|Brendan Boken||Ross Danzig|
|Kevin Doolan||Marcus Thomas|
KINGS POINT, NY—With the offense struggling, senior guard Ross Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights/Blair Academy) took matters into his own hands Wednesday evening, leading The University of Scranton past the Merchant Marine Academy, 66-60, in Landmark Conference action at Liebertz Gymnasium.
Danzig scored 12 of his 21 points in the second half and junior forward Brendan Boken (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola) added 14—13 in the final 20 minutes of play—as the Royals overcame a 7-point halftime deficit to improve to 19-5 overall and 13-2 in conference play.
Scranton, which locked up the number two seed in the upcoming Landmark tournament, also received 10 points from freshman guard Kevin Doolan (Basking Ridge, NJ/Ridge).
The Mariners, who fell to 8-16 overall and 5-10 in the Landmark, were led by sophomore guard Matt Miller (Augusta, Ga./Augusta) with 22 points and junior guard David Smith (Lakewood, Wash./Bellarmine Prep) added 14. The loss also snapped Merchant Marine’s five-game conference winning streak.
For a while, it looked as if the Royals might enter Saturday’s eagerly-anticipated showdown against top-seeded Catholic University needing a win in order to host a playoff game, especially after Susquehanna dismantled Goucher, 122-76, tonight. Scranton trailed by 11 late in the first half and didn’t take its first lead until Danzig drained a pair of free throws with 6:07 remaining. He also drained back-to-back 3-pointers moments earlier to tie the game twice.
Boken, who struggled through a 3-for-10 shooting night, finally got untracked, sandwiching a lay-up and a jump shot around a critical 3-pointer by junior guard/forward Marcus Thomas (Clarksburg, Md./Clarksburg) and a lay-up by Danzig as the Royals opened up a 56-47 lead with 1:35 left. The final score was the closest the Mariners would get the rest of the way.
The Royals shot over 59 percent from the field in the second half to offset a 7-for-24 effort (29 percent) in the first half.
Danzig’s 21 points gives him 1723 and moves him past Bill Witaconis (1712, 1961-1964) and Jason Hoppy (1717, 1989-1993) into seventh place on the Royals’ all-time scoring list. In the battle for family bragging rights, he is 10 points shy of out-scoring his father, veteran Scranton head coach Carl Danzig, who poured in 1732 points during his standout career at Baker University (Kansas) from 1983 through 1987.
The Royals will host Catholic University Saturday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. in the Long Center. Prior to tip-off, the University will officially induct the six newest members into the athletics department’s Wall of Fame.