Fourth Quarter Charge Paces Lady Royals to 76-55 Victory over Wilkes

Fourth Quarter Charge Paces Lady Royals to 76-55 Victory over Wilkes
Alexix Roman Sarah Payonk
Noelle Alicea Jaclyn Gantz

Box score

Photo gallery (by Dan Ceccacci)
Photo gallery (by Emma Black)

SCRANTON, Pa. - Junior forward Alexix Roman (Hawley, Pa./Wallenpaupack) had a game-high 22 points, while fellow junior Sarah Payonk (Schwenksville, Pa./Spring-Ford) snatched 16 rebounds and posted a double-double, to lead the University of Scranton women's basketball team to a 76-55 victory over Wilkes on Saturday afternoon inside the John Long Center.

With the win, Scranton improved to 3-0 on the year, while Wilkes fell to 0-3 with the loss.

The first half was a tale of two quarters for both squads.

In the first quarter, Scranton came out firing and opened a 20-13 lead. But, in the second quarter, Wilkes got back in it with some hot shooting of their own.

Clinging to a 29-26 lead with four minutes left, the Lady Royals went on a 9-4 run over three minutes to open a 38-30 lead late in the quarter. But, Wilkes ended the half on a flurry, nailing a three-pointer at the horn to make it a 40-36 game entering the second half.

Wilkes stayed within striking distance after a defensive minded third quarter, as Scranton clung to just a seven point lead entering the final frame (53-46). But, in the that final quarter, the Lady Royals dominated play to finally put Wilkes away.

In the fourth, the Lady Royals quickly extended the lead out to double-figures after a 5-2 spurt that made it a 60-48 game less than a minute into the period. Once Scranton began to roll offensively, they essentially ended the contest, opening up an insurmountable 72-52 lead with two minutes left.

When the dust settled in the quarter, Scranton had outscored Wilkes by a 23-9 margin in the final frame to coast to a 21-point victory in head coach Trevor Woodruff's home debut in the Long Center as Lady Royals head coach.

Overall, Roman led the Lady Royals in scoring for the second time in three games with her 22-point afternoon. Meanwhile, Payonk had her first double-double of the year with 10 points and 16 rebounds (a career-high). She also dished out seven assists, which matched a career high for the junior.

Elsewhere, senior guard Noelle Alicea (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown East) ended with 14 points and also hit a career-high in assists with nine and fellow senior guard Jaclyn Gantz (Havertown, Pa./Haverford) rounded out the double-digit scorers for Scranton with 11 points.

Wilkes was led in the loss by Cara Basile, who had 14 points. Overall in the second half, Scranton held the Lady Colonels to just 27.6 percent shooting from the floor (8-of-29) to pull away.

The University of Scranton women's basketball team returns to action on Tuesday, when they travel to Cabrini for another out-of-conference matchup. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.