A career night by junior Justin Klingman proved to be just what the men’s basketball team needed Saturday as the Royals knocked off Catholic University 80-71 to claim the top seed in the upcoming Landmark Conference tournament.
Klingman torched the Cardinals, making seven of eight three-point attempts and finishing with a career-high 23 points. It was the third time Klingman scored 20 or more points in a game this season.
Klingman hit all four of his three-pointers in the first half to help the Royals surge to a 35-31 lead at halftime.
To start the second half, Klingman picked up where he left off, making two more three-pointers in the opening four minutes. Klingman was not the only junior to make an impact. Ross Danzig led a 13-4 run for the Royals to extend the lead to 13 with less than 10 minutes remaining. Danzig scored 19 points to go with a team-high nine rebounds and five assists.
Catholic did not go away without a fight. Bryson Fonville led the Cardinals with 23 points and Corey Stanford tallied a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds to keep Catholic afloat.
The Cardinals came within eight points with less than four minutes to go, but back-to-back three-pointers by Danzig and senior Michael Barr iced the game. Barr finished with 12 points on the night.
The Royals improved to 20-3 on the season and 10-2 in conference play. Catholic fell to 14-9 and 8-4 in conference play. It was Catholic’s second consecutive loss.
Scranton reached several milestones with the victory. It was the seventh time in Head Coach Carl Danzig’s 13-year tenure and the third time in the last four years that the Royals have won at least 20 games. It was also the sixth consecutive season the Royals won at least 10 conference games.
As the top seed in the Landmark Conference tournament, the Royals will host the semifinal game at the Long Center against the still-unknown fourth seed Wednesday night. If the Royals win, they will also host the championship game against the winner of the matchup between the two seed and three seed at a time to be announced. The Royals will finish the regular season Saturday against Goucher College at 2 p.m.
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