Royals Knock Gophers Out of Chase for Playoff Berth

Royals Knock Gophers Out of Chase for Playoff Berth

SCRANTON, Pa. — Twelve different players got into the scoring act for Goucher in today's Landmark Conference game against Scranton, but not one of them reached double digits in points as the Gophers bowed to the Royals, 77-57.

Over the first 17 minutes of the contest, the two teams were never separated by more than four points. However, after a 3-point basket by Norman Allen II (Bowie, Md./Riverdale Baptist) with 6:31 left to play in the first half put Goucher ahead 19-18, the Gophers 9-14, 5-9 Landmark) were able to add only three more points to their total before the end of the period.

A layup by John Vitkus at 5:53 not only put the Royals (18-5, 11-4 Landmark) ahead to stay. but also triggered an 18-3 run that allowed the home team to depart the court at halftime up 36-22. Following Allen's 3-point basket, head coach Tom Rose's squad missed its next eight shots and committed six turnovers before Mychal Stefanides (Bel Air, Md./C. Milton Wright) nailed a 3-pointer with just :12 showing on the clock.

Scranton's lead fluctuated between 12 and 24 points throughout the second half.

Brendan Boken, who was 12-for-17 from the field, led all scorers as he contributed 30 points to the victory. The senior forward/center tallied 31 points when the Royals defeated the Gophers, 78-77, in the first of this season's two head-to-head encounters back on January 9.

For Goucher, Troy DeShields (Seaford, Del./Sussex Technical) took scoring honors by coming off the bench to produce nine points. Ed Oliver (Adelphi, Md./High Point) latched onto a game-high 11 rebounds and also blocked two shots.

The Gophers, who needed to win in order to remain in the chase for a berth in the Landmark's upcoming four-team playoff, are down to the final two games of their 2015-16 season. Both will be at home in the Decker Sports & Recreation Center, starting with Susquehanna on Wednesday at 7 p.m.