|Kyle DeVerna||Mitch Cross|
HUNTINGDON, Pa. – The University of Scranton men's basketball team couldn't rally from a five-point halftime deficit in a 70-44 loss at Juniata in Saturday's Landmark Conference opener for both teams in Memorial Gymnasium.
Juniata (5-0, 1-0 Landmark) led at the half, 32-27, then held the Royals (2-5, 0-1 Landmark) to just 17 second-half points to pull away. Scranton shot just 20.8 percent (5-for-24) from the field in the second half.
Scranton was led by sophomore guard Kyle DeVerna (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial), who had 11 points, all in the first half. Senior guard Mitch Cross (Marriottsville, Md./Loyola-Blakefield) added 10 points off the bench.
The Royals finished the afternoon 12-for-45 (26.7 percent) from the field, including 7-for-23 (30.4 percent) from 3-point range. The Royals were also 13-for-21 (61.9 percent) from the free throw line. Their 44 points are tied for the third-lowest by a Scranton team in the shot clock era (1985-present).
Juniata finished the afternoon hitting 50 percent (26-for-52) from the field, including 6 of 16 (37.5 percent) from 3-point range. The Eagles were 12-for-20 (60 percent) from the free throw line and held a 41-27 rebounding advantage. They committed 11 turnovers while forcing 12.
The men's basketball team will be back in action on Monday, Dec. 4, when the Royals host Neumann in a non-conference game at 7 p.m. in the Long Center.