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The University of Scranton Athletics

Kranson, Monaghan Lead No. 10 Lady Royals Past William Paterson in 68-52 Victory

© Photo by Timothy R. Dougherty /
© Photo by Timothy R. Dougherty /

GWYNEDD VALLEY, Pa. – The No. 10 University of Scranton women's basketball team (1-0) took control of the game with a big first quarter and never looked back en route to a 68-52 victory over the William Paterson Pioneers (0-1) in the season opener for both teams on Friday night at the Gwynedd Mercy Tip-Off Tournament.

With the victory, the Lady Royals advance to tomorrow's championship game to take on the host Griffins at 2 p.m. Gwynedd Mercy was an 80-63 winner over Delaware Valley in Friday's first game.

The win is also the first for head coach Ben O'Brien in his Scranton tenure.

Freshman Kaci Kranson (Scranton, Pa./Holy Cross) scored the first four points of the game for Scranton with a pair of layups and junior Maddy Ryan (Malvern, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) connected on two layups of her own for an early 10-3 lead at the 5:37 mark of the first quarter. After fellow junior Maddie Hartnett (Chatham, N.J./Chatham) hit a layup to stretch the lead into double digits at 14-3, the Pioneers were unable to get any closer than nine through the remainder of the quarter and the Lady Royals led 16-7 after one. Kranson scored four of the first seven points for Scranton in the second period to extend the lead to 23-7 for the time being and O'Brien's team held the lead in double digits for the rest of the half before taking a 32-20 advantage into the locker room.

In the first minute of the third quarter, the Pioneers drew back within 10 on two occasions, but senior Bridget Monaghan (Florham Park, N.J./Morristown-Beard) answered with a layup on the other end to ignite a 10-0 run capped by a Monaghan three that made it 44-24 with 6:51 left in the third quarter. Scranton cruised through the rest of the quarter and led 51-36. The Pioneers cut the lead to 53-38 with just over eight minutes to play before Monaghan delivered layups on consecutive possessions to extend the lead back to 19 and the Lady Royals rolled to the 68-52 victory.

Kranson led the Lady Royals with 22 points on 10-of-15 shooting and Monaghan came through with 17, while the former also added six assists, five rebounds and three steals. Elsewhere for Scranton, graduate student Sam Rajza (Plains, Pa./Holy Redemeer) added 10 points and six assists.

The Lady Royals were 28-of-68 (41.2%) from the floor and 5-of-24 (20.8%) from beyond the arc on the night, while William Paterson shot 37.7% (20-of-53) from the field and 23.1% (3-of-13) from deep.

The Pioneers were led by Justina Cabezas' 21 points in the setback.

Rebounds were even at 37 apiece as senior Hannah Angelini (Baldwin Place, N.Y./Somers) grabbed six to lead Scranton and the trio of Kranson, Monaghan and Ryan each corralled five apiece.