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The University of Scranton Athletics

Stifling Defense Carries No. 8 Women's Basketball Past Goucher in Landmark Opener

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

SCRANTON, Pa. – The No. 8 University of Scranton women's basketball team (7-0, 1-0 Landmark) limited visiting Goucher to just 24.1% shooting from the field and rolled to an 86-40 victory over the Gophers (2-5, 0-1 Landmark) in the conference opener for both teams on Saturday afternoon at the John Long Center in Scranton.

This marks the seventh time in as many games that the Lady Royals have held their opponents under 60 points and the 24.1% shooting for Goucher also ties the season low by an opponent.

For Scranton, the 86 points are a season-high and the most they have scored in a game since a 98-32 win at Marywood on Nov. 11. 2021.

The Lady Royals led 15-10 with just over four minutes left in the first quarter when freshman Kaci Kranson (Scranton, Pa./Holy Cross) sank a pair of free throws to ignite a 9-2 run over the remainder of the quarter and a layup by senior Bridget Monaghan (Florham Park, N.J./Morristown-Beard) in the final seconds extended the lead to 24-12. It proved to be a similar story in the second stanza as Scranton led 33-22 at the 4:19 mark before a Monaghan three fueled a 14-2 run to close the half with a 47-24 advantage.

Goucher was unable to get any closer than 25 the rest of the way and the Lady Royals held a 69-35 lead after three. Sophomore Morgan Brewer (Vernon, N.Y./Vernon Verona Sherrill) and junior Leah Nolan (Holmdel, N.J./Holmdel) scored seven points apiece off the bench for Scranton in the second half as head coach Ben O'Brien's team rolled to the 86-40 win and the seventh straight win to start the season.

Monaghan hit four threes en route to 18 points, while junior Maddy Ryan (Malvern, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) posted her second double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Graduate student Sam Rajza (Plains, Pa./Holy Redeemer) added 10 points of her own to go along with four assists and four steals.

Kyla Smith paced the Gophers with a game-high 25 points in the setback.

Scranton was 31-of-73 (42.5%) from the field, 10-of-36 (27.8%) from beyond the arc and 14-of-17 (82.4%) from the free throw line on the day. The visitors were just 13-of-54 from the field for the afore-mentioned 24.1% clip and 4-of-14 (28.6%) from deep.

O'Brien's team held a 49-37 edge in the rebounding battle behind Ryan's 10 boards and six from sophomore Ashlyn Bender (Woodstock, Md./Glenelg County).

The Lady Royals will host Misericordia in a non-conference matchup on Wednesday night at the John Long Center with opening tip slated for 7 p.m.