HOBOKEN, N.J. – The University of Scranton men's basketball team (4-0) opened up a 17 point halftime lead and rolled to an 82-61 victory over the Stevens Ducks (0-4) in non-conference action on Saturday afternoon at Canavan Arena in Hoboken.
This marks the first 4-0 start for the Royals since winning 12 straight to open the 2018-19 campaign.
Out of the gate, Scranton made its first seven shots from the field and a three-pointer by senior Stephen Braunstein* (Colts Neck, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) opened up a 22-4 lead with 13:52 left in the first half. Following an 8-0 run by Stevens that sliced the lead to 22-12, Braunstein sank a jumper that ignited a 7-2 spurt and sophomore Cameron Khoza (State College, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle) hit a three to make it 29-14 at the 9:07 mark. From there, the Ducks were unable to get any closer than 11 through the remainder of the half and a three-point play by fellow sophomore Will McLoughlin (Glen Rock, N.J./Glen Rock) stretched the lead to as many as 21 at 41-20. Braunstein then connected on a layup in the final seconds of the half and the Royals took a 45-28 lead into the locker room.
In the second half, McLoughlin and graduate student Jackson Danzig* (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights) buried consecutive three-pointers to open the scoring and the Royals led 51-30 with 18:59 to play. Head coach Carl Danzig's squad cruised from that point forward and five straight points by Braunstein extended the lead to 29 at 73-44 at the 8:24 mark. The lead would stay between 19 and 29 for the remainder of the contest and Scranton improved to 4-0 with the 82-61 win.
Braunstein led all scorers with 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting (4-of-7 3PT) to notch his second 20-point game of the season, while McLoughlin added 20 points on 7-of-12 from the floor and Danzig contributed 13 (5-of-9 FG).
Freshman EJ Matthews-Spratley (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East) also came through with nine points on 4-of-5 shooting off the bench.
Mike Goodall paced the Ducks with 15 points in the setback.
The Royals shot a staggering 57.4% (31-of-54) from the floor, 45.5% (10-of-22) from long range and 83.3% (10-of-12) from the charity stripe.
Scranton's defense also forced 20 Stevens turnovers as the hosts were 23-of-55 (41.8%) from the field and 9-of-27 (33.3%) from three-point range.
Stevens held a slight 31-27 edge on the glass and the trio of Braunstein, Danzig and McLoughlin led the Royals with five boards apiece.
The University of Scranton men's basketball team will return to action on Wednesday, Nov. 30 versus Eastern. Opening tip in the John Long Center is slated for 7 p.m.