Payonk’s Big Night Spurs No. 7 Lady Royals to Comfortable 77-49 Victory over Drew to Stay Unbeaten

Junior forward Sarah Payonk was named the University of Scranton's Athlete of the Week on Monday, earning the award for the third time in her career.
Junior forward Sarah Payonk was named the University of Scranton's Athlete of the Week on Monday, earning the award for the third time in her career.
Sarah Payonk Bridgette Mann Alexix Roman

Box Score

Photo gallery (by Emma Black)

SCRANTON, Pa. - Junior forward Sarah Payonk (Schwenksville, Pa./Spring-Ford) matched career-high's with 26 points and nine assists, as the No. 7 University of Scranton women's basketball team rolled past Landmark Conference foe Drew on Tuesday night at the John Long Center, 77-49, to remain unbeaten on the year.

With the win, Scranton moved to 13-0 overall to continue their best start in program history since the 2003-04 campaign. The Lady Royals also remained unbeaten in the Landmark Conference in the victory, going to 4-0 overall.

Drew fell to 6-7 and 3-1 in the Landmark with the defeat.

In the first quarter, Scranton used some hot shooting to open an early 10-4 lead, but Drew fought back to tie the game at 12-12 with 3:46 left in the period after an 8-2 run. The Lady Royals, however, ended the period strong with a 10-0 run of their own, and entered the second period up, 22-12.

The torrid shooting for the Lady Royals continued in the second quarter, where they extended out the lead to 16 points (30-14) with six minutes remaining in the half. From there, Scranton held the double-digit lead into intermission, as they led it, 38-27, over the visiting Rangers at halftime.

To open the second half, Scranton quickly put away Drew for the night early in the third quarter, opening up on a 16-4 run to extend their lead even further to 54-31 with 5:32 left in the period. The 23-point deficit was too much for Drew to come back from the rest of the night, as Scranton coasted the rest of regulation to clinch their ninth win in a row by double-digits.

Overall, Payonk's big night was spawned by a solid shooting night, as she went 10-of-17 from the floor, along with a 6-for-6 effort from the charity stripe. She also grabbed eight rebounds in the win, as the junior matched a career-high in points that was set during her freshman season of 2013-14.

Elsewhere, freshman guard Bridgette Mann (Canadensis, Pa./Wallenpaupack) had another solid game, scoring 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the floor (4-of-4 from three-point range). The only other double-digit scorer on the night for Scranton was junior forward Alexix Roman (Hawley, Pa./Wallenpaupack), who ended with 12 points (on 7-of-8 shooting) and six rebounds.

For the night, Scranton had the hot hand shooting the basketball, as the Lady Royals ended the evening shooting 63.7 percent from the floor (72.7 percent in the first half). The team also did not miss a three-pointer all night (6-of-6).

On the other end, the Lady Royals once again held an opponent under both 60 points (for the 13th straight game) and under 40 percent shooting, as Drew ended the game at 36.2 percent.

It'll be a quick turnaround for Scranton, as the Lady Royals hit the road on Thursday, taking on Landmark Conference for Susquehanna at 7 p.m.