SCRANTON, Pa. - Junior forward Matthew Mancuso (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) led all scorers with 21 points to earn most valuable player honors, as the University of Scranton men's basketball team used a second half rally to pull away from St. Lawrence in an 82-68 win in the championship game of the 2018 Hilton Scranton Invitational.
With the win, Scranton moved to 3-0 on the year, while St. Lawrence fell to 1-2 overall with the defeat.
In the opening frame of the contest, it was a nip and tuck affair between the squads throughout. With 5:22 to go in the period, St. Lawrence took their biggest lead of the game at that point, going up by six (27-21). Here, Scranton began a run to end the half that gave the Royals a lead into intermission.
First, Scranton went on a 10-0 spurt over a three-minute span to take a 31-27 lead on the visiting Saints. Then, after St. Lawrence tied the game back up at 31-all, the Royals scored the final six points on the half to take a 37-31 lead into intermission.
Out of the break, the Royals came out hot, as they quickly extended their lead out to a game-high 12 points (51-39) four minutes into the second half. Eventually, Scranton went up 14 (55-41) and appeared to be in control.
However, St. Lawrence stormed back into the game, as a 16-5 run by the Saints slashed the Scranton lead down to just three points (60-57) with under 10 minutes to go in regulation (9:22). But, this would be the closest St. Lawrence came to the Scranton lead the rest of the game, as the Royals kept the Saints at bay the rest of the contest.
Eventually, Scranton went back up double-digits with 3:24 left (73-63) after a huge three-pointer by junior Kyle DeVerna(Rockville Centre, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial). From there, the Royals rolled, going back up 17 (80-63) with 1:42 left on their way to a convincing 14-point win that saw Scranton outscore St. Lawrence, 45-37, in the second half to pull away.
Overall, Mancuso was dominant inside in the win to earn MVP honors for the weekend. With 21 points and 11 rebounds, Mancuso has now recorded double-doubles in two of the first three games of the season for the Royals. In Sunday's win, he shot 5-of-5 from the free throw stripe, while also recording four assists, three steals, and a block, as well.
Elsewhere, DeVerna ended the night with 18 points, nailing a trio of three-pointers in the victory. DeVerna, who also had six rebounds and five assists in the victory, was also named to the All-Hilton Scranton Invitational Team for his efforts on the weekend.
Rounding out the top scorers on the night for Scranton was redshirt freshman Logan Bailey (Scranton, Pa./Scranton Prep), who finished with 15 points, three assists and three steals, while freshman Ben Bosland (Colts Neck, N.J./Colts Neck) came off the bench to score 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting from the floor.
The University of Scranton men's basketball team returns to action on Tuesday, as they host Widener inside the John Long Center. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.