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The University of Scranton Athletics

No. 6 Lady Royals Use Fourth Quarter Run to Hold Off Catholic, 71-61

Photo by: ZJ Morse
Photo by: ZJ Morse

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senior Bridget Monaghan (Florham Park, N.J./Morristown-Beard) scored five straight points to erase a one-point deficit in the early stages of the fourth quarter and The No. 6 University of Scranton women's basketball team (13-0, 2-0 Landmark) never trailed again in a 71-61 victory over the Catholic University Cardinals (10-3, 1-1 Landmark) in a rivalry matchup on Saturday afternoon at Franny Murray Court.

With the Lady Royals trailing 49-48, Monaghan sank a stepback jumper to regain the lead and followed with a three from the wing on the next possession for a 53-49 advantage at the 7:34 mark of the fourth quarter. Junior Maddy Ryan (Malvern, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) then hit a layup to complete the 7-0 run which gave Scranton the lead for good.

This marks Scranton's eighth win in the last nine meetings between the two teams dating back to the 2019-20 season.

Catholic scored nine of the first 11 points in the contest and held an early 9-2 lead before a Ryan layup ignited an 11-2 run for the Lady Royals as a Monaghan layup made it 13-11 with 5:10 to go in the opening quarter. After a Cardinals basket tied the game at 13, Scranton scored seven of the final nine points in the stanza for a 20-15 edge at the end of one. The Lady Royals stretched the lead to as many as 12 at 35-23 with just over three minutes to play in the second quarter, but Catholic closed the period on a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 35-30 at the half.

Back-to-back threes by Monaghan and Rajza re-opened a nine point lead (41-32) for the visitors in the third quarter. However, the Cardinals began to chip away at the deficit and a 7-2 spurt over the final three plus minutes of the quarter made it 48-45 Lady Royals after three. From there, a layup by Erin Scoblick and a jumper by Erin Doherty gave Catholic a slight 49-48 advantage before Monaghan's jumper fueled the decisive 7-0 run. Scranton led 57-53 with 3:03 remaining and was able to preserve the victory by going 14-of-16 from the free throw line down the stretch as Monaghan and junior Maddie Hartnett (Chatham, N.J./Chatham) sank four apiece.

Monaghan led all scorers with 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor and also added a season-high eight rebounds, while Ryan came through with 16 points and nine rebounds of her own. Elsewhere in double figures for Scranton, Hartnett tallied 11 points and freshman Kaci Kranson (Scranton, Pa./Holy Cross) contributed 10.

For Monaghan, 15 of her game-high 21 points came in the second half.

Erin Doherty was the lone Cardinal in double digits with 14 points and Carly Mulvaney added nine.

The Lady Royals shot 42.4% (25-of-59) from the floor and 46.7% (7-of-15) from beyond the arc to go along with a 77.8% clip (14-of-18) from the charity stripe. Head coach Ben O'Brien's team limited Catholic to 37.1% (26-of-70) from the field and a 3-of-16 (18.8%) line from deep.

Scranton will return home to host fellow unbeaten Elizabethtown (12-0) in a Landmark Conference clash on Friday evening at the John Long Center with opening tip slated for 6 p.m.