Impressive Defense, Hot Shooting Lead Men's Basketball Past Gettysburg

Junior guard Mitch Cross matched his career high with 14 points in the win over Gettysburg on Wednesday night.
Junior guard Mitch Cross matched his career high with 14 points in the win over Gettysburg on Wednesday night.

Box score

The holidays are over, and apparently so is any giving mood that may have struck The University of Scranton men's basketball team in the recent weeks.

The Royals held Gettysburg scoreless for a span of nearly 14 minutes and made seven first-half 3-pointers en route to a runaway victory, 75-40, in the Long Center in the team's final regular season non-conference game of the season.

The 40 points by Gettysburg (3-8) are the fewest allowed by Scranton in nearly 10 years. The Royals allowed just 34 points in a 55-34 victory at Drew on Jan. 13, 2007, ending a streak of 272 games in which they had allowed at least 41 points.

Scranton (9-3) did not give up a field goal from the 5:37 mark of the first half until the 11:39 mark of the second half, a stretch that lasted 13 minutes and 58 seconds. And the Royals led by 16 when the run started, thanks to making seven of their first 10 attempts from beyond the arc. In all, Scranton outscored Gettysburg, 20-0, during the run.

Senior center John Vitkus (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac) finished the night with 14 points, eight rebounds and five blocks in just 23 minutes. He was 6-for-10 from the field and also had a steal. Junior guard Mitch Cross (Marriottsville, Md./Loyola-Blakefield) matched his career high with 14 points, including 4-for-5 from 3-point range, and junior guard Chris McCullough (Harborfields, N.Y./Greenlawn) added 10 points, two assists and a block.

The Royals finished the night shooting 52.8 percent (28-for-53), including 10-for-21 (47.6 percent) from 3-point range. They held a 32-27 edge on the glass and committed just 11 turnovers while forcing 21 by the Bullets, which they turned into 32 points, a season-high for points scored off turnovers.

Scranton also received eight points and eight assists from junior guard Kevin Doolan (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge), eight points and six rebounds from junior forward Drew Schankweiler (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg), six points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals from freshman guard Kyle DeVerna (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial), and six points, five rebounds and two assists from junior guard Ethan Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights).

Gettysburg finished just 15-for-50 (30 percent) from the field, matching the lowest percentage allowed this season by Scranton. Bard also shot 30 percent (18-for-59) in the Royals' 75-52 win on Nov. 19. Gettysburg hit just six of 23 (26.1 percent) from beyond the arc and had just two fast-break points and two second-chance points.

Scranton will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 7, when they resume Landmark Conference play on the road against Elizabethtown at 4 p.m.