|Sofia Recupero||Makenzie Mason||Bridget Monaghan|
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – The No. 3 University of Scranton women's basketball team (6-0) held No. 8/9 DeSales (5-1) to just two field goals in the third quarter and the Lady Royals picked up a 59-48 win over the Bulldogs on Tuesday night at Billera Hall Gymnasium in Center Valley.
Scranton opened the third quarter on a 15-1 run and a jumper from freshman Bridget Monaghan (Florham Park, N.J./Morristown-Beard) made it a 41-24 game with 3:55 to play in the quarter. Head coach Nick DiPillo's squad held DeSales to 2-of-13 shooting in the quarter and outscored the hosts 22-10.
The Lady Royals have now won 50 straight regular season non-conference games dating back to the 2014-15 season. This also marks the first home loss for DeSales since Jan. 20, 2018.
Senior center Sofia Recupero (Whitestone, N.Y./Saint Francis Prep) had 16 points on 5-of-6 shooting to lead the way offensively for Scranton, while classmate Makenzie Mason (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) had 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting and Monaghan added 11 off the bench. Senior guard Lily Warhaftig (Harlem, N.Y./Poly Prep) tallied six points, seven rebounds and a career-high eight assists in the win.
Molly Jansco and Samantha Shinkus paced the Bulldogs with 12 points apiece. The Lady Royals held leading scorer Averi Jordan (15.2 ppg) to nine points on 2-of-9 shooting from the floor.
Warhaftig's eight helpers broke her previous career-high of five that had been done on two occasions including a win over Wilkes on Nov. 24 of this season.
The first half was a back-and-forth affair as neither team led by more than four. A layup from senior Emily Sheehan (Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore) gave the Lady Royals a 10-7 lead with 1:09 left in the first quarter, but DeSales answered with a 6-0 spurt and held a 13-10 lead after one. Recupero buried a three with 6:52 to play in the second quarter to give Scranton the lead back at 17-15. Following a jumper from Shinkus, Mason hit a three of her own to give the Lady Royals the lead and the visitors took a 26-23 lead into the locker room.
Warhaftig's jumper in the opening seconds of the third quarter kickstarted the afore-mentioned 15-1 run and Scranton got a pair of threes during the run from Sheehan and junior Taylor Rodriguez (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills). DeSales was able to battle back to cut the lead to 13, but Monaghan responded with a three and the Lady Royals led 48-33 after three. Rodriguez hit her second three of the night to make it a 51-37 lead with 8:25 to play, but the Bulldogs answered with a 7-2 run capped by a Shinkus layup that cut the lead to 53-44 with 6:33 left. The same 53-44 score held for nearly three minutes before a free throw from Jordan with 3:42 to play. Mason and Monaghan sank jumpers on consecutive possessions to stretch the lead back to double digits.
The Lady Royals were 22-of-64 (34.4%) from the floor and 6-of-26 (23.1%) from deep on the night, while limiting DeSales to 31.9% shooting (15-of-47) from the field and 2-of-16 (12.5%) from long range. Scranton held a slight 40-39 edge on the boards led by the eight rebounds from Recupero and seven apiece from Sheehan and Warhaftig. Jansco and Jordan had 11 rebounds apiece to pace the Bulldogs.
The University of Scranton women's basketball team will open Landmark Conference play at Goucher on Saturday, Dec. 7 with opening tip slated for 4 p.m.