Sophomore Logan Bailey (Scranton, Pa./Scranton Prep) and junior Kyle DeVerna (Rockville Centre, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) combined for 44 points to lead The University of Scranton to a 71-63 victory over Catholic in a Landmark Conference men's basketball game televised live by Fox 56 Sports on Saturday in the John Long Center.
The win was the 1,499th in Scranton men's basketball history. The Royals will look to become just the 10th NCAA Division III men's basketball program with at least 1,5000 wins on Wednesday night when they host Susquehanna in a Landmark Conference tilt starting at 7 p.m. in the Long Center.
One game after netting a season-high 35 points, Bailey scored a game-high 24 points while DeVerna added 20 points as the Royals (13-2, 2-2 Landmark) used a strong second half to push past the Cardinals (6-9, 2-2 Landmark).
After Bailey gave Scranton a 33-32 halftime lead with a buzzer-beating runner in the lane, the Royals used a strong second half to defeat Catholic. The hosts shot 58.3 percent from the field while holding the Cardinals to just 28.1 percent shooting in the final 20 minutes of play.
The hosts were forced to work for their one-point halftime edge as Catholic staked out a 21-12 lead over the opening nine and a half minutes before Scranton used an 8-0 run to pull to within a point at the 8:21 mark.
Scranton forged the game into a 27-27 tied on a DeVerna layup five minutes later before the teams swapped the lead five times in the final three-plus minutes with Bailey's field goal at the horn giving the Royals the lead at the break.
Catholic opened the second half with a three-pointer to reclaim the lead and the contest would be a nip-and-tuck affair over the next 10 minutes with the lead trading hands or tied seven times during that span with neither side holding a lead greater than three points.
The Cardinals led 45-43 with just under 13 minutes remaining before Scranton used a 6-0 spurt to push back and front for good. The Royals twice got the lead to four points before Bailey hit a pair of free throws and followed with a lay-in to give the hosts a 57-51 edge with 5:04 showing on the clock.
The visitors trimmed the Scranton lead down to four points a minute and a half later, but that's as close as they would come as the Royals made 6-of-8 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
Bailey went 9-for-13 from the field and 6-for-6 from the free throw line to post his game-high 24 points while tying for the team-lead in rebounds with 8. He also matched a career-high with five assists.
Junior Matthew Mancuso (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) dished out a career and game-high seven assists to go along with seven points, three blocks, and three steals, also matching a career-best for takeaways.
Freshman Jackson Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights) matched DeVerna with eight rebounds while sophomore Nolan Genasevich (Sugarloaf, Pa./Home School) came off the bench to set a new career-high with three blocks.
Scranton, which finished the day shooting 47.4 percent from the field and 75 percent from the free throw line, outscored Catholic 48-30 in the paint and held a 41-35 edge in rebounds for the contest.
The Royals limited the Cardinals to 36.7 percent shooting for the game with the visitors converting 63.6 percent of their attempts from the charity stripe.