Lady Royals, Royals To Host Mariners in Landmark Doubleheader Sunday At Long Center

Alexix Roman (left) and Brendan Boken (right) return to the hard woods Sunday, December 14, when the Lady Royals and the Royals host the Merchant Marine Academy in a Landmark Conference doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m.
Alexix Roman (left) and Brendan Boken (right) return to the hard woods Sunday, December 14, when the Lady Royals and the Royals host the Merchant Marine Academy in a Landmark Conference doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m.
Meredith Mesaris Sarah Payonk
Brendan Boken Justin Klingman

The University of Scranton men’s and women’s basketball teams will look to continue their winning ways this Sunday, December 14, in a Landmark Conference doubleheader against the Merchant Marine Academy at the Long Center.

The 6th-ranked Lady Royals will put a six-game winning streak on the line when it hosts the Mariners at 2:00 p.m., while the 18th-ranked Royals will look to protect a three-game winning streak at 4:00 p.m.

Tickets are $5.00 for adults (ages 18-60) and $3.00 for non-Scranton students (8-17) and senior citizens (61 and older).  All children, 7 and under accompanied by an adult, will be admitted free, as well as all University of Scranton students, faculty, and staff.  Both games will also be carried live by WUSR, 99.5 FM, and over the Internet at www.wusrfm.com.  In addition, video will be provided at the following web address:  http://portal.stretchinternet.com/scranton/.

The Mariner women (2-4 overall/0-2 conference), who open a two-game Landmark Conference road trip Saturday at Elizabethtown, snapped a two-game losing skid Tuesday, December 9, at home, downing St. Joseph (LI), 62-55, behind a 23-point performance by senior Demi VanDerWal, who, in the process, became the fifth player in Mariner history to score 1000 career points.

The Lady Royals, now 6-0 overall and 1-0 in the Landmark, return to action for the first time since their impressive 82-43 victory over Juniata College at the Long Center on December 6.    Their front court of senior Meredith Mesaris (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax) and sophomores Alexix Roman (Hawley, Pa./Wallenpaupack) and Sarah Payonk (Schwenksville, Pa./Spring-Ford) continues to provide the bulk of the scoring, combining for over 57 percent of Scranton’s offense.

The Mariner men, now 2-6 overall and 0-2 in the conference prior to Saturday’s game at Elizabethtown, are led by first-year head coach Steve Hayn.  They are one of the few teams in the Landmark Conference that have enjoyed success at the Long Center, winning their last two regular-season trips here.  Merchant Marine pulled out an 86-83 victory in overtime last December 14 and notched a 67-54 victory on December 9, 2012, but the Royals did win the most recent game, an 82-64 victory in the semifinals of the Landmark tournament last February at the Long Center.

Junior forwardBrendan Boken (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola) has provided a big spark for the Royals (5-1 overall/2-0 Landmark) recently.  In his last three games, he is averaging 16 points while connecting on nearly 74 percent of his shot attempts (17 of 23).  Defensively, he has blocked 11 shots during this span, including six in last Saturday’s 61-48 victory over Juniata College. In the back court, senior Justin Klingman (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights) continues to scorch the nets, shooting a Landmark Conference-leading 63.3 percent from beyond the 3-point arc en route to averaging 13.3 points per game.  He is currently second among all players in Division III in this statistical category.

Following Sunday’s games, the Lady Royals host Eastern University, Cabrini College, and Richard Stockton in the Hilton Scranton Poinsettia Classic this Wednesday and Thursday, December 17-18.  Wednesday’s match-ups feature Cabrini-Richard Stockton at 3 p.m., followed by the Lady Royals and Eastern at 5 p.m.  Thursday’s games will be Eastern-Richard Stockton at 3 p.m. and Scranton-Cabrini at 5.

The Royals will break for the holidays following Sunday’s game before returning to action against Husson University (Maine) and Hanover College (Indiana) on Sunday and Monday, December 28-29, respectively, at the D3hoops.com Classic at South Pointe Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.

--LADY ROYALS, ROYALS--

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