The University of Scranton men's basketball team put forth a huge second half and received a game-high 30 points from senior guard Ethan Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights) while handing Drew its first Landmark Conference defeat, 84-73, in the Long Center on Wednesday night.
The Royals (9-9, 5-2 Landmark) trailed by 10 with 1:08 left in the first half, but scored the final five points before the buzzer to go into the locker room trailing 39-34, the final three on a buzzer beating 3-pointer by senior guard Mitch Cross (Marriottsville, Md./Loyola-Blakefield).
After Drew (13-5, 6-1 Landmark) stretched the lead back to 11 early in the second half, Scranton used a 14-1 run to take a two-point lead with 13 minutes to play. Danzig started the run with back-to-back 3-pointers and hit another later in the spurt.
From there, the game was back-and-forth for the next three minutes until Scranton used another run, this time an 8-2 spurt to take a 65-59 lead with 7:41 left. From there, the Royals slowly crept away, stretching the lead to eight with five minutes left, then pushing it to double digits for good at 79-69 with 2:00 left.
Danzig buried 7 of 12 from beyond the arc en route to his first 30-point game of the season and the second of his career. His career-high is 31 points, scored in a 94-73 win at Cabrini on Feb. 15, 2016, in which he hit a school-record nine 3-pointers.
Wednesday night's performance was also the sixth game this season Danzig has made at least four 3-pointers, and his third of seven or more. He also added six rebounds, two blocks and a steal in the win.
Senior center Drew Schankweiler (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg) continued his dominant play in the middle, finishing with his seventh double-double of the season with 13 points and 17 rebounds. He was 9-for-14 at the free throw line and had 11 of his rebounds in the second half.
Cross finished with 14 points, including four 3-pointers, along with two assists, a steal and a rebound. Scranton also received 12 points, a career-high seven assists, three rebounds, two steals and a block from sophomore guard Kyle DeVerna (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial). Sophomore forward Matthew Mancuso (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) added 10 points, eight rebounds, three assists, three blocks and a steal.
The victory also continues head coach Carl Danzig's impressive run of success against Drew. He is now 28-5 against the Rangers, including 16-1 in the Long Center. All-time, Scranton is now 57-11 against the Rangers.
Scranton shot 43.9 percent (25-for-57) for the game, including 14-for-29 (48.3 percent) in the second half. The Royals hit 14 of 32 3-pointers (43.8 percent), matching their season-high for 3-pointers, set in an 85-72 win over Ursinus on Dec. 19.
The Royals also made 20 of 27 (74.1 percent) at the free throw line, including 14 of 19 in the second half. DeVerna was 7-for-8 at the line, all in the second half. Scranton also won the rebounding battle, 41-38, helping overcome 18 turnovers. The Royals also blocked six shots and made seven steals.
Drew was led by sophomore guard Riley Collins, who had 21 points, six rebounds, six steals and five assists. Junior forward Nate Aldrich added 15 points, eight rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
The Rangers shot 24-for-65 (36.9 percent) for the game, including just 9-for-31 (29 percent) in the second half. They hit 4 of 16 (25 percent) from 3-point range and 21 of 29 (72.4 percent) at the free throw line. Drew committed 15 turnovers and had 14 steals and six blocked shots.
The University of Scranton men's basketball team will be back in action on Saturday, Jan. 27, when the Royals travel to Elizabethtown, Pa. to take on Elizabethtown in a Landmark Conference matchup at 2 p.m.