Visiting Susquehanna scored 14 straight points over a four-minute span early in the second half of Wednesday night's Landmark Conference men's basketball game at The University of Scranton to flip a seven-point deficit into a seven-point advantage and the River Hawks led the rest of the way, defeating the Royals 87-76 in the John Long Center.
Susquehanna, which held a 43-42 edge at halftime, outscored 43-23 over the final 16:18 of the contest to lift their record to 11-5 overall and 4-1 in conference play.
Scranton, which lost at home for the first time in 10 games in the Long Center this season, is now 13-3 overall and 2-3 in Landmark Conference contests.
Sophomore Logan Bailey (Scranton, Pa./Scranton Prep) scored a game-high 21 points to lead four Royals in double-figures. Junior Matthew Mancuso (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) tallied 18 points to go along with game-highs of six assists and two blocks while leading Scranton with seven rebounds.
Junior Kyle DeVerna (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) totaled 14 points to go along with six boards while freshman Jackson Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights) finished with 13 points.
Neither team was able to gain much of advantage in a tight first half that saw the lead trade hands 11 times. Both teams had four-point edges in the opening minutes before the River Hawks opened up the largest lead of the period, 32-26, with 6:57 remaining in the period.
Scranton answered with a 9-2 burst to take a 35-34 lead just over two minutes later which would be the first of eight lead changes in the final five minutes with the last giving the visitors the one-point edge at halftime.
The Royals came out of the break strong, scoring eight of the first 10 points to claim a 51-44 advantage with 17:18 left in regulation. A pair of free throws brought Susquehanna to within five points before a lay-in by Danzig restored Scranton's seven-point lead, 53-46, with 16:40 showing on the clock.
The River Hawks took over from that point, using a 14-0 surge to build a 60-53 lead with 12:52 left in regulation. Scranton pulled to within four points less than a minute later on a field goal from Bailey, but Susquehanna pushed it lead to eight points, 69-61, with seven and a half minutes remaining.
Scranton scored five straight points to cut its deficit to 69-66 when freshman Jack Brockett (Shamong, N.J./Seneca) connected on a pair from the line at the 5:08 mark. The visitors answered with a layup at the other end, which would mark the first of three times the hosts made it a three-point game before Susquehanna answered with two points of its own on its next possession.
The River Hawks went on to close out the victory by going 12-for-14 from the free throw line in the final 2:11 of the contest.
Susquehanna shot 40.9 percent from the field for the game, 35 percent from three-point range, and 81.3 percent from the free throw line. The River Hawks, who turned the ball over just seven times, also held a 40-35 edge in rebounding and had a decisive, 41-6 advantage in points off of the bench.
The Royals shot 48.1 percent from the field in the contest, were 23.8 percent from long distance, and 73.1 percent from the charity stripe in the loss.
Scranton is next slated to visit Juniata on Saturday for a Landmark Conference tilt currently schedule to start at 4 p.m. in Huntington, Pa. The Royals will be looking to become just the 10th NCAA men's basketball program with at least 1,500 wins as they currently sit on 1,499 all-time victories. Be sure to check back at athletics.scranton.edu for any changes to this schedule.