By Chris McManes
SCRANTON, PA. – Chris Kearney produced his second 30-point game against the University of Scranton this season, but it wasn't enough to give Catholic University its ninth-straight victory.
Brendan Boken scored 21 points and Ross Danzig 17 – all in the first half – to lead Scranton past the No. 8 Cardinals, 82-74, at the Long Center on Saturday night.
CUA, which staged a furious second-half rally, fell to 20-3. The Cardinals still lead the Landmark Conference by two games with a 10-2 record.
The Royals (17-6, 8-4), who received 15 points from Travis Ferrell and 10 points and six assists from Tommy Morgan, have not lost to the Cards at home since Nov. 2006.
Kearney, a senior power forward, was 13 of 19 from the floor, most coming in the paint. He sank all four of his free throws and had four assists and four rebounds. Steve Limberiou was 3 of 5 from 3-point territory and finished with 15 points and six boards.
Senior Nate Koenig produced the second double-double of his career with 11 points and a game-high 10 rebounds. Shawn Holmes endured a poor shooting night (3 of 18) and finished with 11 points and five assists.
CUA, trailing by 20 at halftime, cut the lead to 68-66 following four straight free throws by Holmes and two by Kearney with 4:28 remaining. Tim Lavelle hit a layup to spark a 12-2 run and put the Royals back on top, 78-68, at the 1:13 mark.
Scranton hit 7 of 12 3-pointers in the first half and 15 of 25 overall in building a 47-27 bulge at halftime. Michael Barr's second trey gave the Royals a 21-7 advantage midway through the period. Danzig, son of Scranton Coach Carl Danzig, was perfect in the first half, going 6-for-6 from the floor, including two 3-pointers, and made all three of his free throws.
The Cardinals battled gamely and got to within seven, 65-58, on a Limberiou 3-pointer with 9:02 to go.
Boken collected nine rebounds for the Royals, who outrebounded CUA, 33-27. Both teams protected the ball well; the Cardinals committed seven turnovers and forced six.
The Cards travel to Goucher College on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. CUA ends the regular season by welcoming Moravian to DuFour Center next Saturday at 6 p.m.
NOTES – Scranton shot 28 of 55 (50.9 percent) against the Cardinals, who entered the contest 14th in the nation in field goal percentage defense (38.1 percent) and fifth in scoring defense (56.4 points per game). … Kearney scored a career-best 32 points in CUA's 58-48 victory over the Royals in Washington on Jan. 19. He is shooting 65.1 percent (28 of 43) against Scranton this season. … The Cards made 54.8 percent of their shots after halftime. … CUA Coach Steve Howes' mother, two sisters, wife and three children attended the game.
Scranton holds off No. 8 CUA's furious rally 82-74
By Chris McManes