|Matthew Mancuso||Ben Bosland||Kyle DeVerna|
ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. - Senior forward Matthew Mancuso (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) posted his 10th double-double of the year with 19 points and 12 rebounds, but it wasn't enough, as Elizabethtown rallied from a 19-point deficit in the second half to take a 70-68 victory over The University of Scranton men's basketball team on Saturday in Landmark Conference play.
With the loss, Scranton dropped to 14-5 overall and 6-2 in the Landmark Conference. The defeat also slipped the Royals into a first-place tie in the Landmark standings with both Drew and Susquehanna, who were victorious in their games on Saturday.
Elizabethtown improved to 10-7 and 3-4 in the Landmark with the thrilling win.
To start, E-Town came out and took an early lead on Scranton (14-8), but it did not last long, as the Royals eventually grabbed a 19-15 lead with eight minutes left in the first half. With seven minutes left, the game was knotted up at 19-all, which was where the Royals began to mount a charge to end the period.
In the scoring barrage, the Royals opened their biggest lead of the game at 37-26 with two minutes left after an impressive 18-7 run. Scranton continued to carry the momentum the rest of the first half, as they held a 10-point, 40-30 lead into intermission over the host Blue Jays.
To open the second half, Scranton picked right up where they left off in the first period, as they raced on an 11-2 run out of intermission to open 19-point, 51-32 lead on Elizabethtown with 15:57 to go in regulation. It was here, however, that the Blue Jays began their comeback.
Over the next five minutes of play, Elizabethtown heated up, while Scranton cooled down on an eventual 20-2 run that put the Blue Jays right back into the game with 10 minutes left at 53-52. With eight minutes left, the Blue Jays completed the comeback, tying the game at 55-all, before taking their first lead since early in the first half at 57-55 with 7:39 left.
Scranton, however, grabbed the lead back with a 5-0 run to go up 60-57 with 6:46 left and then held the lead until the three-minute mark, when an E-Town three tied the game back up at 64-all.
Two made free throws with 2:18 left gave Scranton the lead back at 66-64, but E-Town once again answered with a made triple, as Ethan Dubois' trey with 1:22 to go gave the Blue Jays a 67-66 lead. Scranton followed up the made three with a turnover, as E-Town then made one of two free throws on their next trip down to make it a 68-66 game with 34 seconds left.
Down two, the Royals once again turned it over with 19 seconds left, which led to a made E-Town lay-up that gave the Blue Jays a 70-66 lead with 10 seconds left. With three seconds left, however, Mancuso scored to cut the Elizabethtown lead down to two.
On the proceeding inbound play for Elizabethtown, the Royals recorded a steal. But, a Scranton shot with one second left that would've sent the game to overtime was missed, sealing the come-from-behind win for E-Town.
Overall, Mancuso once again led the way with his 19 point, 12 rebound performance. Mancuso, who also had four assists, two steals, and two blocks, has now scored in double-figures in every game but one on the year for Scranton.
Elsewhere, sophomore Ben Bosland (Colts Neck, N.J./Colts Neck) scored a career-high 17 points in the defeat, while senior Kyle DeVerna (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) scored 13 points and pulled down seven rebounds.
Elizabethtown was led in the win by Connor Moffatt and Ethan Dubois, who scored 18 points apiece.
The University of Scranton men's basketball team returns to action on Wednesday, hosting Susquehanna in the John Long Center. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.