Photo gallery courtsey of Dan Ceccacci
Junior forward Brendan Boken (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola) poured in 24 points to lead The University of Scranton men's basketball team to a 69-54 victory over Centenary (N.J.) in the opening round of the PNC Bank/Radisson Invitational at the Long Center on Saturday night.
The Royals, who entered the game ranked 21st in the D3hoops.com preseason Top 25, also received 15 points from senior guard Ross Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights/Blair Academy), 13 points from senior guard Justin Klingman (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights) and 11 from freshman guard Ethan Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights).
Scranton used a hot-shooting start to take control in the opening 10 minutes. The Royals hit six 3-pointers in that span, including two each from Klingman and Ross Danzig, to take a 25-9 lead.
Centenary then used a 15-4 run to get within five, but the Royals scored the final seven points of the half – five by Boken – to take a 36-25 lead into the break. Boken finished the opening 20 minutes with 13 points while Ross Danzig had nine and Klingman added eight.
Scranton then turned up the defense in the second half, holding the Cyclones to just four points in the first five minutes to take a 46-28 lead. Centenary got no closer than the final margin of 15 the rest of the way.
The Royals made 10 3-pointers in the victory, including three each by Klingman and Ethan Danzig. Scranton finished 20-for-46 (43.5 percent) from the field, including 10-for-25 (40 percent) from 3-point range. The Royals also made 19 of 27 free throws (70.4 percent), led by Boken's 11 of 15.
Ross Danzig finished with a strong all-around game, adding seven assists, six rebounds, a steal and a block. Klingman also had six rebounds, an assist and a steal. The Royals committed just seven turnovers.
Centenary, which received 17 points and 12 rebounds from freshman forward Myles McLeod (Teaneck, N.J./Teaneck), shot 23-for-59 (39 percent) from the field, including just 1-for-13 from 3-point range. The Cyclones made 7 of 13 (53.8 percent) from the free throw line.
Scranton will face Alvernia on Sunday at 4 p.m. in the title game in the Long Center. The Crusaders held off John Carroll, 94-88, in Saturday's first game.