Before a 1 p.m. tip-off with Goucher on Saturday afternoon in the John Long Center, the University of Scranton women's basketball program will honor its three senior members in Sarah Payonk (Schwenksville, Pa./Spring-Ford), Denise Rizzo (Paramus, N.J./Holy Angels), and Alexix Roman (Hawley, Pa./Wallenpaupack).
Overall, the trio has led the Lady Royals to 101 victories over the last four seasons, including a pair of Landmark Confernece Championships (2014 and 2016) and three bids to the NCAA Tournament. The Lady Royals also advanced to the Sweet 16 and the Elite Eight of the Tournament in their time in the program.
Payonk will end her career at Scranton as one of the more decorated student-athlete in program history, as she has started all 113 games she has played in in her career. Ranking high in several all-time statistical categories, she has scored 1,254 career points, and is one of just two players in program history to pull down over a 1,000 rebounds in her career, coming in at 1,027.
Payonk has been an All-Landmark Conference selection each of the last three years, earning Second Team honors twice and First Team honors last season. In 2016, she was named the Landmark's Player of the Year, as well as the D3Hoops.com Mid-Atlantic Player of the Year.
Rizzo has earned letters in each of her four years in the program, playing in 87 games, averaging 2.9 points and 1.9 rebounds per contest. This season, she is averaging 4.9 points per game, and has scored her career-high of 10 points twice throughout the course of the campaign.
Rizzo has also been honored for her work in the classroom, earning a spot on the Landmark Conference Academic Honor Roll each of the last two seasons.
Roman has played in 106 career games, making a start at forward in 54 of the last 55 games Scranton has played in. Statistically, Roman is the best shooter in the history of the program, posting a 67.8 percent field goal percentage from the field for her career. With 1,463 career points, Roman ranks seventh in program history in scoring, averaging 13.8 points per game.
Last season, Roman was an All-Landmark Conference First Team selection after averaging 17.2 points per contest, along with 7.5 rebounds per game. She was also a D3Hoops.com All-Mid-Atlantic Region First Team selection, as well as a Landmark Conference Academic Honor Roll pick.
The Lady Royals are currently 21-3 overall and 10-3 in the Landmark Conference, and sit atop the latest NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Rankings. In next week's Landmark Conference playoffs, Scranton is assured of at least the third-seed, as well.