SCRANTON, Pa. – The University of Scranton women's basketball team (5-1, 5-1 Landmark) led wire to wire in a 66-55 win over the Juniata Eagles (0-7, 0-7 Landmark) in Landmark Conference action on Friday night at the John Long Center in Scranton.
The Lady Royals remain atop the Landmark Conference standings with two games to play and will clinch the No. 1 seed in next week's conference tournament with wins in each of the final two games. Catholic (6-2) currently sits in second place.
Scranton led by nine at halftime and Juniata was unable to get any closer than six in the second half.
Sophomore Bridget Monaghan (Florham Park, N.J./Morristown-Beard) and junior Emily Shurina (East Meadow, N.Y./East Meadow) had 13 points apiece to lead four Lady Royals in double figures on the night. Sophomore Hannah Angelini (Baldwin Place, N.Y./Somers) and freshman Maddie Hartnett (Chatham, N.J./Chatham) tallied 10 points apiece, while sophomores Kyra Quigley (Drexel Hill, Pa./Sacred Heart Academy Bryn Mawr) and Sara Walsh (Havertown, Pa./Haverford) chipped in nine points apiece off the bench.
Shurina added a career-high 10 rebounds to notch her first career double-double.
Grace Long paced Juniata with 15 points on the night.
The Lady Royals came firing out of the gate as Shurina scored five of the first seven points of the game to take a 7-0 lead in the early stages. Quigley scored all nine of her points in the first quarter and buried a three at the buzzer to give Scranton a 23-17 lead after one. Juniata cut the lead to three on a couple of occasions in the second quarter and trailed 30-27 with 3:39 to play in the period before consecutive threes from Hartnett and Monaghan stretched the lead to nine at 36-27 with 3:07 remaining. Scranton eventually took the afore-mentioned 38-29 lead into the halftime break.
The two teams traded baskets for a majority of the third quarter and the Lady Royals led 45-37 with 3:21 to play in the quarter before Hartnett and Monaghan combined to score the next five points to open a 13-point lead for the time being. Juniata answered with an 8-1 run of their own and a jumper from Gracie Stauffer cut the lead to six at 51-45 with 9:11 to play, but Hartnett hit a pair of free throws on the other end to kickstart a 13-5 run for the hosts capped by an Angelini jumper that stretched the lead to 14 at 64-50 with 1:56 to play.
Head coach Nick DiPillo's squad was 23-of-61 (37.7%) from the floor and connected on a season-high nine threes as four different players made two apiece, while the Eagles shot 36.7% (22-of-60) from the field and 25% (5-of-20) from deep. Juniata held a slight 41-37 edge in the rebounding battle behind nine rebounds from Long.
Shurina's career-high 10 caroms led Scranton and the duo of Angelini and Quigley added six rebounds apiece.
The Lady Royals look to complete the sweep of the Eagles on Saturday afternoon in Huntingdon with opening tip at Memorial Gynasium slated for 4 p.m.