Senior center John Vitkus (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac) finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds to earn tournament MVP honors as The University of Scranton men's basketball team won the Hilton Scranton Invitational title with a 75-52 win over Bard College on Saturday afternoon in the Long Center.
Junior guard Kevin Doolan (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge) added 14 points and eight assists, and all-tournament selection Ethan Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights) had 11 points, two blocks and two steals less than 24 hours after scoring 22 points with six assists and six rebounds on the opening night.
The Hilton Scranton Invitational crown is the seventh straight for the Royals in their season-opening tournament in the Long Center.
Scranton had another strong shooting night, hitting 55.3 percent (26-for-47) from the field, including 22-for-35 (62.9 percent) inside the 3-point arc. The Royals also hit 19 of 23 free throws (82.6 percent) and committed just nine turnovers while dishing out 15 assists.
The defense was just as good, holding Bard (1-2) to just 30.5 percent (18-for-59) from the field while forcing 15 turnovers. The Raptors were just 8-for-27 (29.6 percent) in the first half when the Royals built a 37-25 lead at halftime, capped by a crowd-pleasing alley oop dunk by Vitkus on a lob from Doolan.
Bard did battle back early in the second half, cutting the Scranton lead to six on two occasions, the second time coming with 10:17 to play at 47-41. But the Royals responded with a 17-3 run that included five points from Vitkus and four each from Danzig and freshman forward Matthew Mancuso (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan).
Mancuso finished with eight points on a perfect 8-for-8 from the line to go along with four rebounds in 12 minutes off the bench. Junior guard Chris McCullough (Greenlawn, N.Y./Harborfields) added seven points and junior guard Mitch Cross (Marriottsville, Md./Loyola-Blakefield) and junior forward Drew Schankweiler (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg) each had six points.
The Royals will be back in action on Tuesday when they host Cabrini College in the Long Center at 8 p.m. Prior to the men's game, The University of Scranton women's basketball team will host Cabrini with tip-off set for 6 p.m.