Royals Extend Winning Streak To Six With 63-54 Win Over Juniata

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HUNTINGDON, Pa.—Winning on the road is becoming the norm rather than the exception for The University of Scranton men's basketball team.

Today, the Royals picked up another key Landmark Conference road win, downing Juniata College, 63-54, at the Kennedy Sports and Recreation Center.   Scranton has now won all four of its conference games on the road while splitting its four games at home.

Behind a game-high 22 points from junior guard Ross Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights/Blair Academy) and 18 points and 11 rebounds from sophomore forward Brendan Boken (South Pasadena, Calif./Loyola), Scranton won its sixth straight game to improve to 16-3 overall and remain just one game behind Catholic University (pending today's game against Merchant Marine) in the race for the top seed.

After dropping two of their first three conference games at home, it appeared as if the Royals might have to settle for just making the tournament.

Not anymore.

Today's win avenges an 80-79 loss in overtime to Eagles on January 11 at the Long Center and prevents the Royals from losing out on the first tiebreaker if Scranton and Juniata end up tied at the end of the regular season, which isn't likely now that the Eagles have fallen to 12-7 overall and 3-5 in the conference.

Boken, Danzig, and senior guard Tommy Morgan (Greenlawn, NY/Chamindade) combined for 20 points in a first half that neither team would be especially proud of.  The Royals built up a 25-19 lead at intermission despite shooting only 39 percent from the field and turning the ball over seven times.   

That's because Juniata came out of the gates cold and never fully recovered.  The Eagles shot a paltry 5-for-24 from the field (20.8 percent) in the first half and only 16 of 52 for the game (30.8 percent).  They stayed in contention by making 18 of 19 free throw attempts.

And if it wasn't for the clutch play of Danzig, the Eagles might have stolen a win despite their poor shooting effort. He scored 12 of the Royals' final 18 points, including back-to-back 3-pointer around a lay-up by Juniata's Brian Scholly (State College, Pa./State College Area) to give Scranton a nine-point lead with 4:19 left.  He kept the lead at nine again with a lay-up with 2:03 remaining and connected on four of six free throws in the final minute to seal it.

Boken, who recorded his third 'double-double' of the season and the eight of his career, also came through in the clutch, knocking down all four of his free throw attempts in the final 40 seconds.  

In the second half, the Royals shot nearly 48 percent from the field to finish a respectable 43.1 percent for the game, including nearly 43 percent from beyond the 3-point arc.  Morgan finished with eight points, six rebounds, three assists and a steal and senior guard Michael Barr (North Wales, Pa./Lansdale Catholic) and junior Justin Klingman (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights) combined for 11 points and five rebounds.

Senior guard Jeremy Hays (McMechen, W.Va./Wheeling Park) led the Eagles with 14 points and Scholly finished with 11 points and seven rebounds.

The Royals will end a three-game Landmark road trip this Wednesday, February 5, against the Merchant Marine Academy at O'Hara Hall in Kings Point, New York, beginning at 7:00 p.m.