|Sofia Recupero||Emily Sheehan||Hannah Kowalski|
Editor's Note: The original release stated that the Lady Royals had clinced the top seed in the upcoming Landmark Conference playoffs. That is currently not the case, as Scranton will still need a win at Goucher on Saturday to clinch the top spot, while a loss could knock the Lady Royals down to the second seed.
SCRANTON, Pa. - Junior forward Sofia Recupero (Whitestone, N.Y./Saint Francis Prep) led a balanced scoring attack with 14 points and six rebounds, as The University of Scranton women's basketball team opened a sizable lead in the first quarter and never looked back in a 66-43 win over Drew in Landmark Conference action in the John Long Center on Wednesday.
With the win, the Lady Royals (who are ranked ninth in the WBCA Coaches' Top 25 and 12th in the D3Hoops.com Top 25), moved to 22-2 overall and 11-2 in the Landmark Conference. Drew fell to 13-10 and 6-7 in the Landmark with the defeat.
In the contest, Scranton distanced themselves from Drew in the opening frame, as the Lady Royals opened a 12-4 lead on the Rangers after the first 10 minutes of action. In the second quarter, Scranton quickly went up 19-4 on Drew, and never looked back the rest of the night, eventually opening a 30-10 lead at the end of the first half.
Up 30-13 at halftime, Scranton held a double-digit edge over Drew the rest of the way, as the closest the Rangers came to the Lady Royals lead was 12 points on two separate occasions, the last coming with eight minutes to go in regulation (49-37).
From there, Scranton closed the game out on a 17-6 run to take a 23-point home win, the Lady Royals' 21st win by double-digits on the season.
Overall, Recupero led the way in the scoring column for the Lady Royals for the fourth time on the year with her 14-point performance. Recupero's, who's six-rebound night was a game-high, also had three assists, three blocks and three steals in the win, as well.
Elsewhere, fellow junior Emily Sheehan (Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore) finished the night with 13 points, nailing a trio of three-pointers on the evening, while recording three steals. Freshman Hannah Kowalski (Clarks Summit, Pa./Abington Heights) rounded out the top scorers for Scranton, finishing with nine points.
Drew was led in the loss by Julia Ramos, who finished with 18 points.
But, the Rangers were stymied most of the night on the offensive end by the stout Lady Royals defense, who didn't allow an opponent to hit the 50-point plateau for the third straight game and the 15th time overall for the year. Scranton held Drew to 31.4 percent shooting from the floor in the win (21.7 percent in the first half), as the Rangers didn't move into double-digits in the game until the five-minute mark of the second quarter.
The University of Scranton women's basketball team returns to action on Saturday, as they close out the regular season with a road game at Goucher. The Landmark Conference match-up begins at 2 p.m.