Men’s basketball gains early momentum

Published: November 20, 2015

AQUINAS PHOTO / EMMA BLACK SENIOR FORWARD Brendan Boken drives to the basket during the team’s 78-67 win over Ithaca College Tuesday night. Boken scored 35 points, two short of his career-high, and he also grabbed 10 rebounds.

AQUINAS PHOTO / EMMA BLACK / SENIOR FORWARD Brendan Boken drives to the basket during the team’s 78-67 win over Ithaca College Tuesday night. Boken scored 35 points, two short of his career-high, and he also grabbed 10 rebounds.

RYAN DISDIER
Sports Editor

The men’s basketball team started its season on a high note, winning its first three games.

The Royals hosted Bryn Athyn University and Ursinus University by an average of 17.5 points in the Hilton Scranton Invitational Tournament over the weekend. The team also beat DeSales University 67-50 Tuesday.

Senior Co-Captain Brendan Boken said it was a thrill to get back on the court with his teammates.

“We’ve been playing against each other in practice for about a month now, so it’s nice to just get a chance to play against somebody else. Everybody really clicked (during the weekend). It was nice to get out there and play in front of some fans too,” Boken said.

The Royals beat Bryn Athyn 94-68, and beat Ursinus 71-62. Against DeSales, Boken went off to score 35 points.

Boken said in the second game that the team had to make some adjustments to come away with the win.

“Against Bryn Athyn, we came out really strong, and we ended with I think 14 or 15 assists in the first half. The second game was a little bit tougher. They played a different defense on us that we weren’t really ready for. But we kind of adjusted to that, and we handled that pretty well,” Boken said.

Boken led the team in scoring against Bryn Athyn with 19 points, and he led the team in rebounds against Ursinus with nine.

During the two games, the team also received strong contributions from senior guard Marcus Thomas, sophomore forward Ethan Danzig and sophomore guard Kevin Doolan.

Danzig and Doolan are two out of eight underclassmen who are expected to take a step forward this year.

“We’re missing a couple of big pieces, Ross (Danzig), Mike Fee and Justin Klingman, but we have a bunch of underclassmen who are stepping up and playing big roles on the team,” Boken said. “I think our team chemistry is going to be a big thing this year. Just making sure everybody’s gelling on the court and off the court. We just need to play within our roles and learn to play with each other.”

Success has been common for the men’s basketball team under head coach Carl Danzig.

The team has not had a double-digit loss season since 2003, and the team has won the Landmark Conference championship six times in the conference’s eight years. For the Royals, the goal is to three-peat as Landmark Conference champions.

“We’re definitely looking to win the conference championship again,” Boken said. “You know, Catholic (University) is really strong, Susquehanna (University) is strong as well. They’re returning all five of their starters. So winning the conference championship is definitely always a goal we have, and we also want to reach the NCAA tournament and hopefully go farther than we did last year.”

The 3-0 Royals are in action next against Hobart College at 5 p.m. Saturday in the John J. Long Center.

Contact the writer: ryan.disdier@scranton.edu

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