Christmas may still be six days away, but University of Scranton men's basketball senior Mitch Cross (Marriottsville, Md./Loyola-Blakefield) did just about everything except put a star on top of the Long Center on Tuesday afternoon.
Cross hit seven 3-pointers on his way to a career-high 27 points to lead the Royals to an 85-72 victory over Ursinus in the team's final game of 2017. He went 3-for-3 from deep in the first half as Scranton (3-8) took a 51-34 lead, then went 4-for-5 in the second half as the Royals stretched their lead as large as 22 before the Bears cut the gap in the closing minutes.
While Cross spread the joy with his sharp-shooting, his fellow senior backcourt mate Ethan Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights) made history with his. Danzig hit a trio of 3-pointers, all in the first half, to give him 227 for his career, setting a new University of Scranton men's basketball record. His second triple of the game with 2:39 left in the first half gave him 226 for his career, passing the previous record of 225, held by Al Callejas (1997-00).
Scranton got standout performances from others, as well. Sophomore forward Matthew Mancuso (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) also had a career high with 15 points along with six rebounds, two steals and two assists. His alley oop dunk in the first half – on an assist from Cross – was the highlight of his best game since returning from injury three games ago.
Senior center Drew Schankweiler (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg) had 12 points, seven rebounds, an assist and a steal. Danzig finished with 11 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
Senior guard Kevin Doolan (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge) had another outstanding game, matching his season high with 11 assists against just two turnovers. He also had seven points, five rebounds, two steals and a block. And sophomore guard Kyle DeVerna (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) added nine points, two assists and a steal.
Scranton finished 28-for-55 (50.9 percent) from the field, including 14-for-26 (53.8 percent) from 3-point range as six different players connected from deep. The Royals hit 15 of 22 (68.2 percent) from the free throw line, and they won the battle of the boards, 35-29. Scranton overcame 15 turnovers by outscoring Ursinus in the paint, 27-18, and also had a 31-16 edge in points off the bench thanks to the big afternoon by Cross.
Ursinus had four players in double figures, led by Zach Quattro, who had 16 points, six rebounds, three blocks and three steals. The Bears finished 24-for-56 (42.9 percent) from the field, including 10-for-29 (34.5 percent) from 3-point range. They were 14 of 16 (87.5 percent) from the free throw line and committed 14 turnovers.
The Royals will now break for the holidays and return to action on Wednesday, Jan. 3, when they travel to Gettysburg for a non-conference game at 7 p.m.