|Jackson Danzig||Logan Bailey||Ryan Ems|
SCRANTON - What a difference a little less than 48 hours can make.
After dropping a decision at Drew on Friday night, The University of Scranton men's basketball team came out firing from the start on Sunday vs. the Rangers, and pulled away in the second half to take a 65-56 Landmark Conference victory in the John Long Center.
Scranton (2-1, 2-1 Landmark), still smarting over a 29-point loss to the Rangers on Friday, jumped out early on Drew (2-1, 2-1 Landmark), taking a 17-9 lead with 12 minutes to go in the first half.
Once Scranton jumped out to a lead in the opening frame, ironically, they never lost it, despite several Drew runs at the Royals advantage.
Up 28-26 with 2:36 to go in the first half, Scranton ended the period on a 6-2 spurt, capped by a lay-in by junior Jackson Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights) with 17 seconds left that gave Scranton a 34-28 lead into intermission.
Out of the halftime break, Scranton came out on an absolute tear to open a lead that Drew was really unable to come back from the rest of the afternoon.
First, an 11-2 run in the first five minutes of the second half increased the Royals lead to 15 (45-30) after a made jumper by senior Brian Monaghan (Florham Park, N.J./Morristown-Beard).
Drew called a quick timeout, but it did little to extinguish the Scranton offense, as a 12-4 spurt put the Royals ahead for good with under 10 minutes left at 57-34. The hits kept coming from the Royals, as back-to-back buckets by sophomore Ryan Ems (Voorhees, N.J./Eastern Regional) and Danzig extended the lead out further to 61-34 with 8:26 left, ending the overall scoring run at 27-6 to open the second half for Scranton.
This deficit proved far too much for Drew to come back from, although the Rangers did make it interesting down the stretch, slicing the Scranton lead down to nine points (61-52) with three minutes left. But, it was too little, too late for the Rangers, as the Royals ended the comeback bid down the stretch to roll to a nine-point home win.
Overall, Danzig led the Royals charge with 21 points (on 9-of-14 shooting) and seven rebounds. Scranton's only other double-digit scorer on the night was senior Logan Bailey (Scranton, Pa./Scranton Prep), who finished with 11 points, eight rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
Elsewhere, Ems had eight points, but cleaned up around the glass with 13 rebounds, a career-best. On the 'boards in the game, Scranton held a sizable advantage over Drew, as well, out-rebounding the Rangers by 13 (49-36).
But, the star of the night was the Scranton defense, who after allowing 97 points on Friday night to Drew held the Rangers to just 31 percent shooting from the floor and 10.7 percent from three-point range (3-of-28). Scranton also blocked five shots, compared to just one for Drew.
The Rangers were led in the defeat by Lybrant Robinson, who finished with 13 points.
The University of Scranton men's basketball team returns to action on Tuesday night, traveling to Moravian for a Landmark Conference road game. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.