ASTON, Pa. – The University of Scranton men's basketball team knew it had a tough task on Friday, going on the road to face 23rd-ranked Neumann, which entered the day ranked third in the nation in points per game. In the end, the Royals could not slow the Knights in an 89-66 loss at The Mirenda Center.
Scranton (8-3) held Neumann (9-0) to 10 points under its season average entering the game, but the Royals struggled from the field, hitting just 36.2 percent (21-for-58) for the game. Neumann sizzled at 53.2 percent (33-for-62).
Junior guard Kevin Doolan (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge) led Scranton with 19 points and three assists, freshman forward Matthew Mancuso (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) had career highs of 14 points and eight rebounds, and senior center John Vitkus (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac) added 10 points.
Neumann opened the game with a 10-2 run, but Scranton stayed within striking distance for most of the half. But the Knights took total control, using a 14-0 run to turn a 24-17 lead with 5:20 left in the half into a 38-17 lead 2:20 before the break.
Scranton hit seven of 21 attempts from 3-point range, including three by Doolan and two by Mancuso. The Royals turned the ball over just nine times and forced 14 turnovers by Neumann, including three steals by junior forward Drew Schankweiler (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg). Vitkus also had a team-high three blocks.
The Royals will be back in action on Wednesday, Jan. 4, when they return to the Long Center to take on Gettysburg at 7 p.m.