SCRANTON, Pa. – The No. 10 University of Scranton women's basketball team (3-0) used a big third quarter to break the game open en route to a 67-51 victory over the Marywood Pacers (1-1) in the Lady Royals' home opener on Tuesday night at the John Long Center in Scranton.
With the victory, Scranton remains unbeaten in 40 all-time meetings against the Pacers.
The game also marked the first home win for head coach Ben O'Brien.
Things were even at 10 apiece with just under three minutes to play in the first quarter when senior Bridget Monaghan (Florham Park, N.J./Morristown-Beard) buried a three and junior Allie Lynch (Villanova, Pa./Academy of Notre Dame de Namur) sank a jumper of her own for five straight points as the Lady Royals took a 15-12 lead. After Marywood's Kate Baylor hit a jumper to bring Marywood within four at 24-20 with 4:46 remaining in the second quarter, junior Maddy Ryan (Malvern, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) responded with a basket of her own that ignited a 7-0 run for a 31-20 Scranton lead. A layup from Ryan in the final minute of the quarter gave the hosts a 38-28 advantage at the half.
The lead remained at 10 through the first few minutes of the third quarter before three straight three-pointers from the Lady Royals with two by graduate student Sam Rajza (Plains, Pa./Holy Redeemer) and one by senior Hannah Angelini (Baldwin Place, N.Y./Somers) extended the lead to 51-32 at the 4:37 mark. Angelini later connected on a jumper in the waning seconds for a 55-35 lead after three. Marywood was unable to get any closer than 16 in the fourth quarter and Scranton cruised to a third straight victory on the young season.
Four players reached double figures for the Lady Royals with 20 from Rajza on 8-of-14 shooting (4-of-7 3PT), Ryan with 16, Monaghan with 11 and Angelini with 10.
Angelini added a career-high 10 rebounds, surpassing her previous career-best of nine that was set against Catholic on Feb. 21, 2021.
Monaghan also contributed six rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Savannah Purdy paced Marywood with 14 points on the evening.
O'Brien's team shot 39.4% (28-of-71) from the field and 40.9% (9-of-22) from three-point range, while the Pacers were 20-of-51 (39.2%) from the floor and just 2-of-13 (15.4%) from deep.
Scranton held a 43-33 edge on the glass led by Angelini's 10 boards, eight from Ryan and seven from Rajza.
The Lady Royals are back in action on Saturday against King's as part of the annual Cross-County Challenge that will be hosted by Wilkes. Opening tip is slated for 1 p.m.