The University of Scranton men's basketball team started an historic season in sparkling fashion on Friday night, throttling Sarah Lawrence, 85-56, in the opening round of the Hilton Scranton Invitational in the Long Center.
The Royals (1-0) began the 100th season in program history by rolling to a victory in their season opener for the 13th straight year. They shot 50 percent (30-for-60) from the field for the game, including 12-for-24 from 3-point range, and poured in 48 second-half points to put the game away.
Junior guard Ethan Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights) led the way with 22 points while going 6-for-10 from 3-point range. Junior guard Kevin Doolan (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge) had 11 points, four assists and three steals, junior forward Chris McCullough (Greenlawn, N.Y./Harborfields) had 10 points and four assists, and junior forward Drew Schankweiler (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg) added 10 points. Senior center John Vitkus (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac) added eight points, eight rebounds and four blocks in the win.
After a tight first 15 minutes, Scranton used a 9-0 run to close the first half and take a 37-28 lead into the locker room. The Royals then outscored the Gryphons, 19-5, over the first 7:30 of the second half to put the game away.
The Royals held Sarah Lawrence (0-1) to 40 percent (20-for-50) from the field and had a 35-31 edge on the glass. Scranton forced 22 turnovers while committing just 13, including only two in the second half.
Scranton will take on Bard in the championship game of the Hilton Scranton Invitational on Saturday at 4 p.m. The Raptors defeated Penn State-Abington, 71-58, in the opening game on Friday night. The third-place game between Sarah Lawrence and Penn State-Abington on Saturday will tip-off at 2 p.m.