|Sarah Payonk||Bridgette Mann||Katie O'Reilly|
Photo gallery (by Emma Black)
SCRANTON, Pa. - Junior forward Sarah Payonk (Schwenksville, Pa./Spring-Ford) had a game-high 18 points and snatched 11 rebounds, as the University of Scranton women's basketball team opened the 2016 portion of their schedule the way 2015 ended - with a big win - this time over Landmark Conference foe Elizabethtown, 70-50, inside the John Long Center on Saturday afternoon.
With the victory, the 16th ranked Lady Royals remained unbeaten at 12-0 overall and 3-0 in the Landmark Conference, continuing the best start for a Scranton team since a 14-0 run to open the 2003-04 season. Elizabethtown fell to 6-3 overall and 2-1 in the Landmark with the loss.
In the first period, Scranton held a lead throughout, but Elizabethtown remained in distance of the Lady Royals, as Scranton held a 17-11 lead after one in a defensive minded first period.
It was more of the same in the second, but a 10-4 run to end the first half finally gave the Lady Royals a double-digit lead going into the half at 33-21. The run to end the period was capped by a three-pointer by senior guard Jaclyn Gantz (Havertown, Pa./Haverford).
Entering the third quarter up 12, Scranton effectively put away Elizabethtown after outscoring the Blue Jays 25-11 in the period to go up by 26 entering the fourth quarter (58-32). From there, Scranton coasted down the stretch, as the Lady Royals notched their eighth win in a row by double-figures.
Overall, Payonk led the way with her fifth double-double of the season, third of which in the last four games for Scranton. She also went a perfect 6-for-6 from the foul line, as well.
Elsewhere, freshman guard Bridgette Mann (Canadensis, Pa./Wallenpaupack) added 14 points and dished out seven assists, while sophomore guard Katie O'Reilly (Montville, N.J./Montville) came off the bench and scored 11 points, nailing three three pointers.
Defensively, it was another strong effort by Scranton, as the Lady Royals held Elizabethtown to just 29.5 percent shooting from the floor (17.6 percent from three point range). In the win, Scranton also kept their streak alive of not allowing the opposition to hit 60 points in a contest, which has happened in the first 12 games of the year.
It'll be a quick turnaround for the Lady Royals this week, as they host Drew in another Landmark Conference match-up on Tuesday night inside the Long Center. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.