|Matthew Mancuso||Kyle DeVerna||Logan Bailey|
SCRANTON - In a back-and-forth battle for 40 minutes, visiting York (Pa.) did just enough to hold off a furious late second half rally from The University of Scranton men's basketball team, as the visiting Spartans captured an 87-84 win over the Royals on Wednesday night in the John Long Center.
With the loss, Scranton dropped to 4-2 overall for the year, while York improved to 6-2 with the win.
The theme of the night was set right from the start, as both teams came out firing on all cylinders on the offensive end.
Early, York was able to take a lead, going up by five (17-12) with 14:40 left in the first half. Over the next few minutes, however, Scranton punched back, eventually grabbing a 26-25 lead with 10 minutes to go in the period.
Over the next few minutes, the lead see-sawed back and forth, until a small spurt gave the Spartans a 42-35 lead over the Royals with 3:37 to go in the half. After two made Scranton free throws, York came right back and nailed a three to take their biggest lead of the night at 45-37 with 2:36 to go in the first half.
The rest of the first half saw Scranton only get to within six points of the York lead twice, the last coming at the end of the period, as the Spartans to a 49-43 lead into intermission.
Down by six to start the second half, Scranton quickly cut the deficit to three points (53-50) after sophomore Jack Brockett (Shamong, N.J./Seneca) nailed a three. But, York made back-to-back three's to go back up nine (59-50) with 15:52 left.
Over the next few minutes, Scranton battled, cutting the York lead down to three points again (68-65) with 10 minutes left. But, York would answer, as they grabbed a 74-65 lead with 8:57 left.
Here, the Royals made another run, this time racing on a 9-0 run that tied the game up at 72-all with six minutes left. York, however eventually grabbed the lead back, as the Spartans made a big three-pointer to go up, 81-75, with four minutes to go to cap a 9-2 scoring spurt.
With 3:45 left, York made two free throws to extend their lead out 83-75 and then made two more free throws to counter a Scranton basket with 2:53 to go to continue to lead by eight (85-77).
Here, the Royals made one more final push at the lead, as a quick 6-0 spurt put Scranton down by just two points at 85-83 with 1:40 left. After the teams traded missed baskets, Scranton forced a turnover with 27 seconds left. On the Royals' possession, senior Matthew Mancuso (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) was fouled and was awarded two free throws.
After making the first to make it an 85-84 game, Mancuso missed the second, and York was able to grab a loose ball rebound off of the miss. On the ensuing possession, the Spartans made two free throws to go up three, but it gave Scranton one last chance to tie the game back up and send it to overtime with nine seconds left.
But, sophomore Jackson Danzig's (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights) three at the buzzer rattled out, giving York the win by three points over the Royals.
Overall, Mancuso led the way once again for Scranton on the scoring end, finishing with 21 points, to go along with six rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Mancuso, who has now scored over 20 points in three of the last four games, shot 6-of-9 from the floor and 9-of-11 from the free throw line in the tough defeat.
Elsewhere, senior Kyle DeVerna (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) finished with a season-high 20 points after nailing six three's (he went 6-of-9 from outside the arc). Rounding out the top scorers for the Royals was junior Logan Bailey (Scranton, Pa./Scranton Prep), who had 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting.
York was led in the victory by Jared Wagner, who scored a game-high 22 points.
The University of Scranton men's basketball team returns to action on Saturday, as they travel to Goucher to open Landmark Conference play for the 2019-20 season. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m.