SCRANTON, Pa. – Senior Stephen Braunstein* (Colts Neck, N.J./Christian Brothers Academy) scored a career-high 28 points and The University of Scranton men's basketball team (11-5, 3-2 Landmark) shot 59.3% from the floor in an 86-69 victory over the Drew University Rangers (9-7, 1-4 Landmark) on Wednesday night at the John Long Center in Scranton.
Braunstein also buried a career-high eight threes on the night, the most in a game by a Royals player since Ethan Danzig sank eight in a victory over King's on Nov. 25, 2017. For Braunstein, his career-high 28 points surpasses his previous career-high of 24 that had been set in a win over Arcadia on Nov. 23, 2021.
The two teams traded baskets for a majority of the first 10 plus minutes of the contest and Scranton led 20-18 when Braunstein hit one of his eight triples that fueled a 24-6 run capped off by consecutive three-point plays by sophomore Will McLoughlin (Glen Rock, N.J./Glen Rock) for a 44-24 lead with 2:44 left in the first half. Drew scored the final six points of the half, but the Royals still maintained a 44-30 advantage headed into the locker room.
Scranton was able to keep the lead in double figures early in the second half and led 54-39 when freshman Jon Spatola (Marlboro, N.J./Marlboro) kickstarted a 14-4 run that resulted in a McLoughlin layup for a 68-43 edge with 10:32 to play. The Rangers were unable to get any closer than 18 the rest of the way and the Royals cruised to their 11th victory of the season behind the offensive firepower which led to 86 points, their second highest total of the season.
Braunstein's career night led the way for the Royals offensively and he was joined in double figures by McLoughlin with 16 points and 10 apiece from Spatola and graduate student Jackson Danzig* (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights). Freshman EJ Matthews-Spratley (Cherry Hill, N.J./Cherry Hill East) also sank all four of his field goal attempts off the bench for nine points.
Drew was led by James Anderson with 17 points and Howard McBurnie Jr. with 16.
The Royals were a staggering 32-of-54 (59.3%) from the floor and 14-of-23 (60.9%) from deep on the night, while the Rangers shot 41.9% (26-of-62) from the field and 40.7% (11-of-27) from long range.
Scranton's 14 threes are tied for fourth most in a single game in program history and head coach Carl Danzig's squad added 26 assists on the 32 made field goals as all five starters tallied three or more led by six from Spatola.
Spatola also corralled a team-high seven rebounds as the Royals held a slight 32-30 edge on the glass.
The University of Scranton men's basketball team will hit the road to battle first place Juniata on Saturday afternoon with opening tip set for 4 p.m.