|Matthew Mancuso||Kyle DeVerna||Jackson Danzig|
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Senior forward Matthew Mancuso (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) became the 44th University of Scranton men's basketball player to eclipse the 1,000 career point plateau on Saturday at Catholic, as his 23 point effort led the Royals in a come-from-behind 74-64 win in Landmark Conference action.
With the win (Scranton's eighth in their last nine games), the Royals are now 12-3 overall for the year and 4-0 in the Landmark Conference. Catholic dropped to 5-10 and 1-3 in the Landmark with the defeat.
The opening frame of the contest saw Catholic come out strong, as they opened a 29-22 lead on the Royals with seven minutes left in the first half. Despite battling to get the lead back over the rest of the half, Scranton was unable too, as the Cardinals went into intermission up, 36-31, on the Royals.
To start the second half, Scranton quickly cut their deficit to two points on a made three-pointer (36-34), but Catholic continued to hold off any Royals charge at their lead through the first six minutes of the second half.
Finally, with 13 minutes to go in regulation, Scranton tied the game, as junior Brian Monaghan (Florham Park, N.J./Morristown-Beard) nailed a jumper to knot the game up at 47-47. The tie, however, was short-lived, as Catholic quickly regained the lead back, and held it over the next few minutes.
With nine minutes left and down by a point, Mancuso was fouled and made a pair of free throws to give Scranton the lead at 53-52, which at the time was the Royals' first lead in the game since taking a 3-0 lead early in the contest.
Catholic eventually took the lead back on two made free throws at 54-53, but this would prove to be the final time all day that the Cardinals would be ahead of the Royals.
Here, the Royals went on a big 10-3 rally to put themselves up, 63-56, with four minutes left in regulation. Catholic was able to cut the Scranton lead down to four points twice, but leading 64-60 with 2:45 left, the Royals put the Cardinals away with a quick 6-0 spurt that gave Scranton an insurmountable 70-60 lead with a minute and change left.
From there, the Royals salted the game away at the foul line, as they went on to outscore Catholic, 43-28, in the second half to seal the road conference victory.
Overall, Mancuso led the Royals' charge in the second half scoring in double-digits for the 17th straight game with his 23 point effort, which marked the sixth time on the year he has scored over 20 points in a contest. On the day, Mancuso did plenty of work at the foul line, making 13-of-15 shots from the charity stripe.
Mancuso also pulled down nine rebounds, blocked six shots (matching a career-high), dished out four assists and had three steals in the win, as well.
Elsewhere, fellow senior Kyle DeVerna (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) finished with 16 points, nailing a trio of three-pointers, while pulling down five rebounds. Sophomore Jackson Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights) had 14 points, five rebounds, and four assists, while freshman Stephen Braunstein (Colts Neck, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) had 11 points after not missing a three-point attempt (3-for-3).
Catholic was led in the loss by Collin Hartman, who had 16 points.
The University of Scranton men's basketball team returns to action on Wednesday, as they travel to Susquehanna in a battle of the lone remaining unbeaten teams in Landmark Conference play. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.