Elite Effort: Lady Royals Storm into NCAA Quarterfinals with Dominant 82-46 Win over CNU

Junior forward Alexix Roman missed just two shots from the floor (10-of-12) as the Lady Royals only trailed for 43 seconds in a dominant win over Christopher Newport in the Third Round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night.
Junior forward Alexix Roman missed just two shots from the floor (10-of-12) as the Lady Royals only trailed for 43 seconds in a dominant win over Christopher Newport in the Third Round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday night.
Alexix Roman Bridgette Mann
Jaclyn Gantz Sarah Payonk


Box Score

Photo gallery (by Emma Black)
Photo gallery (by Dan Ceccacci)

SCRANTON, PA. - Junior forward Alexix Roman (Hawley, Pa./Wallenpaupack) paced the University of Scranton women's basketball team yet again with a 22-point evening, as the third-ranked Lady Royals opened a huge first quarter lead and never looked back in a convincing 82-46 victory over Christopher Newport in the Third Round of the 2016 NCAA Tournament on Friday night at a raucous John Long Center.

With the victory, Scranton moved to 30-0 on the year and into the Elite Eight for the first time since the 2008-09 season and for the 14th time in program history.

By hitting the 30-win mark, the 2015-16 edition of the Lady Royals become just the fourth team in program history to do so and the first since the 1992-93 team ('86-87 and the National Championship season of '84-85 are the others).

Christopher Newport ended the year with a 24-5 overall mark with the defeat.

Ultimately, the Lady Royals put away the visiting Captains in the first quarter of the contest on Friday night, as a scoring barrage by Scranton in the middle of the quarter put things to rest early.

Down 4-3 with 7:59 left in the quarter, the Lady Royals proceeded to score 16 unanswered points over a four-minute span to take what turned out to be an insurmountable 19-4 lead with 3:27 left in the period.

One of the catalyst of the run was senior guard Jaclyn Gantz (Havertown, Pa./Haverford), who nailed back-to-back three's to put Scranton up by double-digits for the first time on the night.

Christopher Newport did, however, score the final six points of the period, as Scranton went into the second quarter up by nine at 19-10. There, Scranton continued to add to the lead, outscoring the Captain's 18-13 in the period to go up 37-23 at intermission on CNU.

In the third quarter, Scranton put away Christopher Newport for good and quickly, scoring the first seven points of the second half to open a 21-point lead on the Captain's (44-23). The Lady Royals continued to pour it on over the course of the period and entering the fourth quarter up by 28 points, 63-35.

In the final period, Scranton coasted, as the starting five was able to get some well-earned rest over the final minutes of action. With the 36-point victory, the Lady Royals will waltz into the Elite Eight on Saturday winners of all 16 games on their home floor by double-figures on the season.

Overall, Roman led the way for Scranton for the 20th time on the 2015-16 season with her 22-point effort, as she missed just two shots from the floor on the evening (10-of-12). Roman has now scored at least 20 points in a game 14 times on the season, as well.

Roman was one of four double-digit scorers on the night for Scranton. Elsewhere, freshman guard Bridgette Mann (Canadensis, Pa./Wallenpaupack) poured in 19 points, and Gantz added 14, with both nailing three three-point shots in the victory.

Rounding out the top performances for Scranton was junior forward Sarah Payonk (Schwenksville, Pa./Spring-Ford), who notched a double-double for the 12th time on the season with 13 points, 13 rebounds and six assists.

For the third straight game, the Lady Royals were fantastic on the defensive end, as they held the Captians to 26.3 percent shooting from the floor on the evening and a 1-of-17 effort from three-point range. Scranton also forced 16 turnovers in the win, as well.

Waiting for Scranton in the NCAA Quarterfinals will be perennial power Tufts, who knocked off Albright, 64-49, in the opening Third Round contest on Friday in the Long Center. The Jumbos hold a 26-3 overall mark entering the contest.

Tomorrow's game will begin at 5 p.m. inside the Long Center. Gates will open at 3:30, with tickets being sold at the door. Admission for the game has been set at $7 for general and $4 for students, senior citizens (61 and over) and children ages 2 and older. Children under the age of 2 will be admitted for free.

--LADY ROYALS--