MIAMI, Fla. - Down by 16 points with nine minutes left in regulation (59-43) to Bates, the University of Scranton men's basketball team surged down the stretch, finishing the game on a startling 25-5 scoring run to rally to a 68-64 victory on Wednesday night at the 2019 Hoops MIA D3 Holiday Shootout at Barry University.
With the thrilling come-from-behind win, Scranton moved to 7-2 overall for the year, while Bates fell to 5-2 with the tough defeat.
To open the game, Scranton grabbed the early edge, taking a 10-5 lead on Bates seven minutes into regulation. That lead held until the nine-minute mark, as Bates went on a 7-2 run to tie the game up for the first time on the evening at 12-12.
Eventually, Bates was able to take momentum away from Scranton as the half wore along, as the Bobcats opened a 24-17 lead with 5:21 to go in the first half, which at the time was the biggest lead for either team in the game. Scranton, however, went on a 7-0 run to tie the game back up at 24-all with 4:05 to go in the period.
Bates, however, took the lead back from the Royals, and never gave it up the rest of the half, as they held a 31-28 edge over Scranton entering intermission.
To start the second half, Bates took control of the game after Scranton grabbed the lead back at 38-37 with 15 minutes left. Here, the Bobcats went on a scoring tear, as a 22-5 run over the next six minutes gave Bates a 59-43 edge with nine minutes left in regulation.
Here, the Royals began a run of their own that was even more dominant than the one Bates had just gone on.
First, a 13-3 spurt over a five minute period by the Royals sliced the Bates lead down to six points (62-56) with 4:53 to go in regulation. Here, the Bobcats nailed two free throws to go back up eight (64-56), but, unfortunately for Bates, this would be the final time they would score the rest of the game.
Down by eight with 4:39 left, sophomore Jackson Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights) nailed a three-pointer to make it a 64-59 game with four minutes left. Then, after both teams went scoreless for a minute and a half, senior Kyle DeVerna (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) made one of two free throws to make it a 64-60 game with 2:48 to go.
After forcing another Bates miss on their next possession, senior Matthew Mancuso (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) was fouled and headed to the charity stripe, where he made one free throw to put Scranton down, 64-61, with 1:43 left. Scranton then forced another Bates miss, which led to a Mancuso lay-up that sliced the Bates lead down to a single point (64-63) with 1:06 remaining.
On Bates' next possession, they missed yet another shot, and the Royals made them pay quickly, as freshman Stephen Braunstein (Colts Neck, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) put in a lay-up to give Scranton their first lead since early in the second half at 65-64 with 43 seconds left.
Protecting a one-point lead, the Royals did just that, as they forced a Bates miss that Mancuso grabbed off the glass. After being fouled, he made one free throw to increase the Scranton lead to 66-64 with 21 seconds left.
On the next Bobcats possession, they missed a lay-up that would've tied it, which was grabbed by sophomore Ben Bosland (Colts Neck, N.J./Colts Neck), and led to a Danzig lay-in to put Scranton up for good at 68-64 with four seconds left.
Bates missed yet another three at the buzzer, as the Royals ended the game on a shocking 12-0 scoring barrage to surge past the Bobcats and take a thrilling four-point win.
Overall, Mancuso led the way yet again for Scranton in a game, finishing with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Mancuso, who has scored in double-figures in all nine games on the year for the Royals, recorded his second straight (and fourth overall) double-double in the win.
Elsewhere, DeVerna finished with 14 points and eight rebounds, while Danzig had 12 points and six rebounds. Rounding out the double-digit scorers for Scranton on the night were Braunstein and junior Logan Bailey (Scranton, Pa./Scranton Prep), who had 10 points, apiece.
The University of Scranton men's basketball team finishes up play at the 2019 HoopsMIA D3 Holiday Shootout on Friday afternoon, as they take on UMass-Dartmouth. Tip-off is set for 12 noon.