SCRANTON, Pa. – The Ursinus College men's basketball team fell victim to a big first-half run and deadly 3-point shooting from host Scranton in an 85-72 non-conference setback on Tuesday afternoon.
Playing for the first time in almost two weeks, the Bears were knotted at 21 at the 8-minute mark of the first half before Scranton rattled off an extended 30-9 spurt to take command for good.
Mitch Cross came off the bench to score a game-high 27 points for the Royal (3-7), knocking down seven of his eight 3-point attempts. Three other players hit double figures as Scranton shot 14 of 26 (53.8 percent) from long range on the day, including a 9-for-14 clip in the first half.
Ursinus (4-4) led 12-10 after sophomore Ryan McTamney buried a triple, and took its last lead at 20-19 on a layup by senior Brian Rafferty with 8:37 to play in the first frame. It all fell apart from there, as the Bears managed just one field goal over the next five minutes.
Scranton, meanwhile, got points on 12 consecutive possessions, including three triples from Cross and two more from Ethan Danzig, to lead by as many as 21 before the break. Matthew Mancuso's dunk capped a 26-5 run, and a 3 by Kyle Deverna stretched the margin to 51-30 with just under a minute remaining. Ursinus never got closer than 11 in the second half.
Mancuso finished with 15 points, while Drew Schankweiler added 12 and Danzig chipped in 11. Kevin Doolan dished out 11 assists as the Royals shot 50.9 percent (28 of 55).
Senior Zach Quattro led Ursinus with 16 points on 7-for-11 from the field, putting him at at least 50 percent from the floor for the seventh straight game. The stretch forward added six rebounds, three steals, and three blocks to his line.
Junior Eric Williams Jr. made five 3-pointers – all in the second half – on the way to 15 points, but was just 5 for 19 from the field. Rafferty had 13 points, going 4 for 5 from the floor and a perfect 4 of 4 at the line, and handed out five assists, while McTamney netted 12 first-half markers.
The Royals, who despite a rough start to the season were ranked 24th in the D3hoops.com preseason poll, went 9 for 14 from 3-point range in the first half (64.3 percent), with Danzig and Cross each making all three of their attempts; the pair combined for 24 points on 8-for-8 from the field in the opening stanza. Scranton, which has made four straight NCAA Tournament appearances, had 14 assists to just five turnovers, while the Bears committed nine miscues to seven helpers.
The men's basketball team is back in action on December 29, when the Bears head to the nation's capital to open the Catholic University Holiday Inn College Park Classic against Marymount (Va.).