Men’s Basketball Uses Big Second Half To Down PSU-Berks, 78-63

Senior guard Kevin Doolan scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half on Friday night.
Senior guard Kevin Doolan scored 14 of his 17 points in the second half on Friday night.

Box score

Trailing by 13 with a little more than four minutes to play in the first half, University of Scranton men's basketball coach Carl Danzig called timeout for the second time in less than a minute. His team responded, scoring the next 12 points and then pulling away in the second half for a season-opening 78-63 win over Penn State-Berks in the opening round of the Hilton Scranton Invitational in the Long Center.

The Royals (1-0) found themselves trailing 34-21 with 4:06 left in the first half when Danzig called the second of those nearly consecutive timeouts. The Lions (0-2) had just drilled four straight 3-pointers in a span of three minutes to turn a one-point game into a 13-point lead.

But senior guard Ethan Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights) scored seven points and fellow senior guard Mitch Cross (Marriottsville, Md./Loyola-Blakefield) buried a 3-pointer just before half as part of a 12-0 run that left the Royals trailing 34-33 at the break.

The second half was nearly all Scranton as the Royals shot 58.1 percent (18-for-31) and scored 26 points in the paint over the final 20 minutes.

Danzig and senior guard Kevin Doolan (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge) led the Royals with 17 points each. Fourteen of Doolan's points came in the second half as he went 5-for-6 from the field. He finished the night with six assists and four steals. Danzig added five rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

Sophomore guard Kyle DeVerna (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) finished with 14 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals, and Cross added 10 points off the bench. Senior forward Drew Schankweiler (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg) was solid in the middle, scoring 10 points, pulling down eight rebounds and adding two blocks, two steals and an assist.

Scranton finished the night shooting 43.1 percent (28-for-65) from the field, including 7-for-26 (26.9 percent) from 3-point range. The Royals made 15 of 20 free throws (75 percent) and committed just 12 turnovers while forcing 24, which led to a 31-13 edge in points off turnovers. PSU-Berks held a slim 34-33 edge on the glass.

The Royals will face York in the championship game of the Hilton Scranton Invitational on Saturday at 4 p.m. in the Long Center. The Spartans reached the title game with a 101-89 win over Pitt.-Bradford in the first game on Friday night. Pitt.-Bradford and PSU-Berks will meet in the third-place game on Saturday at 3 p.m.