The University of Scranton held visiting Moravian to just one field goal in overtime while going 4-for-5 from the floor in the extra session on Wednesday evening as the Royals defeated the Greyhounds 86-80 in a Landmark Conference overtime thriller in the John Long Center.
Scranton, ranked eighth in the Mid-Atlantic regional rankings released for the first time this season earlier in the day, avenged an 80-67 defeat at Moravian in January to improve to 18-4 on the year and 7-4 in conference play. The Royals also continued their home court dominance this season, lifting their mark to 12-1 in contest played in the Long Center.
Following Wednesday's action, Scranton moved into a tie with Susquehanna for third place in the Landmark Conference standings as the Royals and River Hawks sit two games ahead of Catholic and Elizabethtown, both 5-6 in Landmark play, for the final two spots in the conference playoffs. Drew (9-2) leads the Landmark standings while Moravian is in second place at 8-3 (15-7 overall).
After scoring 35 points in the first meeting between the two teams, sophomore Logan Bailey (Scranton, Pa./Scranton Prep) had another huge night for Scranton, netting a game-high 34 points on 13-of-18 shooting from the floor and a 7-of-8 effort from the free throw line.
Junior Matthew Mancuso (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) recorded his conference-leading ninth double-double of the season with 16 points, 12 rebounds, and two steals while freshman Jackson Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights) finished a rebound shy of a triple-double with 10 points, 10 assists, and nine rebounds to go along with two blocked shots.
Freshman Jack Brockett (Shamong, N.J./Seneca) was the four Royal in double-figures with 12 points, knocking down all four of his field goal attempts.
Moravian, the reigning Landmark Conference champions, came out hot on Wednesday, building a 22-12 lead over the first six and a half minutes before Scranton found its rhythm and used a 16-4 surge, taking a 28-26 edge at the 5:02 mark on a three-pointer from Bailey. After a brief exchange of the lead, the Royals would build a 45-38 advantage heading into halftime.
The Greyhounds battled back to take a 57-56 lead just over seven and a half minutes into the second half starting a closing run that featured seven lead changes with neither team holding a leader greater than one possession.
Mancuso made a pair of free throws with 42 seconds remaining in regulation, but Moravian forced overtime with a layup at the buzzer.
Scranton scored the first four points of overtime on field goals from Mancuso and Bailey. Following a Moravian basket that made it a 79-77 ballgame, the Royals used a 6-1 spurt to claim an 85-78 lead with 1:02 remaining. The hosts made it stand, limiting the Greyhounds to just a pair of made free throws the rest of the way.
Scranton outscored Moravian 48-28 in the paint and held a 47-40 advantage in rebounding. The Royals finished the evening shooting 53.8 percent from the field, 44.4 percent from three-point range, and 65 percent from the free throw line.
The Royals held the Greyhounds to a 36.3 shooting effort from the floor including a 33.3 percent showing from long range. The visitors shot 60 percent from the charity stripe.
Prior to Wednesday's game Mancuso and fellow junior Kyle DeVerna (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) were honored as co-recipients of the John "Les" Dickman Award. The Dickman Award is presented annually to The University of Scranton men's basketball team's most valuable player.
Scranton will host Juniata in a Landmark Conference contest on Saturday in the John Long Center, with tipoff slated for 3:30 p.m. The action will start after the Royals induct this year's Wall of Fame class between games of the conference doubleheader with the Eagles. Scranton will also honored the team's lone senior, Jack Connelly (Ellington, Conn./Ellington), prior to Saturday's matchup with Juniata.