|Sarah Payonk||Alexix Roman||Bridgette Mann|
Photo gallery (by Dan Ceccacci)
SCRANTON, Pa. - University of Scranton junior forward Sarah Payonk (Schwenksville, Pa./Spring-Ford) posted her second triple-double of the season (16 points, 13 rebounds, 11 assists) to lead the fourth-ranked Lady Royals charge in a convincing 66-44 victory over Susquehanna on Wednesday night at the John Long Center.
The win was significant for Scranton for a pair of reasons.
First, the Lady Royals remained unbeaten on the season, moving to 22-0 overall and 13-0 in the Landmark with the 22-point triumph. Also, Scranton clinched the top seed in the upcoming Landmark Conference Playoffs, which will begin at the Long Center on February 24.
In the win on Wednesday night, Scranton never trailed throughout, opening up a quick 7-0 lead on the Crusaders in the first two minutes of action.
Susquehanna, however, remained within striking distance throughout the first half, as Scranton never led by double-figures throughout the entire first and second quarters.
Up by just six at halftime (32-26), Susquehanna quickly cut the Scranton lead down to 32-28 in the first minute of action in the third.
But, that was the closest the Crusaders came to the Lady Royal lead the rest of the night, as Scranton went on a big 15-4 run over the next seven minutes to open up an insurmountable 47-32 lead late in the third period.
From there, Scranton rolled, opening up their biggest lead of the night with three minutes left at 21 points (63-42), as the Lady Royals continued their dominating ways at home, winning their 10th in a row by double-digits on the Long Center floor.
Overall, Payonk now joins Shelley Parks as the only players in Lady Royal history to notch two triple-doubles in their careers. Payonk is also the first Scranton player to have two triple-doubles in one season, as well.
Elsewhere, junior forward Alexix Roman (Hawley, Pa./Wallenpaupack) added 15 points to score in double figures for the 21st time in 22 games, while freshman guard Bridgette Mann (Canadensis, Pa./Wallenpaupack) chipped in with 11 points.
In the second half, Scranton dominated play, outscoring Susquehanna 34-18 in the final 20 minutes of action (including a 17-6 margin in the third quarter).
The University of Scranton women's basketball team returns to action on Saturday, as they host Goucher in their final home regular season game of the season inside the Long Center. The Senior Day clash tips off at 2 p.m.