SCRANTON - On the court for the first time in almost a year, The University of Scranton men's basketball team didn't miss a beat in their season opener on Tuesday night vs. Moravian in the John Long Center, as senior Logan Bailey (Scranton, Pa./Scranton Prep) scored a game-high 26 points to lead the Royals to a 90-76 win over the Greyhounds.
In the opening frame, Scranton (1-0, 1-0 Landmark Conference) got off to a predictably slow start, as the visitors Moravian (0-3, 0-3 Landmark) jumped out to a 18-9 lead with 14:48 to go in the first half.
But, Scranton slowly clawed their way back into the game.
Still trailing 20-13 with 12:22 left, a 10-3 spurt over a six minute period tied the game up at 23-23 with 7:18 to go in the first half. After a Moravian made free throw, Bailey made his second straight layup with 6:51 to go, giving Scranton their first lead of the season at 25-24.
Following a Moravian made three (27-25), a bucket by sophomore Ryan Ems (Voorhees, N.J./Eastern Regional) and a three-pointer by sophomore Jack Lambert (Cooperstown, N.Y./Cooperstown) gave Scranton a 30-27 lead with 5:41 to go in the first half.
Later in the half, Moravian was able to tie the game back up at 32-32 (4:48), but the Royals ended the first period strong, going on a 7-0 run to go up 39-32 with 2:50 left. That sizable advantage held for the Royals into the break, as they went into halftime up six at 43-37 over the Greyhounds.
In the second half, Moravian sliced the Scranton lead to three twice in the first two minutes, but this would be the closest the Greyhounds came to the Royals the rest of the night (45-42).
A 10-3 run by the Scranton, capped by a three by junior Jack Brockett (Shamong, N.J./Seneca), gave them their biggest lead of the night with 15:48 left at 55-45. From there, the Royals pulled away, eventually opening a 19-point lead (73-52) with 8:29 left after another big three by Lambert.
From there, Moravian was unable to get much closer to Scranton the rest of the night, as the Royals coasted down the stretch to collect their first win of the 2021 season by 14.
Overall, Bailey left off right where he did at the end of last season with his 26 point night for the Royals. On the evening, Bailey shot 10-of-14 from the floor, made five free throws, pulled down six rebounds, blocked three shots, and posted three steals in an overall impressive night for the senior guard.
Elsewhere, sophomore guard Stephen Braunstein (Colts Neck, N.J./Christian Brothers) had a big night in his first career start, scoring a career-high 16 points, while pulling down four rebounds. The Scranton double-digit scorers were rounded out by Lambert, who came off the bench and scored a career-best 10 points, nailing a trio of three-pointers in the win.
Overall, 11 of the 12 players that saw playing time for Scranton scored, as the Royals shot 50.8 percent from the floor, while holding Moravian to 37.3 percent shooting.
The Greyhounds were led in the loss by Keith Otto and Matt O'Connor, who had 15 points, apiece.
The University of Scranton men's basketball team returns to action on Friday night, traveling east to Drew for their second Landmark Conference match-up of the season. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.