Sophomore guard Julia Gantz (Havertown, Pa./Archbishop Carroll) had her best game in a University of Scranton uniform, scoring 17 points to help the 22nd-ranked Lady Royals cruise past Hartwick, 81-48, in the opening round of the Hilton Scranton Poinsettia Classic on Friday night in the Long Center.
Scranton (7-1) advances to Saturday's title game at 4 p.m. against 17th-ranked Messiah (8-0), which posted an 82-72 victory over FDU-Florham (4-4) in Friday night's first game.
The Lady Royals also received 17 points and five assists from junior guard Bridgette Mann (Canadensis, Pa./Wallenpaupack) in the victory. Mann hit five 3-pointers while Gantz added three as Scranton finished the night 11-for-24 (45.8 percent) from beyond the arc.
Mann's five made 3-pointers match the Hilton Scranton Poinsettia Classic single-game record, and her nine attempts were a new record for the semi-annual tournament, which is in its 21st season. Scranton's 11 made 3-pointers also tied the team single-game tournament record, and the Lady Royals' 24 attempts are a new single-game record in the event.
Sophomore forward Makenzie Mason (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) finished with 13 points, three rebounds, three assists and a steal, and senior center Katie Feehery (Media, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) added 11 points, three assists, a rebound and a block. Mason and Feehery combined to go 11-for-11 from the field, helping the Lady Royals finish 32-for-56 (57.1 percent) from the field.
Ten different players scored and 11 had at least one rebound as Scranton advanced to the title game for the fourth straight season. The Lady Royals had 28 assists on 32 made field goals, a season high for assists in a game.
Scranton held Hartwick (1-5) to just 38 percent (19-for-50) from the field, including 0-for-11 from 3-point range. The Lady Royals won the rebounding battle, 36-20, as senior guard Katie Broderick (New Fairfield, Conn./New Fairfield) had a team-high seven rebounds, and sophomore guard Emily Sheehan (Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore) added six.
The final day of the Hilton Scranto Poinsettia Classic on Saturday starts with the third-place game at 2 p.m. between Hartwick and FDU-Florham.