The University of Scranton women's basketball team dominated the second half of Wednesday night's Landmark Conference semifinal to pull away from Moravian and into Saturday's Landmark Conference championship game with a 67-45 victory. The top-seeded Lady Royals, who are currently ranked 11th in the nation, outscored the fourth-seeded Greyhounds 37-18 in the final 20 minutes of play to advance to their sixth straight Landmark Conference title contest.
Scranton (25-1) will take a 20-game win streak into Saturday's title game as the Lady Royals seek their third straight Landmark Conference title against #2 seed Juniata, who defeated Elizabethtown 78-55 in Wednesday's other semifinal matchup.
The first 22 and a half minutes of Wednesday's contest were tightly contested with Scranton twice holding a lead of six points during that, which featured eight lead changes and the score tied five times.
The Lady Royals took a 30-27 lead into halftime, but the Greyhounds (17-9) leveled the score at 32-apiece with 7:26 remaining in the third quarter. From that point on though, it was all Scranton as the hosts used a 16-5 surge to build a 48-35 lead with 1:22 remaining in the period.
Leading by 11 points entering the fourth stanza, the hosts put the game out of reach by outscoring Moravian 17-3 over the first eight and a half minutes of period to open up a commanding, 25-point advantage while capping a 33-8 run over a nearly 16-minute span in the second half.
Bridgette Mann (Canadensis, Pa./Wallenpaupack) finished with a game-high 20 points for Scranton, 17 of which came in the second half, on 8-16 shooting from the floor including four three-pointers. Sofia Recupero (Whitestone, N.Y./St. Francis Prep) added 10 points, six rebounds, and two blocked shots while Emily Sheehan (Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore) contributed nine points and a game-high three steals.
Makenzie Mason (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) posted game-highs of 10 rebounds and five assists for the Lady Royals while Katie Feehery (Media, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) came off the bench to tally eight points, nine rebounds, and two blocks. Katie Broderick (New Fairfield, Conn./New Fairfield) also chipped in with eight points in the victory.
Scranton shot 42.6 percent from the field for the game including a 31.6 percent effort from three point range while knocking down 15-17 of its free throw attempts for an 88.2 showing at the line.
The Lady Royals also held a 41-37 advantage on the boards for the game and outscored the Greyhounds in the paint, 30-16.
A strong defensive effort by Scranton limited the high-scoring Greyhounds to just 24.1 percent shooting on the night and a 4-18 (22.2 percent) effort from beyond the arc.
Maddy Capuano led Moravian with 17 points in the loss.
Saturday's championship contest between Scranton and Juniata will start at 3:00 p.m. in the Long Center.
The Lady Royals and Eagles split a pair of games during the regular season with the home team winning both times. The Eagles notched a 62-54 victory in Huntingdon on December 2 while the Lady Royals posted a 62-45 win on February 3 in Scranton.