
Men's basketball – NCAA Tournament 2nd round (TBA)
Women's basketball – NCAA Tournament 2nd round (TBA)

Sunday, March 5
Baseball – vs. Cortland State, at Johns Hopkins (11 a.m.) 



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