The University of Scranton avenged its only loss of the season on Saturday, opening a four-game homestand with a 62-45 victory over Juniata College in the Long Center. The Lady Royals, currently ranked 14th in the nation, built a 26-point lead over the first three quarters of the Landmark Conference showdown with the Eagles to cruise to their 15th straight win.
Scranton (20-1, 9-1 Landmark), who reached the 20-win plateau for the fifth straight season and 33rd time in its 44-year history, used a strong defensive effort in the first half to build a 33-14 lead at halftime. The Lady Royals held Juniata (18-3, 7-3 Landmark) to just five field goals in the opening 20 minutes of play on its way to avenging a 62-54 defeat to the Eagles on December 2.
Katie Feehery (Media, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) paced Scranton with her fourth double-double of the season, posting team-highs of 13 points and 11 rebounds. Makenzie Mason (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) added 12 points and a team-leading three assists, Bridgette Mann (Canadensis, Pa./Wallenpaupack) tallied 11 points, and Emily Sheehan (Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore) also reached double-figures with 10 points in the victory.
Juniata opened Saturday's contest with a three-pointer, but Scranton rattled off the next eight points to take a lead that it would not relinquish. The Lady Royals held an 11-9 edge at the end of the first quarter and would use a 17-2 surge to close the second period to hold a 19-point advantage at halftime, 33-14.
The Eagles pulled to within 17 points early in the third quarter, but a three-pointer from Mason at the 4:52 mark extended the hosts lead to 22 points. Scranton would take a comfortable, 50-24 cushion into the fourth quarter where Juniata outscored the Lady Royals 21-12 with the result all but decided.
Scranton shot 39 percent from the field for the game including a 26.3 percent effort from three-point range while converting 68.8 percent of its free throw attempts.
Morgan Instone scored a game-high 15 points while Dani Atkinson added 11 points for Juniata, which shots 32 percent from the field, 18.2 percent from beyond the arc, and 57.9 percent from the charity stripe.
The Lady Royals, who now hold a two-game lead atop the Landmark Conference standings, will welcome Drew to the Long Center on Wednesday evening for a conference matchup starting at 7:00 p.m.