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The University of Scranton Athletics

Men's Basketball Uses Defense to Stay Unbeaten with 59-45 Victory Over Goucher

© Photo by Timothy R. Dougherty /
© Photo by Timothy R. Dougherty /

SCRANTON, Pa. – The University of Scranton men's basketball team (6-0, 1-0 Landmark) held Goucher to just 30.2% shooting from the floor and notched a 59-45 victory over the Gophers (1-6, 0-1 Landmark) in the conference opener for both teams on Saturday at the John Long Center in Scranton.

The Royals have now held three of their six opponents under 60 points this season and the 45 points is the fewest allowed since an 87-38 victory at Goucher on Dec. 7, 2019.

Out of the gate, Scranton scored 10 of the first 12 points as freshman Matthew Hanley (Staten Island, N.Y./Monsignor Farrell) hit a layup to make it 10-2 at the 13:54 mark of the first half. After an 8-0 Goucher run tied things at 10 apiece, sophomore Will McLoughlin (Glen Rock, N.J./Glen Rock) and senior Stephen Braunstein* (Colts Neck, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) buried consecutive threes to kickstart a 16-0 run that was capped off by a McLoughlin layup that made it 26-10 with 7:23 to play in the half. The run included a trio of three-pointers by Braunstein. Another three by Braunstein in the final minute of the half made it a 35-21 game before the Gophers' Onterrio Miller hit a three at a buzzer to cut the lead to 35-24.

The Gophers cut the lead to single digits at 37-28 before a McLoughlin free throw fueled an 11-0 run and freshman EJ Matthews-Spratley (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East) capped things off with a layup for a 48-28 advantage at the 14:19 mark of the second half. The Royals continued to be strong defensively through the remainder of the contest as the lead remained in double digits and the hosts held Goucher to just 11 points over the final 10 plus minutes.

Braunstein led all scorers with 17 points (5-of-6 3PT) and McLoughlin added 16 of his own on 7-of-12 shooting, while sophomore Cameron Khoza (State College, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle) scored a career-high 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting.

Darrell Green had 12 points on the day to pace Goucher.

The Royals shot 44.2% (23-of-52) from the floor and 39.1% (9-of-23) from deep as they also held the Gophers to the 30.2% (16-of-53) shooting from the field and 21.1% (4-of-19) from beyond the arc.

Scranton held a 39-29 advantage on the glass and the backcourt duo of junior Tahaj Parland (Neptune, N.J./Mater Dei) and freshman Jon Spatola (Marlboro, N.J./Marlboro) grabbed seven boards apiece.

The University of Scranton men's basketball team hits the road to battle Franklin & Marshall in a non-conference contest on Wednesday evening with tip-off set for 7 p.m.