BALTIMORE, Md. – The University of Scranton men's basketball team did what it needed to on Saturday, defeating Goucher, 77-60, in the regular season finale. But the Royals also needed a Moravian win over Catholic to qualify for the playoffs, but Catholic prevailed, 90-88, to bring an end to the Royals' season.
Scranton (13-12, 9-5 Landmark) finished in a three-way tie for third with Drew (16-9, 9-5) and Catholic (15-10, 9-5). The three times were all 2-2 against each other, which sent the tiebreaker to record against the rest of the conference teams in descending order of finish. The Royals went 0-2 against first-place Juniata while Drew and Catholic were 1-1, which left the Royals out of the playoffs.
The Royals rallied from a 33-29 halftime deficit by holding Goucher (0-24, 0-14) to just 27 second-half points while putting up 48 of their own on 55.2 percent (16-for-29) from the floor.
Senior forward Drew Schankweiler (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg) capped an outstanding final six weeks of his career by scoring a career-high 24 points and matching his career high with 17 rebounds. He was 10-for-13 from the field to finish the season shooting 69.0 percent from the field, a Royals' single-season record.
In 13 games since Jan. 6, Schankweiler averaged 16.8 points and 12.7 rebounds while shooting 75.4 percent from the field.
Senior guards Kevin Doolan (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge), Ethan Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights) and Mitch Cross (Marriottsville, Md./Loyola-Blakefield) also ended their careers with strong performances. Doolan had 16 points, six assists, two steals, two rebounds and zero turnovers. Danzig finished with 14 points, six rebounds, five assists, three blocks and two steals. And Cross had 11 points, three rebounds and a steal in the victory.
Scranton shot 48.1 percent (26-for-54) for the game, including 8-for-24 from 3-point range. The Royals hit 17 of 22 (77.3 percent) from the free throw line and won the rebounding battle, 36-25. They also committed just 10 turnovers.
Goucher was led by Elliott Wiley, who had 22 points, and Dwayne Morton added 12. The Gophers shot 42.1 percent (24-for-57) from the field, including 5-for-16 (31.3 percent) from 3-point range. They made 7 of 8 at the free throw line and committed 11 turnovers.
The Royals have now posted a winning record in each of the past 14 seasons and 16 out of 17 under head coach Carl Danzig.
This marks the first time the men's basketball team has missed the postseason since the 2003-04 season when the Royals were members of the Freedom Conference. It is also the first time in the Landmark Conference's 11-year history in which a team finished with nine conference victories and did not advance to the postseason.