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The University of Scranton Athletics

Defense Carries No. 4 Lady Royals Past Juniata in 62-34 Victory

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

HUNTINGDON, Pa. – The No. 4 University of Scranton women's basketball team (17-0, 6-0 Landmark) held Juniata to 25.0% shooting from the floor and rolled to a 62-34 victory over the Eagles (6-11, 1-5 Landmark) in a conference battle on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Gym in Huntingdon.

Saturday marks the eighth time in 17 games that the Lady Royals have held an opponent under 50 points and the 15th occasion in 17 games that a Scranton opponent has scored 60 points or less.

This is also the second time in the last four seasons that Scranton has gotten off to a 17-0 start along with 2018-19.

The Lady Royals were red hot out of the gate and freshman Kaci Kranson (Scranton, Pa./Holy Cross) scored eight points as part of a 15-3 run to open the game as junior Maddy Ryan (Malvern, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) hit a layup to cap the run with 4:33 left in the first quarter. Juniata was able to cut the lead back to six before Scranton scored the final five points of the quarter to take a 21-10 lead after one. Head coach Ben O'Brien's team led 25-17 at the 5:18 mark of the second quarter before senior Bridget Monaghan (Florham Park, N.J./Morristown-Beard) sank a jumper to ignite a stretch where the Lady Royals scored nine of the final 13 points in the half for a 34-21 advantage.

A third quarter run broke the game open for Scranton as they opened the quarter on a 22-4 run and outscored the Eagles by a 24-6 margin in the period to take a 58-27 lead after three as sophomore Ashlyn Bender (Woodstock, Md./Glenelg Country) scored six of her career-high eight points in the quarter. Juniata was unable to get any closer than 26 in the fourth and the Lady Royals cruised to the decisive victory.

Kranson led all scorers with 16 points in just 18 minutes of action, while Monaghan contributed 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting and Bender added a career day with eight points and seven rebounds.

For Bender, her eight points surpasses the previous career-best of six that had been set in a win over Clarks Summit on Jan. 10, 2022 and her seven rebounds eclipse the previous career-high of six in a victory over Goucher earlier this season.

Kynnedy Miller paced the Eagles with 10 points in the setback.

Scranton shot 42.6% (23-of-54) from the floor and 26.7% (4-of-15) from beyond the arc, while holding Juniata to a 25.0% clip (13-of-52) from the field and 15.0% (3-of-20) from deep.

O'Brien's team also held a 44-32 advantage on the glass behind seven rebounds from Bender and five from Kranson. 

The Lady Royals will return home to host Moravian on Wednesday night at the John Long Center with opening tip slated for 7 p.m.