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The University of Scranton Athletics

Kranson, Monaghan Help No. 7 Women's Hoops Cruise Past Rhodes in 76-51 Victory

Photo by: ZJ Morse
Photo by: ZJ Morse

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Senior Bridget Monaghan (Florham Park, N.J./Morristown-Beard) was a perfect 5-of-5 from beyond the arc en route to a season-high 24 points and The No. 7 University of Scranton women's basketball team (10-0) rolled past Rhodes (4-6) in a 76-51 victory on Tuesday afternoon at the McArthur Center in St. Petersburg.

This marks the third time in four seasons excluding the COVID-19 shortened 2020-21 campaign that the Lady Royals have gotten off to a 10-0 start.

Tuesday was also the first ever meeting between Scranton and Rhodes.

Things were tied at six apiece in the early stages of the game when freshman Kaci Kranson (Scranton, Pa./Holy Cross) hit a three at the 3:09 mark of the first quarter and the Lady Royals closed the quarter on a 13-3 run as a late layup by junior Maddy Ryan (Malvern, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) made it 19-9 after one. After Rhodes cut the lead to eight at 22-14, Monaghan buried a three and added another in the final two minutes of the half to give Scranton a 33-20 lead at the break.  

The Lynx did not go quietly and cut the lead to 40-31 following an Avery Marsh layup with 5:35 left in the third quarter, but Kranson, Monaghan and junior Maddie Hartnett (Chatham, N.J./Chatham) hit threes on the next three offensive possessions for a 49-36 lead. Graduate student Sam Rajza (Plains, Pa./Holy Redeemer) then sank a jumper in the final minute of the quarter to open up a 53-39 advantage headed into the fourth. Rhodes opened the scoring in the fourth quarter before a Monaghan layup fueled a 17-2 run over the next four plus minutes and a Rajza jumper extended the lead to 70-43 with 3:42 to play as the Lady Royals cruised to a 10th straight win.

Monaghan led all scorers with her 24 points on 8-of-12 shooting and also recorded a career-high tying eight assists to go along with five rebounds. Kranson added 15 points and eight rebounds, while Rajza chipped in with 14 points of her own.

For Monaghan, her eight assists tied her career-best that had been set in a victory at Goucher on Dec. 7, 2019.

Marsh led Rhodes with 16 points in the setback and Alexys Mathangani contributed 15.

Scranton was 27-of-74 (36.5%) from the floor and 11-of-21 (52.4%) from deep, while Rhodes was 19-of-54 (35.2%) from the field and 4-of-18 (22.2%) from long range. The Lady Royals also made 11-of-13 (84.6%) from the free throw line.

Head coach Ben O'Brien's team held a commanding 51-37 advantage in the rebounding battle led by eight from Kranson and seven from Hartnett.

The University of Scranton women's basketball team is back in action on Thursday, Dec. 29 against George Fox at 7 p.m. as part of the Stevens Holiday Tournament in Hoboken, N.J.