MADISON, N.J. – Carl Danzig has had a lot of impressive victories in his time as the head coach of the men's basketball team at The University of Scranton. On Wednesday night, he reached a career milestone as his team put forth one of its best defensive performances ever under his tutelage.
Danzig earned his 300th career victory as the Royals trounced Drew University, 64-39, in Baldwin Gymnasium. The 39 points are the fewest allowed by the Royals this season and the fourth fewest they've allowed in Danzig's 16 seasons as head coach.
The win also moves Scranton (13-5, 5-2 Landmark) into a tie for second place in the Landmark Conference with Catholic and Moravian, a game behind first-place Susquehanna. It also knocks the Rangers (9-9, 3-4 Landmark) into fifth place, two games behind Scranton, Catholic and Moravian.
Danzig earned the milestone victory in his 429th career game, and now has a career record of 300-129. It was his 105th career victory in Landmark Conference play and his 26th against Drew, the most of his career against any opponent.
The defensive effort by the Royals was eye-opening. They held Drew to just 28.8 percent (15-for-52) from the field, the lowest percentage by an opponent this season. The 39 points allowed are one less than they allowed in a 75-40 win over Gettysburg on Jan. 4 in the Long Center. In Danzig's career, the Royals have only allowed less three times, and two of those times have also come against Drew:
- 34 – at Drew, Jan. 13, 2017, a 55-34 victory;
- 38 – vs. Drew, Dec. 3, 2005, a 72-38 victory;
- 38 – vs. Clarkson, Dec. 7, 2006, a 62-38 victory.
On Wednesday evening, the Royals took a 26-21 lead into halftime, then blew the game open with a 19-6 run to start the second half. They held Drew to just 18 second-half points on 6-for-24 (25 percent) from the field, including 1-for-9 from 3-point range.
Senior center John Vitkus (Mahopac, N.Y./Mahopac) led Scranton with 20 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Junior guard Mitch Cross (Marriottsville, Md./Loyola-Blakefield) had 12 points on 4-for-5 from 3-point range, and freshman forward Matthew Mancuso (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) had seven points, a team-high eight rebounds, two blocks and a steal. Junior forward Drew Schankweiler (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Mechanicsburg) also had a solid all-around game with seven points, six rebounds, four steals, three assists and a block, and junior guard Kevin Doolan (Basking Ridge, N.J./Ridge) was equally solid with seven points, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Scranton shot 41.7 percent (25-for-60) from the field, including 8-for-22 (36.4 percent) from 3-point range. The Royals made six of nine free throw attempts and held a 42-34 edge on the glass. They also committed just 11 turnovers while forcing 17 by the Rangers, which they turned into 13 points. Scranton also held a 32-16 edge in points in the paint and led 21-10 in bench points.
The Royals will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 28, when they host Elizabethtown at 4 p.m. in a Landmark Conference game in the Long Center.