OWINGS MILLS, Md. – The University of Scranton men's basketball team had all five starters reach double-figures on Saturday as the Royals used a big second half to pull away with an 86-65 victory at Stevenson in the season opener for both teams.
Junior Matthew Mancuso (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) led the Royals (1-0) with a double-double on 20 points and a game and career-high 13 rebounds while freshman Jackson Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights) finished with 18 points in his collegiate debut as Scranton outscored the Mustangs 53-34 to break open a game that favored the visitors by just two points at halftime.
The Royals' three other starters, junior Kyle DeVerna (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial), sophomore Logan Bailey (Scranton, Pa./Scranton Prep), and freshman Jack Brockett (Shamong, N.J./Seneca) each totaled 13 points in the win.
Stevenson built the largest lead of the first half, 15-8, over the first seven minutes of Saturday's contest before Scranton used a 12-3 run to claim a 28-22 advantage on a tip-in by Mancuso with 5:57 remaining in the period.
The Mustangs pulled to within one point before DeVerna drained a three-pointer to give the Royals a 33-29 edge before the hosts cut the lead to 33-31 by making a pair of free throws with 16 seconds remaining in the half.
Scranton worked its lead up to 10 points, 51-41, five and a half minutes into the second half when sophomore Nolan Genasevich (Sugarloaf, Pa./Home School) connected from beyond the arc before a 7-0 spurt by the hosts brought Stevenson to within three points.
Connelly countered with a three-pointer to kick start a decisive 17-2 run for the Royals that gave the visitors a 68-50 lead with 6:57 left on the clock. The visitors would come no closer than within 15 points the rest of the way as Scranton pulled away for the 21-point victory.
Bailey added a game-high five assists to go along with eight rounds for the Royals while Brockett snagged nine boards for the visitors, who held a 49-41 advantage on the glass in the contest.
Scranton shot 46.7 percent from the field for the game and were 7-of-19 (36.8 percent) from three-point range. The Royals made 71.9 percent of their free throw attempts, converting 23-of-32 efforts from the line.
The visitors held Stevenson to 32 percent shooting from the field with an identical, 32 percent effort from long range.
Scranton will play its home opener next Friday night against Hartwick in the first round of the Hilton Scranton Invitational in the John Long Center. Game time between the Royals and Hawks is set for 7:30 p.m. St. Lawrence and Ursinus will meet at 5:30 p.m. in the first game of the tournament.