Royal Review: January 6-12 (No. 18 in a weekly series)
Women’s Basketball (11-2, 3-0 Landmark)
The University of Scranton women’s basketball team won a pair of games during the week, including the 800th career victory for head coach Mike Strong. He becomes the first coach in NCAA Division III women’s basketball history to reach 800 career victories.
The milestone victory came in a 75-57 win over Juniata on Saturday, Jan. 11, in the Long Center. Strong also becomes the 10th women’s basketball coach in all divisions of the NCAA to reach 800 victories, and just the second coach (men’s or women’s) to reach that mark in Division III.
The victory happened on a fitting afternoon as more than 30 Lady Royals alumni were in attendance.
"It wasn't a secret that this might happen and there are so many people who played a part in this,” Strong said after the win. “I'm just glad we got it at home and on alumni day."
Junior forward Meredith Mesaris (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax) led Scranton with 14 points, freshman forward Sarah Payonk (Schwenksville, Pa./Spring-Ford) had 13 points, seven rebounds, five assists, four blocks and three steals, senior guard Alison Sweeney (Wall, N.J./St. Rose) had 12 points, five rebounds and three steals, and senior forward Katie Sherry (Havertown, Pa./Merion Mercy Academy) added a career-high 11 points in the victory.
Earlier in the week, the Lady Royals defeated Wilkes, 65-46, behind 14 points and eight rebounds from Mesaris, 10 points from Sweeney and eight points and 15 rebounds from Payonk.
Scranton, which has now won nine straight, will be back in action on Wednesday, Jan. 15, when the Lady Royals travel to Kings Point, N.Y. to take on Merchant Marine Academy at 7 p.m.
The University of Scranton wrestling team finished fourth at the Washington & Lee Invitational in Lexington, Va. on Saturday, Jan. 11, as freshman Ian Evans (Laurys Station, Pa./Parkland) won the 141-pound title.
Evans has now won his last 11 matches and is 24-6 on the season.
The Royals also received second-place finishes from junior James Kelly (Goldens Bridge, N.Y./John Jay Senior) at 141, sophomore Brian Walsh (Chicago, Ill./St. Ignatius Prep) at 149, senior Shawn Flesche (Northvale, N.J./Northern Valley Regional) at 165, and senior Chris Silakoski (Trenton, N.J./Notre Dame) at 197 en route to finishing with 95 points.
Scranton returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 18, when it travels to Newport News, Va. for the Builder Invitational at The Apprentice School.
Men’s Basketball (10-3, 1-2 Landmark)
The University of Scranton men’s basketball team suffered an 80-79 loss to Juniata on Saturday, Jan. 11, in the Long Center.
Senior guard Tommy Morgan (Greenlawn, N.Y./Chaminade) had a game-high 25 points in the loss. Junior guard Justin Klingman (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights) added a career-high 20 points and junior guard Ross Danzig (Clarks Green, Pa./Abington Heights/Blair Academy, N.J.) added 18.
Scranton returns to action on Tuesday, Jan. 14, when the Royals host Ithaca in the Long Center at 7 p.m.
Women’s Swimming & Diving (7-3)
The University of Scranton women’s swimming & diving team suffered a pair of losses during the week, falling to Susquehanna, 159-100, on Wednesday, Jan. 8, and to Catholic, 140-122, on Saturday, Jan. 11, both in the Byron Center.
Against Susquehanna, Scranton (7-2) received a pair of first-place finishes and a second place from junior Alexis Walsh (Hazlet, N.J./Raritan) and a first place and two seconds from senior Sara Franciscovich (Frederick, Md./Gov. Thomas Johnson). Walsh won the 100 breaststroke in 1:11.42 and the 200 individual medley in 2:25.54 while Franciscovich took the 200 backstroke in 2:15.80. Franciscovich won the 200 backstroke in 2:15.80.
In the meet against Catholic, Walsh won the 200 individual medley in 2:24.36 and the 200 breaststroke in 2:33.35, and Franciscovich won the 100 fly (1:04.43) and the 200 back (2:17.49). The Royals also received first-place finishes from sophomore Hanna Sandor (Bayport, NY/Bayport-Blue Point) in the 100 back (1:04.76) and junior Paige Agnello (Bridgewater, N.J./Bridgewater-Raritan) in the 100 breaststroke (1:11.34).
Scranton returns to action on Saturday, Jan. 18, when it hosts Misericordia at 1 p.m. in the Byron Center.
Men’s Swimming & Diving (4-5)
The University of Scranton men’s swimming & diving team lost twice during the week, dropping a 164-96 decision against Susquehanna on Wednesday, Jan. 8, and falling to Catholic, 158-104, on Saturday, Jan. 11, both in the Byron Center.
In the loss to Susquehanna, senior John Hughes (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Catholic) won the the 100 breaststroke in 59.93 and the 200 breaststroke in 2:15.99. Junior Adrian Silva (Valley Stream, N.Y./Holy Trinity Diocesan) added a win in the 100 butterfly in a time of 54.49. The two joined junior Ryan Holmes (Clarks Green, Pa./Scranton Preparatory) and sophomore Grant Owens (Harrisburg, Pa./Central Dauphin) on the winning 200 medley relay team, which finished in 1:39.20.
Against Catholic, Hughes broke a pool record that stood for nearly 20 years by winning the 100 breaststroke in 59.52, breaking the previous record of 59.67 held by Elizabethtown’s Mike Scholtterback since Feb. 20, 1994.
Hughes also won the 200 breaststroke in 2:16.44, and Silva won the 100 fly in 54.41.
Scranton is back in the pool on Saturday, Jan. 18, when it hosts Misericordia at 1 p.m. in the Byron Center.
This Week in University of Scranton Athletics
Men’s basketball – vs. Ithaca (7 p.m.)
Women’s basketball – at Merchant Marine Academy (7 p.m.)
Men’s basketball – at Goucher (5 p.m.)
Women’s basketball – at Goucher (7 p.m.)
Men’s swimming & diving – vs. Misericordia (1 p.m.)
Women’s swimming & diving – vs. Misericordia (1 p.m.)
Wrestling – at Builder Invitational, Newport News, Va. (9 a.m.)