|Alexix Roman||Sarah Payonk|
|Bridgette Mann||Noelle Alicea|
SCRANTON, Pa. - The No. 17 University of Scranton women's basketball team used huge first and third periods to pull away from visiting Merchant Marine on Sunday in Landmark Conference play, as the Lady Royals forced 34 turnovers in a convincing 76-42 victory at the John Long Center.
With the win, the Lady Royals remained unbeaten on the year at 7-0 and 2-0 in the Landmark. USMMA fell to 4-3 overall and 0-3 in the Landmark with the defeat.
In the first quarter, Scranton came out fast, opening a 9-0 lead in the first four minutes of action. Over the course of the period, the Lady Royals eventually went up double-digits on the Mariners, opening a 17-5 lead after the first 10 minutes of action.
But, in the second quarter, Merchant Marine used some hot shooting from long distance to get back in it, eventually cutting what was once a 15-point Scranton lead (22-7) all the way down to five points (24-19) with four minutes left in the first half.
However, Scranton came back to finish the quarter strong, ending on an 8-3 run to go into intermission up 32-22 on USMMA.
In the third quarter, the Lady Royals quickly put away the Mariners for the rest of the afternoon, blitzing USMMA from the start. When the dust settled, Scranton had outscored USMMA 30-4 in the period to take an insurmountable 62-26 lead into the final quarter of action.
There, Scranton emptied the bench and coasted down the stretch, remaining unbeaten with a dominating 34-point victory on their home floor.
Overall, Scranton had four of their five starters score in double-figures in the victory.
Leading the way was junior forward Alexix Roman (Hawley, Pa./Wallenpaupack), who scored in double-digits for the seventh straight game with 12 points. It marked the sixth time in seven games that Roman has led Scranton in the scoring column, as well.
Elsewhere, junior forward Sarah Payonk (Schwenksville, Pa./Spring-Ford) and freshman guard Bridgette Mann (Canadensis, Pa./Wallenpaupack) had 11 points, apiece. Payonk also had six rebounds, five assists, three blocks, and two steals, while Mann had four assists.
Rounding out the top performers for Scranton was senior guard Noelle Alicea (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown East), who had 10 points and recorded a career-high eight steals in the victory.
It'll be a quick turnaround for the Lady Royals, as they host the 2015 Hilton Scranton Poinsettia Classic at the Long Center beginning on Tuesday afternoon. Scranton will play Johnson & Wales (R.I.) in the second game of the day at 5 p.m., while Eastern and Farmingdale State will play the first contest at 3 p.m.