|Sarah Payonk||Alexix Roman|
HUNTINGDON, Pa. - Junior forward Sarah Payonk (Schwenksville, Pa./Spring-Ford) had 18 points and pulled down a career-high 21 rebounds, as the University of Scranton women's basketball team outscored Juniata 33-17 in the second half to rally from a halftime deficit in a 53-41 victory on the road in Landmark Conference play on Saturday afternoon.
With the win, the Lady Royals remained unbeaten on the year at 6-0 and 1-0 in the Landmark. Juniata fell to 2-5 and 0-2 in the Landmark with the loss.
The first half was a defensive struggle for both teams, as both teams shot within 20 percent in the first two periods. At the half, it was Juniata, however, that held the lead, as they went into the break up 24-20 on the Lady Royals.
In the third quarter, Scranton slowly began to take control of the game, outscoring the Eagles 20-9 in the period to take a 40-33 lead into the final quarter.
In the fourth, Juniata quickly cut the Scranton lead down to four points after a three-pointer (40-36), but that was the closest the Eagles came to the lead the rest of the night, as a 7-2 run by Scranton put the Eagles away for the afternoon.
Overall, junior forward Alexix Roman (Hawley, Pa./Wallenpaupack Area) once again led the Lady Royals in the scoring department, ending the day with a game-high 21 points, while snatching 11 rebounds to notch her third straight double-double.
Roman has now scored at least 20 points in four games on the year, and has led Scranton in scoring in five of the six games they've played in.
Meanwhile, Payonk's performance on the boards was an historic one, as it matched the fourth highest rebounding total in a game for a Lady Royal in program history. It was also the highest total in the rebounding department for a Lady Royal since a 20 rebound effort by Jackie Dougherty in 1994.
On the defensive end, Scranton was strong all game, holding the Eagles to just 26.2 percent shooting from the floor on the day (16-of-61).
The Lady Royals will now take the week off for final exams, then leap back into Landmark Conference play on Sunday, December 13 when they take on Merchant Marine at home. Tip-off at the Long Center is set for 4 p.m.