Royal Review: February 19-25

Scranton won its third straight Landmark Conference championship with a thrilling 59-58 overtime victory over Juniata on Saturday.
Scranton won its third straight Landmark Conference championship with a thrilling 59-58 overtime victory over Juniata on Saturday.

Women's Basketball (26-1)

The University of Scranton women's basketball team won its third straight Landmark Conference championship on Saturday with a dramatic, 59-58 overtime victory over Juniata in Saturday's title game.  With the win, the Lady Royals earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, which starts on Friday.

Junior Bridgette Sheehan (Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore) was named the Landmark Conference Championship MVP after finishing with a team-high 17 points in the championship game, including 10 of Scranton's last 12 points against the Eagles.  Sophomore Makenzie Mason (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) added 10 points, nine rebounds, and five blocks while senior Katie Feehery (Media, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) finishing with nine points and a game-high 15 rebounds.

The Lady Royals advanced to Saturday's championship game with a 67-45 victory over Moravian in the semifinals on Wednesday.  Scranton used a dominant second half in which it outscored the Greyhounds 37-18, to punch its ticket to the championship game.  Mann led all scorers with 20 points, 17 of which came in the second half, while sophomore Sofia Recupero (Whitestone, N.Y./Saint Francis Prep) tallied 10 points in the triumph over Moravian.

Scranton was selected to host the first two rounds of the NCAA Tournament and will take on Keuka in a first round matchup on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. in the Long Center.  Brooklyn and Cabrini will meet in Friday's other first round matchup with the two winners to play on Saturday at 5:00 p.m.

Women's Indoor Track & Field

Sophomore Caroline Banas (Dallas, Pa./Holy Redeemer) of the women's track & field team set a meet record while winning the high jump gold at the Landmark Conference Indoor Championships on Saturday at Susquehanna University.

Banas cleared 1.67 meters (5 feet, 5.75 inches) to easy break the previous event record of 1.62 meters, set in 2016. Banas is likely to earn a spot in the NCAA Indoor Championships, which take place on Friday and Saturday, March 9-10, in Birmingham, Ala.

Scranton had one other top-six finisher on the day. Sophomore Sophie Evans (Scranton, Pa./West Scranton) finished sixth in the 60-meter dash in a time of 8.47 seconds. The Royals finished the event with 12 points. Moravian took the team title with 173 points.

Scranton will begin its outdoor season in late March.

Men's Indoor Track & Field

Freshman Matt Kinback (Factoryville, Pa./Lackawanna Trail) won silver in the 800-meter run and junior Mark Merli (Peckville, Pa./Valley View) had a pair of top-six finishes to lead The University of Scranton men's track & field team at the Landmark Conference Indoor Championships on Saturday at Susquehanna University.

Kinback ran 1:58.06 to finish second in the 800, trailing only Moravian's Andrew Mitchell, who won with a time of 1:56.66. It was Kinback's best time of the season by 1.50 seconds.

Merli had a pair of fifth-place finishes in the long jump and triple jump. He leapt 6.21 meters (20 feet, 4.5 inches) in the long jump, his second-best effort of the season. In the triple jump, he soared to 12.83 meters (42 feet, 1.25 inches), his best jump of the indoor season by .55 meters (1 foot, 9.75 inches).

Three others scored top-six finishes for Scranton. Junior Stephen Grunbok (Poughkeepsie, N.Y./Our Lady of Lourdes) was fifth in the 800 meters, freshman Zachary Mead (Montrose, Pa./Montrose) was fifth in the mile run, and junior Matt Barrett (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights) was one spot behind him in sixth.

Scranton finished seventh with 21 points. Moravian captured the team title with 199.5 points.

The Royals will begin their outdoor season in late March.

Wrestling (10-4)

Three University of Scranton wrestlers posted top-six finishes at the NCAA Mideast Regional at Ithaca College in Ithaca, N.Y. over the weekend.

Senior Zachary D'Apolito (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Valley Senior) was the team's top finisher, placing fourth at 184 pounds. He had two chances to secure a spot at the NCAA Division III Championships, but could not pull out the win in either match. D'Apolito finishes his career with a pair of top-five regional finishes, having finished fifth at 165 pounds as a freshman.

Senior Nicholas DePierro (Manalapan, N.J./Freehold Township) finished fifth at 133 pounds, and junior Daniel D'Agostini (Allentown, Pa./Allentown Central Catholic) was sixth at 197 pounds.

Men's Lacrosse (3-1)

The University of Scranton men's lacrosse team split a pair of games last week, defeating DeSales, 13-7, on Wednesday before falling at Muhlenberg, 9-8, on Saturday.

In the win over DeSales, nine different players scored goals, led by senior midfielder Conor Carey (Long Beach, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial), who had three goals and an assist. Sophomore attackman Quinn Killeen (Berkeley Heights, N.J./New Providence) and sophomore midfielder Joe Hill (South Hempstead, N.Y./South Side) each had two goals, and senior midfielder Adam Drury (Chatham, N.J./Chatham) went 18-for-20 in the faceoff circle.

In the loss at Muhlenberg, Hill finished with three goals and sophomore attackman Connor Kirkwood (Millburn, N.J./St. Peter's Prep) added a pair of goals.

The Royals will be back in action on Tuesday, Feb. 27, when they host sixth-ranked Cortland State at 3:30 p.m. at Fitzpatrick Field.

Women's Lacrosse (1-0)

The University of Scranton women's lacrosse team opened the 2018 season with a dominating performance on Saturday, cruising to a 17-3 victory at Farmingdale State in the season opener for both team.

Junior Elena Gallo (East Meadow, N.Y./Kellenberg Memorial) paced the Royals' attack with four goals and one assist while freshman Jill Henson (Baldwinsville, N.Y./Christian Brothers Academy) and sophomore Shannon Warburton (Wantagh, N.Y./Wantagh) added three goals and an assist each.

Sophomore Becca Russo (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor) tied for a game-high with four groundballs and also matched Warburton for a game-high in caused turnovers with three while goalkeeper Erin Putnam (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks South) made five saves to pick up the win

Scranton returns to the field on Tuesday at Misericordia in a game that will start at 4:00 p.m.

This Week in University of Scranton Athletics

Tuesday, Feb. 27
Men's lacrosse – vs. #6 Cortland State (3:30 p.m.)
Women's lacrosse – at Misericordia (4 p.m.)

Friday, March 2
Women's basketball – vs. Keuka, NCAA Tournament first round, John Long Center (7 p.m.)

Saturday, March 3
Baseball – vs. Albright, DH, at Flemington, N.J. (12 p.m.)
Men's lacrosse – at Lyocoming (1 p.m.)
Women's lacrosse – at Haverford (1 p.m.)
Women's basketball – vs. TBA, NCAA Tournament second round, John Long Center (5 p.m.) 


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