|Brendan Boken||Sean Cummings||Brian Farrell||Ross Danzig||Justin Klingman|
ITHACA, NY—The University of Scranton men’s basketball team’s string of late game heroics finally came to an end Tuesday evening, dropping an 88-80 decision in overtime to Ithaca College at the Ben Light Gymnasium.
The loss snaps a six-game winning streak for the 24th-ranked Royals, now 12-3, while the Bombers improved to 4-8.
Junior forward Brendan Boken (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola) led Scranton with 20 points and 10 rebounds—his third ‘double-double’ of the season and the 13th of his career—and seldom-used junior guard Brian Farrell (Verona, NJ/Verona) came off the bench and connected on 8 of 14 shots from the field to finish with a career-high 19 points.
The Royals, who built up double-digit leads in both halves, also received 12 points apiece from senior guards Ross Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights/Blair Academy-NJ) and Justin Klingman (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights) and sophomore guard Sean Cummings (Millstone Township, NJ/St. Peter’s Preparatory).
Ithaca’s balanced attack was led by 6-8 senior center Keefe Gitto (Great Barrington, Mass./Monument Mountain), who finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds, and freshman guard Marc Chasin (Coral Gables, Fla./Gulliver) added 17, including a game-tying 3-pointer with seven seconds remaining in regulation. The Bombers also received 15 points from freshman guard Carroll Rich (Rockaway, NJ/Morris Knolls), 14 from junior guard Sam Bevan (Strafford, Pa./Conestoga), and 12 from senior guard Max Masucci (Hopkinton, Mass./Hopkinton).
Farrell’s performance tonight will soften the blow for veteran head coach Carl Danzig, whose son, freshman guard Ethan Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights), was sidelined by an illness and whose other promising freshman, point-guard Kevin Doolan (Basking Ridge, NJ/Ridge), played only 29 seconds after injuring his ankle on the Royals’ first possession.
Enter Farrell, who played only eight minutes in four games prior to tonight. He hit his first three shot attempts, and together with 12 points from Boken and eight from Cummings, helped the Royals open up a 18-point lead with 2:31 remaining before settling for a 10-point cushion by intermission.
Farrell’s confidence continued to grow in the second half, scoring five points during a 12-9 run that was capped off by a dunk from sophomore center John Vitkus (Mahopac, NY/Mahopac) off an alley-oop pass from Cummings as Scranton opened up a 13-point margin with 15:59 left.
Ithaca, to its credit, refused to quit and eventually whittled a 10-point deficit with 6:29 left down to one, 73-72, with 26 seconds remaining. Cummings then connected on two free throws with 18 seconds left before Chasin buried the game-tying 3 pointer. With 1.3 seconds left after a timeout, Klingman’s potential game-winning jump shot wedged between the basket and the backboard as the buzzer sounded.
In the overtime period, the Royals finally looked like a team playing its eighth game in 17 days. Scranton missed its first two field goal attempts, and the Bombers responded byscoring seven straight points to take a three-possession lead. Ithaca made all four of its field goal attempts and were 5 of 7 from the free throw line in the extra stanza while Scranton missed all five of its shot attempts.
The Royals will return to action this Saturday, January 17, against Catholic University at the DuFour Center in Washington, DC, in a battle for first-place honors in the Landmark Conference. Tip-off is set for 4:00 p.m.
Boken's 20 points this evening moved him into 32nd place on the Royals' all-time scoring list with 1081 points.