SCRANTON, Pa. -- Two costly turnovers and hot shooting from Scranton down the stretch proved to be costly as Susquehanna's men's basketball team lost to the Royals 74-71 in Landmark Conference action.
The Crusaders (11-9, 6-5) jumped out to a 9-3 lead, with senior guard Spenser Spencer (Seattle, Wash. / Lakeside) draining a long-range trey with the shot clock expiring at the 16 minute mark.
Junior J.T. Wilson (Sparta, N.J. / Pope John XIII Regional) knocked down a three-pointer to retain the SU lead 14-8 with 14 minutes remaining.
A layup by Mike Perillo (Holmdel, N.J. / Holmdel) increased the Crusader lead to to 12 (27-15) with 7:11 left in the first half. After a Scranton timeout, the Royals (16-6, 9-2) made two quick buckets to trim the lead to seven.
Freshman Tony Seldon (Bloomfield, Conn. / Northwest Catholic) knocked down a jumper to push the lead to nine (31-22) with 4:48 left.
Scranton cut the SU lead to five, which the Crusaders maintained until halftime , 35-30. Spencer led all scorers with 12 points in the first half. SU shot 66.7 percent fom the field.
The Royals made the contest 35-35 with 17 minutes left. Wilson knocked down a jumper from the foul line to give the Crusaders the lead 37-35 at 16:35.
A three-pointer by Scranton's Travis Farrell gave the Royals the lead 39-37, but Seldon made a layup to tie up the game at 39. Another Farrell trey and layup made the game 44-39 at 12:56.
Wilson drained a three-pointer to reduce the deficit to three (49-46) with less than 11 minutes remaining. He nailed another bomb from downtown to tie the contest at 49 at 8:53.
Spencer joined the long range assault, as he knocked down a three to give SU the lead 52-49 with less than eight minutes left. Two Matt Possanza (Lansdale, Pa. / North Penn) free throws pushed the Crusaders ahead by five with exactly six minutes to go.
Spencer hit another trey to increase the SU lead to eight (61-53) but the Royals answered right back with a three ball of their own to make the contest 61-56 at 4:35.
Two three-pointers by Scranton's Matt Swaback reduced the SU advantage to 64-62 with less than three minutes to go in the game. The Royals took the lead 65-64 at the two minute mark.
Spencer sunk two foul shots to give the Crusaders a 66-65 lead with 1:20 left. But Swaback retained his hot hand, knocking down another long trey to give the lead right back to the Royals, 68-66 with 49 ticks left.
Two SU turnovers down the stretch proved to be costly, as the Royals converted on their free throws to put the game out of reach.
The Crusaders had four players reach double-figures in scoring. Spencer led all scorers with 24 points, including 4-of-6 shooting from three-point range. Perillo finished the afternoon with 10 points and four assists. Wilson had 13 points and three boards.
Scranton also had four players in double-figures. Farrell finished with 20 points and Swaback had 14 for the Royals.
SU is back in action as the Crusaders host Goucher on Friday, Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m.