|Makenzie Mason||Hannah Kowalski||Sofia Recupero|
SCRANTON, Pa. - Junior forward Makenzie Mason (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) posted her fifth double-double of the year - scoring a game-high 16 points while pulling down a career-high 12 rebounds - to lead The University of Scranton women's basketball team to a tough 53-36 win over Catholic in Landmark Conference action on Saturday at the John Long Center.
The Lady Royals, ranked third in the D3hoops.com Top 25 and fourth in the WBCA Top 25, remained unbeaten on the year with the victory, going to 15-0 overall and 4-0 in the Landmark Conference. Catholic fell to 9-6 and 1-3 in the Landmark with the loss.
Defense was the name of the game from the start in the contest, as Scranton once again limited an opponent all afternoon, holding Catholic to single digits in two quarters.
The first quarter saw Scranton quickly take a big lead, as they went up 12-3 with 2:35 left in the period. Catholic cut the Lady Royals lead down to five (14-9) with under a minute left, but Scranton scored the final basket of the quarter to take a 16-9 lead entering the second.
There, points were tough to come by, but the Lady Royals stood firm, eventually opening their biggest lead of the game at 28-17 with 14 seconds left in the first half. Catholic scored the final two points of the period, but the Lady Royals went into intermission with momentum and a 28-19 lead.
Despite only scoring eight points in the third quarter, Scranton was still able to increase their lead, as the Lady Royals held Catholic to just three points in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
Catholic was unable to even score in the third quarter until there was 40 seconds left, as Scranton had opened 34-19 lead late. Catholic was able to get the final basket of the quarter, but the Lady Royals rolled into the fourth quarter up by 14 points (36-22).
In the final period, Scranton put the Cardinals away for the day, as they opened a 20-point lead (46-26) with 4:52 left to coast to their 11th straight win by double figures, and their sixth straight victory in which they did not trail at any point during regulation.
Overall, Mason led the way for the Lady Royals for the seventh time on the season with her 16-point effort, while bettering a previous career-high of 11 rebounds with her 12 'board day. Mason also dished out three assists, and recorded a block and a steal.
Scranton's only other double digit scorer in the win was freshman Hannah Kowalski (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights), who came off the bench to score 13 points.
Rounding out the top performers for Scranton was juniors Emily Sheehan (Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore) and Sofia Recupero (Whitestone, N.Y./Saint Francis Prep), who had nine and eight points, apiece. Recupero cleaned up around the glass in the win, pulling down 11 rebounds, marking the third time on the year she hit double-figures in rebounds in a game.
But, once again, the Scranton defense was outstanding all day, holding Catholic to just 20.8 percent shooting from the floor in the win (11-of-53). The Lady Royals, who also outrebounded the Cardinals, 44-37, forced 16 turnovers, as well.
The University of Scranton women's basketball team returns to action on Wednesday, as they travel to Susquehanna for a Landmark Conference road contest. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.