|Lindsay Fluehr||Erin Boggan|
|Alison Sweeney||Tayler Pallotta|
BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The University of Scranton women’s basketball team saved one of its best stretches of play for possibly the most important moment of the season. The result was a clutch come-from-behind victory that guaranteed them at least one home playoff game.
The Lady Royals outscored Moravian by 13 over the final 6:28 to pull out a 72-59 victory over the Greyhounds in the regular season finale at Johnston Hall on Saturday afternoon. The victory improves Scranton to 16-9 and 11-3 in the Landmark Conference, good for no worse than a tie for second.
For the moment, the Lady Royals are one-half game ahead of Catholic, which hosts Goucher this evening. Even if the Cardinals win, Scranton is expected to claim the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Landmark Conference playoffs due to a higher strength of schedule. Scranton held a sizable advantage in strength of schedule earlier this week and that isn’t expected to change after Saturday’s games.
The Lady Royals will host Catholic in a Landmark Conference semifinal on Wednesday, Feb. 18, in the Long Center at a time to be determined.
Freshman guard Lindsay Fluehr (Bensalem, Pa./Nazareth Academy) led four Scranton players in double figures with 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists off the bench. Junior forward Erin Boggan (Danbury, Conn./Danbury) had her fifth double-double of the season with 11 points and 10 rebounds to go along with three blocks. Sophomore guard Alison Sweeney (Wall, N.J./St. Rose) added 11 points and junior forward Tayler Pallotta (Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore) had 10 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Scranton was seemingly in control with a 42-30 lead with 16:40 to play, but Moravian went on a 21-4 run to take a 51-46 advantage with 9:42 to play. Sophomore forward Laura Jordan (Easton, Pa./Easton) had eight points for the Greyhounds during the spurt.
But the Lady Royals answered, scoring seven straight points, including four from Boggan, to retake the lead, 53-51, with 6:40 remaining. After a pair of Moravian free throws tied the game, Scranton finished the game on a 19-6 run as freshman forward Meredith Mesaris (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax ) scored all seven of her points.
Fluehr drilled four free throws in the final 33 seconds to secure the win for Scranton, which has now won five straight over Moravian. The Lady Royals held a 52-42 advantage on the glass and committed just 14 turnovers.
Moravian (15-10, 8-6 Landmark) shot just 27.9 percent (17-for-61) from the field, but made 22 of 25 free throw attempts. The Greyhounds were led by 13 points from freshman forward Alexis Wright (Shillington, Pa./Governor Mifflin). Senior forward Alexandra Blair (Easton, Pa./Bethlehem Catholic) added 11 points and eight rebounds and junior guard Amanda Kreuder (Byram, N.J./Morris Catholic) also had 11 points.
Moravian will be the fourth seed in the Landmark Conference playoffs and will travel to Juniata for a semifinal game on Wednesday, Feb. 22. The winners of the semifinal games will meet in the Landmark Conference championship on Saturday, Feb. 25, at the site of the higher seed.
Newspaper Box Score
Scranton vs Moravian College
2-18-12 2:00 PM at Johnston Hall, Bethlehem, Pa.
At Johnston Hall, Bethlehem, Pa.
SCRANTON 72, MORAVIAN COLLEGE 59
SCRANTON (16-9, 11-3 Landmark)
Lindsay Fluehr 3-3 5-7 13; Alison Sweeney 4-11 2-2 11; Erin Boggan 5-14 1-2 11; Tayler Pallotta 4-9 2-4 10; Sidney Jaques 3-7 3-5 9; Christina Hiltunen 2-5 2-2 8; Meredith Mesaris 3-10 0-2 7; Katherine Torto 1-6 0-0 3; Shernai Bentley 0-2 0-0 0; Lia DiSciascio 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-67 15-24 72.
MORAVIAN COLLEGE (15-10, 8-6 Landmark)
Alexis Wright 5-14 3-3 13; Alexandra Blair 2-9 7-7 11; Amanda Kreuder 3-7 5-6 11; Laura Jordan 2-5 3-3 8; Alyssa Hann 2-2 0-0 5; Katie O'Rourke 1-9 2-4 4; Hilary Murray 1-6 2-2 4; Danielle Brogan 1-7 0-0 3; Cassandra Phillips 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 17-61 22-25 59.
35 37 - 72
Moravian College................ 28 31 - 59
3-point goals--Scranton 7-15 (Lindsay Fluehr 2-2; Christina Hiltunen 2-4; Alison Sweeney 1-5; Katherine Torto 1-2; Meredith Mesaris 1-1; Sidney Jaques 0-1), Moravian College 3-9 (Danielle Brogan 1-4; Laura Jordan 1-1; Alyssa Hann 1-1; Katie O'Rourke 0-1; Hilary Murray 0-1; Cassandra Phillips 0-1). Fouled out--Scranton-None, Moravian College-None. Rebounds--Scranton 52 (Erin Boggan 10), Moravian College 42 (Alexandra Blair 8; Katie O'Rourke 8). Assists--Scranton 16 (Lindsay Fluehr 7), Moravian College 10 (Katie O'Rourke 4). Total fouls--Scranton 20, Moravian College 18. Technical fouls--Scranton-None, Moravian College-None. A-732