BALTIMORE, Md. – The University of Scranton men's basketball team needed a furious rally to win at Goucher last season. On Saturday, the Royals couldn't replicate that comeback in an 81-73 loss to the Gophers in a Landmark Conference game in the Decker Sports and Recreation Center.
The Royals (11-4, 3-1 Landmark) were led by junior guard Ethan Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights), who hit five 3-pointers en route to 19 points. Senior center John Vitkus (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac) finished with 15 points and junior forwards Drew Schankweiler (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg) and Brandon Feinberg (Avon, Conn./Avon/Suffield Academy) added 10 points each.
Last season, Scranton scored the final eight points of the game to pull out a 78-77 victory at Goucher. But Saturday was a different story, as the Gophers (4-11, 1-3 Landmark) hit 11 of 12 from the free throw line over the final 2:35 to thwart any comeback by the Royals.
Goucher led 41-33 at halftime thanks to a 17-5 run. Scranton battled back after the break to take a 48-45 lead on a 3-pointer by Danzig with 14:50 to play that capped an 11-2 run. But the Gophers responded with a 13-2 run to regain control for a 58-50 lead with 8:44 left. The Royals cut the deficit to four a few minutes later, but were unable to get any closer.
Scranton finished the day shooting 50 percent (28-for-56) from the field, including 9-for-27 (33.3 percent) from 3-point range. The Royals hit eight of 10 from the free throw line and committed 15 turnovers while handing out 20 assists. Danzig, junior guard Kevin Doolan (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge), Feinberg and freshman guard Kyle DeVerna (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) each had four assists. Vitkus had a team-high five rebounds and Doolan had three steals.
Danzig's five 3-pointers give him 152 for his career, making him the seventh player in school history with 150 or more 3-pointers.
Goucher shot 57.7 percent (30-for-52) from the field, including 3-for-8 from 3-point range. The Gophers hit 18 of 23 from the free throw line and committed just nine turnovers. They also won the battle on the boards, 30-24.
Scranton will be back in action on Wednesday, Jan. 18, when the Royals host Moravian in a Landmark Conference matchup at 7 p.m. in the Long Center.