|Brendan Boken||Ross Danzig|
|Kevin Doolan||Justin Klingman|
SCRANTON, Pa.—In its previous two regular-season trips to
the Long Center, the Merchant Marine Academy spoiled University of
Scranton men’s basketball coach Carl
Danzig’s holiday break.
Not this time.
Behind a season-high 23-point effort from senior guard Ross Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights/Blair Academy-NJ), 20 points and 11 rebounds from junior forward Brendan Boken (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola), and 17 points from senior guard Justin Klingman (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights), the Royals held off a late rally to defeat the Mariners, 83-70, Sunday afternoon.
Steadily-improving freshman point-guard Kevin Doolan (Basking Ridge, NJ/Ridge) added a season-high 12 points for Scranton, which shot over 70 percent from the field in the first half to build up a 48-30 halftime lead before the Mariners whittled it down to seven with 4:23 remaining.
Sophomore guard Matthew Miller (Augusta, Ga./Augusta) led Merchant Marine, now 2-8 overall and 0-4 in the conference, with 23 points on 8 of 13 shooting from the field and junior guard/forward David Smith (Lakewood, Wash./Bellarmine Preparatory) connected on 7 of 9 shots to finish with 18 points. The Mariners, who shot nearly 61 percent from the field in the second half and over 53 percent for the game, also received 14 point and seven assists from freshman guard Robbie Kennedy (Spring Lake, NJ/Christian Brothers Academy).
Thanks to Boken’s presence down low, the Royals held a 42-24 advantage in points in the paint and converted 13 Mariner turnovers into 21 points, but they still couldn’t put the Mariners away even after Doolan connected on a 3-pointer with 14:16 left to give Scranton its largest lead, 60-40.
Miller then took over for the Mariners, scoring 11 points during a 23-6 run that made it a nail-biting 3-possession game with less than five minutes remaining. Boken then converted one of two free throws, Klingman came up with a key steal, and Danzig hit two free throws and made another steal that resulted in a lay-up by Doolan as the Royals resumed control, 78-66, with 2:11 left.
The win was the fourth straight for Scranton, now 6-1 overall
and 3-0 in the Landmark.
Danzig, whose promising senior year got off to a rocky start due to an ankle injury, made 7 of 15 shots from the field and had seven assists and six rebounds to go along with his 23 points in 36 minutes of action, while Klingman, who entered today’s game second in the nation in 3-point field goal percentage, made 5 of 6 shots from the field, including both ofhis 3-point attempts. In addition, Boken’s ‘double-double’ was his first of the season and the 11th of his career.
The Royals will break for the holidays before returning to action on Sunday, December 28, against Husson University in the D3hoops.com in Las Vegas, Nevada.