Royals' Bid To Advance To Final Four Falls Short With 78-58 Loss To 5th-Ranked Cabrini Saturday Evening
MIDDLEBURY, Vt.—The Magic Carpet Ride ended for The University of Scranton men's basketball team with a 78-58 loss to 5th-ranked Cabrini College in an NCAA sectional championship game Saturday evening at Pipin Gymnasium.
The Royals got off to a shaky start, made a surge in the second half, but their dream to advance to the Final Four for the fifth time in school history ended with their inability to keep the Cavaliers from attacking the basket. With the loss, Scranton ends its 2012 season with a 23-8 record.
Sophomore guard Tommy Morgan (Greenlawn, NY/Chaminade) led the Royals with 19 points on 8 of 12 shooting from the field and freshman guard Ross Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights/Blair Academy-NJ) added 11 despite being saddled with foul trouble.
Cabrini, which won its 21st straight game to improve to 30-1, was led by senior guard Cory Lemons (Wilmington, Del./Glasgow) with 20 points, freshman guard Aaron Walton-Moss (Camden, NJ/Camden) came off the bench and added 17 points and 10 rebounds, junior guard Jeremy Knowles (Antioch, Calif./Pittsburg) chipped in 14 points, and sophomore forward Fran Rafferty (King of Prussia, Pa./Upper Merion) finished with 11.
After losing to the Cavaliers by just three points on the road in December and coming off last night's emotional 58-55 win over fourth-ranked Middlebury, the Royals appeared to be in prime position to advance to the Final Four for the first time since 1988.
Unfortunately, Scranton came out sluggish at the start, falling behind 34-23 at intermission after shooting less than 36 percent from the field, including just 2 of 13 (15.4 percent) from beyond the 3-point arc.
The Royals came to life as senior forward Matt Swaback (Kingston, Pa./Wyoming Area) and Morgan hit back-to-back 3-pointers on Scranton's first two possessions of the second half to cut the margin to seven. Danzig then capped off a 14-9 spurt over a six-minute span with a 3-pointer as the Royals whittled the Cavaliers' lead down to two with 11:14 left.
Even after Scranton made the run, the Cavaliers never wavered from their game plan. They spread the court, attacked the basket off the dribble, and continued to pound away at the interior of the Royal defense, building up two 7-point advantages before going on a 10-2 run to seal the victory. Walton-Moss scored 11 second-half points, including eight during a five-minute span that turned a nerve-wracking 50-47 lead into a comfortable 66-53 margin.
Statistics sometimes lie, but such was not the case tonight. Cabrini held a commanding 40-18 advantage in points in the paint and its bench out-scored the Royal reserves, 39-2. The Cavaliers will travel to Salem, Virginia, next weekend and will take on Illinois Wesleyan University in one of two semifinal games Friday evening.
Scranton, which shot over 52 percent from the field in the second half to bring its total to a respectable 43.1 percent, received nine points apiece from Swaback and junior guard Travis Farrell (Middletown, NJ/Christian Brothers Academy), and eight from senior guard Luke Hawk (Audubon, Pa./Methacton).
Hawk finishes his brilliant career with 1,171 points, which is 26th on the Royals' all-time scoring list. Scranton also bids farewell to Swaback, who ends his career ninth all-time in Royals' history with 117 made 3-pointers, as well as to guard Dan Hilferty (Ardmore, Pa./Episcopal Academy) and forwards Nick Jaskula (Jenkintown, Pa./Jenkintown) and Edmond O'Connell (Somers, NY/Kennedy Catholic). This quintet led the Royals to an overall record of 82-30 (.732), including three Landmark Conference championships (2009, 2011, 2012) and three NCAA tournament appearances (2009, 2011, 2012).
Newspaper Box Score
CABRINI COLLEGE 78, SCRANTON 58
Tommy Morgan 8-12 0-0 19; Ross Danzig 3-7 4-7 11; Matt Swaback 3-6 0-0 9; Travis Farrell 3-9 1-2 9; Luke Hawk 4-10 0-1 8; Dan Hilferty 1-3 0-0 2; Nick Jaskula 0-1 0-0 0; Kyle Ranck 0-0 0-0 0; Edmond O'Connell 0-1 0-0 0; Michael Fee 0-0 0-0 0; Tim Lavelle 0-1 0-0 0; Justin Klingman 0-0 0-0 0; Michael Barr 0-0 0-0 0; Mike Marchman 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-51 5-10 58.
CABRINI COLLEGE (30-1)
Lemons, Cory 8-15 4-4 20; Walton-Moss, Aaron 6-11 5-6 17; Knowles, Jeremy 4-10 7-7 16; Rafferty, Fran 5-7 0-0 11; Miller, Jon 3-3 0-0 6; Williams, AJ 1-1 0-0 3; Boyd, John 1-7 0-0 3; Dulac, Goran 1-4 0-0 2; Sayles, Tim 0-1 0-0 0; Lorenzo, Alex 0-0 0-0 0; Bah, Abraham 0-0 0-0 0; Zabel, Greg 0-0 0-0 0; Frizzera, Corey 0-0 0-0 0; Quigley, Connor 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 29-59 16-17 78.
Scranton...................... 23 35 - 58
Cabrini College............... 34 44 - 78
3-point goals--Scranton 9-26 (Matt Swaback 3-6; Tommy Morgan 3-5; Travis Farrell 2-6; Ross Danzig 1-5; Tim Lavelle 0-1; Mike Marchman 0-1; Dan Hilferty 0-1; Luke Hawk 0-1), Cabrini College 4-12 (Williams, AJ 1-1; Knowles, Jeremy 1-4; Rafferty, Fran 1-1; Boyd, John 1-4; Dulac, Goran 0-1; Lemons, Cory 0-1). Fouled out--Scranton-Ross Danzig, Cabrini College-None. Rebounds--Scranton 23 (Tommy Morgan 7), Cabrini College 38 (Walton-Moss, Aaron 10). Assists--Scranton 9 (Tommy Morgan 5), Cabrini College 8 (Lemons, Cory 4). Total fouls--Scranton 19, Cabrini College 12. Technical fouls--Scranton-Luke Hawk, Cabrini College-Knowles, Jeremy. A-600