By Anthony Mitchell
For The Daily Item
SELINSGROVE -- With the clock winding down in the first half, Ross Danzig had the ball and a look at the basket.
Scranton's guard launched a shot from the top of the key that didn't fall with one-tenth of a second left but did earn him a trip to the foul line. Danzig calmly swished three free throws despite the noise from the Susquehanna faithful to extend the Royals' lead.
Behind the play of Danzig, the Landmark Conference's leading scorer entering the game, Scranton defeated Susquehanna, 82-68, in the conference opener for both schools.
Danzig hit his season average on the nose, scoring 22 points by frequently driving to both sides of the lane for layups.
"He does everything for them," Susquehanna head coach Frank Marcinek said.
Aside from leading his team in scoring, Danzig frequently found open looks for his teammates, drawing the defense and passing off before crashing the backboard for a rebound. Cementing his all-around effort, Danzig added nine rebounds and seven assists.
Spreading the ball around to a number of shooters, the Royals (5-1, 1-0 LC) ended the first half with a 15-4 run to seize control of a game that had been mostly back-and-forth.
"I thought we were right there," Marcinek said. "I thought we played hard. I thought our offense would come."
Marcinek said struggles at the free throw line, along with the critical foul to Danzig, affected the Crusaders (3-3, 0-1).
"We just self-destructed in the last 2:32 (of the half)," Marcinek said.
The Royals ended the half by making their last five shots. Although the streak ended with a miss on Scranton's first shot of the second half, two Crusaders turnovers allowed the Royals to stretch their lead to 18 points after leading 45-32 at the break.