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The University of Scranton Athletics

Men's Hoops Scores Final 15 Points to Rally Past King's, 79-68

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

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. – The University of Scranton men's basketball team (9-2) scored the final 15 points of the game to erase a late four point deficit in a 79-68 victory over the King's College Monarchs (4-7) on Saturday afternoon at McGrane Gymnasium in Wilkes-Barre.

After the Monarchs' Will Johnson hit a three to open up a 68-64 lead with 4:28 to play, sophomore Cameron Khoza (State College, Pa./Bishop Guilfoyle) buried a three of his own to ignite the afore-mentioned 15-0 run. The Royals took the lead for good on a jumper from freshman EJ Matthews-Spratley (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East) at the 3:28 mark and went 4-of-6 from the free throw line down the stretch to help preserve the victory.

Scranton was hot out of the gate this afternoon and led 18-9 with 13:54 left in the first half after a Khoza three. Khoza sank another of his career-high five threes on the afternoon to stretch the lead to 30-18 at the 10:06 mark before the Monarchs quickly sliced the lead to three with an 11-2 run over the next three plus minutes. King's briefly grabbed a 35-34 advantage before a Matthews-Spratley layup regained the lead for the Royals who eventually took a 43-39 lead into the locker room.

The two teams traded baskets for much of the second half and the Monarchs scored six straight points to tie the game at 53 apiece with 13:28 remaining. Graduate student Jackson Danzig* (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights) later hit a layup for a 60-57 Royals' lead at the 9:09 mark, but King's answered with an 11-4 run to grab the 68-64 lead which set the stage for Scranton's late charge.

Danzig led four Royals in double figures with a game-high 20 points, while Khoza added a career-high 17 (5-of-10 3PT), Matthews-Spratley came through with a career-best 16 off the bench and junior Tahaj Parland (Neptune, N.J./Mater Dei) scored 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting.

For Matthews-Spratley, this marked the first double-digit scoring game of his young career and Khoza's 17 points surpassed his previous career-best of 12 that had been set in a win over Goucher on Dec. 3.

Johnson paced King's with 15 points and Tyler Faux added 14 off the bench.

The Royals shot 47.6% (30-of-63) from the field, 30.8% (8-of-26) from beyond the arc and 73.3% (11-of-15) from the free throw line. King's was 26-of-59 (44.1%) from the floor, 9-of-27 (33.3%) from long range and 7-of-10 (70.0%) from the charity stripe.

King's held a slight 36-35 edge on the boards as the Royals were led by nine boards from Danzig.

Scranton will be back in action on Tuesday afternoon at Cortland with opening tip slated for 4 p.m.

--ROYALS--