WASHINGTON D.C. - The freshman pair of Hannah Kowalski (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights) and Emily Shurina (East Meadow, N.Y./East Meadow) came off the bench to score 11 points, apiece, to lead the offense, but it wasn't enough, as The University of Scranton women's basketball team fell at Catholic on Saturday, 59-50, in Landmark Conference action.
With the loss, the Lady Royals - ranked sixth in the WBCA Coaches' Top 25 and seventh in the D3Hoops.com Top 25, fell to 19-2 overall and 8-2 in the Landmark Conference. It was also just the second loss in a true road game for Scranton over the last three-plus years under head coach Trevor Woodruff, with the Lady Royals' last road defeat coming to Juniata in December of 2017.
Catholic improved to 13-8 and 5-5 in the Landmark with the victory.
To start the game off, it was close between the squads, as the game was tied at 10-10 with 2 minutes and change left in the first quarter. Catholic, however, ended the quarter strong, closing on a 9-3 run to take a 19-13 lead on Scranton entering the second.
The second quarter saw Scranton fight back, as a 12-0 run (after Catholic opened a 24-15 lead) gave the Lady Royals the lead back at 27-24 with 3:57 to go in the first half. Catholic, however, ended the half on a 4-0 spurt of their own to take a 28-27 lead into intermission.
To start the third quarter, it remained tight between the teams, with action coming to a head with the game tied at 31-all with 7:40 to go. Here, Catholic went on a 7-0 run to open a 38-31 lead on the Lady Royals with 3:49 left.
The closest Scranton came to the Cardinals' lead the rest of the quarter was four points on two separate occasions, as Catholic went into the final period up, 44-38, on the Lady Royals.
Down by six entering the fourth, the closest Scranton came to the Catholic lead over the final 10 minutes was three points with 7:06 to go in regulation (47-44).
The decisive moment of the game came in the final minutes, as after Scranton cut the Catholic lead down to four at 52-48 with 2:28 left, Catholic went on a back-breaking 6-0 spurt that gave the Cardinals a 58-48 lead with 22 seconds left, clinching the win for Catholic in the process.
Overall, Kowalski and Shurina led the way with their 11-point performances. Kowalski dished out four assists, while Shurina went 4-of-6 from the floor in scoring in double-figures for the second time on the season.
In the loss, Scranton was hampered in the second half by a cold shooting performance, as the Lady Royals shot just 25.9 percent (7-of-27). They also struggled from outside the arc all game, shooting just 25 percent from long range (7-of-28).
Catholic was led in the win by Maggie Rakowski, who came off the bench to score 15 points, a game-high.
The University of Scranton women's basketball team returns to action on Wednesday, traveling to Moravian for another Landmark Conference road game. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.