|Taylor Rodriguez||Makenzie Mason||Ava Gammo|
HUNTINGDON, Pa. - Sophomore guard Taylor Rodriguez (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills) came off the bench to score a career-high 18 points and junior forward Makenzie Mason (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) added 17 points to lead The University of Scranton women's basketball team to a commanding 69-45 victory at Juniata on Saturday afternoon in Landmark Conference action.
With the win, the Lady Royals (ranked third in the D3hoops.com Top 25 and fourth in the WBCA Top 25) remained unbeaten on the year, moving to 17-0 overall and 6-0 in the Landmark Conference. Juniata fell to 6-11 and 4-2 in the Landmark with the loss.
In the victory, Scranton never trailed, marking the seventh time in eight games they have done so in a win.
To start the game off, Juniata was within distance of the Lady Royals lead, as they only trailed, 7-6, halfway through the first quarter. But, Scranton ended the quarter strong, finishing on a 13-6 spurt to open a 20-12 lead after the first 10 minutes of regulation.
In the second period, Scranton held Juniata scoreless for the first five minutes of play, opening a 28-12 lead in the process. That double-digit lead held for the rest of the quarter, as a three by sophomore Ava Gammo (East Hanover, N.J./Hanover Park) at the end of the half gave the Lady Royals a 33-20 lead into intermission.
It was more of the same in the third quarter, as the Lady Royals opened an insurmountable 46-26 lead with four minutes left in the period. Up by 20 entering the fourth quarter (53-33), Scranton coasted down the stretch to take a 24-point conference road win, marking the 16th time in 17 games on the year that the Lady Royals have won a game by double-figures.
Overall, Rodriguez scored her game-high 18 points in just 17 minutes of game action, shooting 7-of-10 from the field in the win. Mason, meanwhile, also went 7-of-10 from the field and 3-of-4 from three-point range in her 17 point performance. Mason, who pulled down seven rebounds in the win, as well, has now scored in double figures in 15 games and eight straight contests, overall.
Elsewhere, Gammo was the Lady Royals' last double-digit scorer in the win, finishing with 12 points, while dishing out five assists. Rounding out the top performances was junior Emily Sheehan (Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore) and freshman Danielle McCurdy (Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Ryan), who scored eight points, apiece.
As a team, Scranton shot 54 percent from the floor in the win, while outrebounding the Eagles by a 30-25 margin. The Lady Royals also forced 17 turnovers and held Juniata to just eight points in the second quarter, where they took control of the contest.
The University of Scranton women's basketball team returns to action on Wednesday, as they finish off a three-game Landmark Conference road trip at Drew. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.