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The University of Scranton Athletics

Defense Leads No. 6 Lady Royals Past Susquehanna at the Palestra, 64-48

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

Postgame Press Conference

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The No. 6 University of Scranton women's basketball team (15-0, 4-0 Landmark) forced 19 Susquehanna turnovers and remained unbeaten with a 64-48 victory over the River Hawks (5-10, 0-4 Landmark) in a Landmark Conference matchup on Sunday afternoon at the historic Palestra in Philadelphia.

The game came as part of a Landmark quadrupleheader at the Cathedral of College Basketball featuring two men's games and two women's games throughout the day.

Scranton once again used a strong defensive effort to post the victory as they held an opponent under 60 points for the 13th time in 15 games.

In the first quarter, Susquehanna hit consecutive threes just over five minutes in to take an 11-5 lead at the 4:05 mark before junior Maddy Ryan (Malvern, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) sank a pair of free throws to ignite an 11-5 run over the remainder of the quarter and a jumper by graduate student Sam Rajza (Plains, Pa./Holy Redeemer) tied things at 16 apiece after one. Senior Bridget Monaghan (Florham Park, N.J./Morristown-Beard) opened the scoring with a jumper of her own in the second quarter and junior Maddie Hartnett (Chatham, N.J./Chatham) followed with a three to fuel a 20-4 run that was capped off by another Hartnett three that opened up a 36-20 advantage with 4:11 to play in the stanza. The River Hawks then used a triple in the waning seconds of the quarter to cut the Scranton lead to 41-28 at the half.

Susquehanna cut the lead to nine at 47-38 with 4:20 left in the third quarter and a minute later, freshman Kaci Kranson (Scranton, Pa./Holy Cross) answered with a jumper to stretch the lead back to double digits and Scranton held a 51-40 lead after three. Kranson opened the scoring in the fourth quarter with a layup and senior Hannah Angelini (Baldwin Place, N.Y./Somers) later buried a three to open up a 15 point lead at 60-45 with 4:12 to play as the Lady Royals preserved their 15th victory of the season by holding Susquehanna to just three points over the final four plus minutes.

Ryan led the Lady Royals offensively with 13 points, while three others tallied double-figures in Kranson who had 12 points, Hartnett with 11 (3-of-5 3PT) and Rajza with 10.

Kaitlyn Lynch and Julia Pinckert had 10 points apiece to pace the River Hawks.

Scranton shot 30.4% (21-of-69) from the floor on the day, 33.3% (7-of-21) from long range and a perfect 15-of-15 from the free throw line. To go along with the 19 forced turnovers by the Lady Royals, Susquehanna was 18-of-58 (31.0%) from the field, 6-of-19 (31.6%) from deep and 6-of-12 (50.0%) from the charity stripe.

The perfect 15-of-15 performance at the free throw line for the Lady Royals is tied for the second most makes in program history without a miss to go along with a 15-of-15 clip on Feb. 28, 2004 at King's.

Three different players registered three or more steals for Scranton as Angelini had four and Kranson and Monaghan each notched three thefts apiece. 

Head coach Ben O'Brien's team also held a 52-41 edge on the boards on the strength of a career-high 12 from Angelini, eight from Ryan and seven from Monaghan. The 52 rebounds mark Scranton's second highest total of the season.

Angelini's 12 rebounds are also the second most in a game by Scranton player this season and surpasses her previous career-best of 10 that she had set in a win over Marywood on Nov. 15.

The Lady Royals head to Drew for a Landmark Conference battle on Wednesday evening with tip off set for 7 p.m.

--LADY ROYALS--