The University of Scranton clinched the top seed in the upcoming Landmark Conference playoffs with a 62-43 triumph over Catholic as the Lady Royals celebrated Senior Day with their 17th straight victory Saturday. Scranton, currently ranked 13th in the nation, improves to 22-1 overall and 11-1 in league play and, coupled with Moravian's 76-49 victory over Juniata, secure home court advantage throughout the Landmark Conference's postseason tournament.
Prior to Saturday's game, the Lady Royals honored their two seniors, Katie Broderick (New Fairfield, Conn./New Fairfield) and Katie Feehery (Media, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) as part of Senior Day festivities in the Long Center. Both also were honored as this year's recipients of the Dr. Harold Davis Award which is presented annually to the Lady Royals' most valuable senior.
The Cardinals (15-8, 6-6 Landmark) scored eight of the game's first 11 points on Saturday before the Lady Royals embarked on a 21-5 run over an 11-minute span to hold a 24-13 lead with two minutes remaining in the second quarter. Catholic netted the final field goal of the first half to cut Scranton's lead to nine points at the break, 24-15.
The Lady Royals opened the third stanza with a 10-3 spurt to open up a 34-18 advantage before taking a 38-26 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Cardinals pull to within 11 points at 40-29 with 8:27 remaining, but Scranton used a 14-6 burst over the next four minutes to put any hopes of a comeback bid by the visitors to rest.
Ava Gammo (East Hanover, N.J./Hanover Park) tied for a game-high with a career-best seven rebounds for the Lady Royals while Feehery corralled six boards in the win.
The hosts went 41.5 percent from the field on the day including a 50 percent showing from three-point range while converting 75.9 percent of their free throw attempts.
Payton Smith had 18 points and Megan Stafford added seven rebounds to lead Catholic, which shot just 22.2 percent from the field and 18.8 percent from long range. The Cardinals were strong at the line, knocking down 16 of 18 (88.8 percent) free throw attempts.
The Lady Royals will wrap up a four-game homestand on Wednesday evening as they host Susquehanna in a Landmark Conference tilt starting at 7:00 p.m. in the Long Center.