The University of Scranton women's basketball team took just about every punch 17th-ranked Messiah could dish out in Saturday's championship game of the Hilton Scranton Poinsettia Classic. In the end, the 22nd-ranked Lady Royals had every answer in a 65-60 overtime victory in the Long Center.
Junior guard Bridgette Mann (Canadensis, Pa./Wallenpaupack) took MVP honors after she finished with a game-high 26 points, 15 of which came after halftime. She had four points in overtime, where Scranton (8-1) outscored Messiah (8-1), 15-10.
Senior forward Katie Feehery (Media, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) was an all-tournament selection after finishing with 12 points and six boards off the bench. Her two free throws 1:16 into overtime put the Lady Royals ahead, 54-52, and they would not relinquish the lead the rest of the way.
The first four quarters were a back-and-forth affair that saw neither team lead by more than six. The last lead that large came at the start of the fourth when Messiah scored first to take a 40-34 advantage.
Scranton would eventually use an 11-2 run to take a 48-44 lead with 45 seconds left when Mann hit a long 3-pointer – her fourth of the game – from the right wing with the shot clock about to expire.
Messiah answered with a 3-pointer of its own, but Mann hit a pair of free throws with 10 seconds left to give the Lady Royals a 50-47 lead. But Messiah's Kaitlyn Hoff buried a contested 3-pointer from the wing with 1.4 seconds left to tie the game. Scranton could not get a shot before the horn at the end of regulation.
The Falcons scored first in overtime, but Scranton went on an 8-0 run capped by a layup from sophomore forward Makenzie Mason (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) for a 58-52 lead. Messiah cut the lead to two on three different occasions, the last with 14 seconds left, but senior guard Katie Broderick (New Fairfield, Conn./New Fairfield) made a pair of free throws and Messiah missed a late 3 before Broderick made one more free throw for the final margin.
Broderick finished with 16 points and eight rebounds – both career highs – along with three assists and three steals.
Scranton finished 24-for-54 (44.4 percent) from the field, including 5-for-16 (31.3 percent) from 3-point range. The Lady Royals hit 12 of 18 free throws (66.7 percent) and dominated on the glass, 46-27, as Mason added eight rebounds. They needed every bit of that board work to offset a season-high 24 turnovers.
Messiah shot 36.4 percent (24-for-66) from the field, including 7-for-21 (33 percent) from long range. The Falcons hit 5 of 6 from the free throw line and committed just 12 turnovers. They also had a 17-4 edge in points off turnovers. Maci Thornton was an all-tournament selection for Messiah after finishing with 14 points, four assists and three steals.
Scranton will be back in action on Monday, Dec. 18, when they host Lebanon Valley at 3 p.m. in their final game in the Long Center before the holidays.
In Saturday's third-place game, FDU-Florham rolled to a 94-66 win over Hartwick. Devils' guard Kendrea Williams was an all-tournament selection after she scored a Long Center-record (male or female) 45 points in the victory. She also tied the building record (male or female) with nine 3-pointers. Hartwick's Caitlin Corbett was named to the all-tournament team after scoring 17 points, pulling down seven rebounds and handing out three assists.