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The University of Scranton Athletics

Big Fourth Quarter Carries No. 10 Lady Royals Past Gwynedd Mercy, 70-56

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

GWYNEDD Valley, Pa. – Junior Maddy Ryan (Malvern, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) earned Tournament MVP honors with a career-high 20 points and 14 rebounds and The No. 10 University of Scranton women's basketball team (2-0) used a big fourth quarter to pick up a 70-56 victory over the Gwynedd Mercy Griffins (2-1) on Saturday afternoon in Gwynedd Valley.

The game was deadlocked at 44 through three quarters, but the Lady Royals began the fourth quarter on an 8-0 run and outscored the host Griffins by a 26-12 margin in the quarter en route to capturing the Gwynedd Mercy Tip-Off Tournament title.

Ryan and senior Bridget Monaghan (Florham Park, N.J./Morristown-Beard) both earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team as the duo combined for 18 of Scranton's 26 points in the decisive fourth quarter.

Gwynedd Mercy scored seven of the first eight points in the game and led 14-7 following a Haley Crossley layup with 3:50 to go in the first quarter. From there, junior Maddie Hartnett (Chatham, N.J./Chatham) sank a trio of free throws which kicked off a 10-2 run over the remainder of the quarter and she also hit a late three to give the Lady Royals a 17-16 lead after one. The two teams traded points for much of the second stanza and Ryan's layup in the final minute tied the game at 29 heading into the locker room.

The Griffins held a 43-38 lead with 5:13 to go in the third quarter before graduate student Sam Rajza (Plains, Pa./Holy Redeemer) sank a jumper to fuel a six point spurt from the Lady Royals and a free throw from the hosts once again tied the game at 44 at the end of three. Ryan connected on a layup to open the scoring in the fourth quarter and later capped off the afore-mentioned 8-0 run to make it 52-44 with 7:30 to play. After Gwynedd Mercy cut the lead to six at 54-48, Monaghan scored the next six points for Scranton to stretch the lead into double digits with 4:39 remaining. The Griffins were unable to get any closer than 10 the rest of the way as the Lady Royals picked up a second straight win.

Ryan's team-high 20 points surpassed her previous career-high of 11 that was set versus Moravian on Feb. 24, 2021 and her 14 rebounds also marked a new career-best, eclipsing the previous high of eight in a win over Moravian on Jan. 19, 2022.

Monaghan added 15 points and six boards for head coach Ben O'Brien's team, while Hartnett came through with 14 points off the bench.

Elise Sylvester led the Griffins with 22 points and Crossley contributed 17 points and eight rebounds.

On the day, Scranton was 27-of-74 (36.5%) from the floor, 4-of-19 (21.1%) from deep and 12-of-16 (75.0%) from the free throw line, while Gwynedd Mercy shot 27.6% (16-of-58) from the field, 38.5% (10-of-26) from deep and 70.0% (14-of-20) from the charity stripe.

Eight of Ryan's 14 rebounds were offensive boards as the Lady Royals held a 54-38 edge on the glass. Rajza also contributed nine rebounds of her own in the victory.

The University of Scranton women's basketball team returns home to host Marywood in the home opener on Tuesday night with tip-off set for 6 p.m.

--ROYALS--