TOWSON, Md. – Senior guard Justin Klingman (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights) and junior forward Brendan Boken (South Pasadena, Calif.) combined for 35 second-half points as The University of Scranton men's basketball team turned a one-point halftime lead into an 82-64 victory over Goucher on Saturday night at the Decker Sports & Recreation Center.
The Royals (18-5, 12-2 Landmark) remain in second place in the Landmark Conference, two games ahead of third-place Susquehanna (17-6, 10-4 Landmark) with two games remaining. A victory in either of their final two games would secure the No. 2 seed in the upcoming playoffs for the Royals. They cannot pass first-place Catholic (20-3, 14-0 Landmark).
Klingman led the way with 19 points while Boken and freshman guard Ethan Danzig (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights) had 18 each.
Scranton finished with a season-high 13 3-pointers on 29 attempts (44.8 percent). Ethan Danzig made six 3-pointers, all in the first half, while tying his career-high with 18 points. Klingman made three 3-pointers, all in the second half, senior guard Ross Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights/Blair Academy, N.J.) made a pair, and junior forward Marcus Thomas (Clarksburg, Md./Clarksburg) and freshman guard Kevin Doolan (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge) each made one.
Ethan Danzig's hot shooting kept the Royals in the game in the first half as Goucher threatened to pull away. He scored 15 of Scranton's 18 points over a span of 7:32, the last of which came on a 3-pointer with 7:59 to play that pulled Scranton within 24-22. His last 3-pointer of the half came with 41 seconds left when he gave Scranton a 34-33 lead, which it would take into the locker room.
Klingman and Boken took over in the second half where Ethan Danzig left off in the first half, combining for all but 13 of Scranton's 48 second-half points. Klingman got things going by scoring 11 points during the first 4:03 of the second half, including each of his three 3-pointers. That fueled a 13-7 stretch that included a layup by Boken that put the Royals ahead by seven.
Midway through the half, the duo combined again to score eight straight Scranton points, the last two on a layup by Klingman that pushed the Royals' lead to 57-49 with 9:36 left. That turned out to be the beginning of a 23-8 run that put Scranton in control at 72-55 with 5:16 to play. Goucher did not get closer than 15 the rest of the way as Boken finished with 18 second-half points and Klingman had 17.
Scranton shot 64.5 percent (20-for-31) from the field in the second half, fueled by Boken and Klingman combining to go a perfect 15-for-15. For the game, the Royals shot 53.2 percent (33-for-62) from the field, the 12th time this season they have shot at least 50 percent from the field.
The Royals committed just eight turnovers while handing out 23 assists. Thomas had a team-high seven assists while Ross Danzig had six, Doolan had four and Klingman added three. Boken led the Royals' glass work with six rebounds.
Goucher (4-19, 3-11 Landmark) was led by sophomore forward Chris Outing (New Windsor, N.Y./James I. O'Neill), who had 18 points and eight rebounds. Senior guard Alex Noble (Clinton, Md./Surrattsville) added 17 points for the Gophers, who shot 44.6 percent (25-for-56) from the field, but were just 6-for-22 from 3-point range.
Scranton plays its final regular season road game on Wednesday, Feb. 18, when the Royals travel to Kings Point, N.Y. to take on Merchant Marine Academy at 7 p.m.