|Sofia Recupero||Bridgette Mann|
|Emily Sheehan||Makenzie Mason|
SCRANTON, Pa. - Junior forward Sofia Recupero (Whitestone, N.Y./St. Francis Prep) was named tournament MVP after a dominating 22 point, 11 rebound performance, as the top-seeded University of Scranton women's basketball team breezed through second-seeded Elizabethtown, 68-48, on Sunday in the 2019 Landmark Conference Championship Game at the John Long Center.
With the victory, Scranton captured their fourth straight Landmark Conference title, seventh overall Landmark title, and the 25th conference championship in program history. Now 25-2 overall, the Lady Royals also reached the 25-win plateau for the fourth straight year and for the 22nd time in program history, as well.
Scranton, ranked ninth by the WBCA and 12th by D3Hoops.com, also clinched the Landmark Conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Tournament with the win, as the field will be announced on Monday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.
Elizabethtown, who were winners of eight straight entering the game, fell to 19-7 overall with the defeat.
In the win, Scranton put away Elizabethtown for the afternoon early, as the Lady Royals came out aggressive on both offense and defense to storm out to a 16-2 lead in the first seven and a half minutes of regulation.
Up 18-4 entering the second, Scranton continued to dominate throughout the period entering halftime, as the closest E-Town came to the Lady Royals lead was nine points (20-11). Leading 36-20 at the half, Scranton never let E-Town get within striking distance the rest of the game, as they opened their biggest lead of the contest at 59-35 early in the fourth quarter.
From there, it was academic, as Scranton steamrolled to a 20-point victory in the title clash with E-Town, collecting their 24th win of the year by double-figures in the process.
Overall, Recupero was about unstoppable in the victory, going 10-of-17 from the floor with her 22-point performance, which matched a career-high for the junior. With 11 rebounds, Recupero collected her second straight double-double and third of the season, as the junior also dished out a career-best six assists in the win.
Recupero was one of four Lady Royals to register double-digit scoring games in the win. The guard tandem of junior Emily Sheehan (Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore) and Bridgette Mann (Canadensis, Pa./Wallenpaupack) finished with 11 points, apiece, with each dishing out a pair of assists in the win, as well.
Rounding out the double-digit scorers for Scranton was junior Makenzie Mason (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West), who finished with a double-double of her own with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Mason, who also had four blocks, three assists, and two steals, recorded her eighth double-double of the year in the victory, scoring in double-figures for the 23rd time on the year, as well.
Elizabethtown was led in a losing effort by Lydia Lawson who had 15 points. But, the Blue Jays were stymied all afternoon by a relentless Lady Royals defense that held them to just 31.6 percent shooting from the floor and 20 percent from three-point range (2-of-10).
Holding the Blue Jays to their lowest point total of the year in the win, Scranton didn't allow a team to hit 50 points in a game for the 17th time on the year, The Lady Royals also outrebounded E-Town by a 46-33 advantage in the win, as well.
Scranton will now await as to where and when they will play in the upcoming 2019 NCAA Division III Tournament which will begin across the country on Friday. More information will be posted once the field is released tomorrow afternoon on athletics.scranton.edu.