Defense Leads No. 2 Lady Royals Past Misericordia in Poinsettia Classic Championship Game

The University of Scranton women's basketball team captured the Hilton Scranton Poinsettia Classic with a 75-57 victory over Misericordia on Thursday night.
The University of Scranton women's basketball team captured the Hilton Scranton Poinsettia Classic with a 75-57 victory over Misericordia on Thursday night.
Emily Sheehan  Bridget Monaghan  Taylor Rodriguez 


SCRANTON, Pa. – The No. 2 University of Scranton women's basketball team (9-0) forced 30 Misericordia turnovers en route to a 75-57 win over the Cougars (9-1) in the championship game of the Hilton Scranton Poinsettia Classic on Thursday night at John Long Center in Scranton.

Salisbury defeated Elmira by a score of 70-33 in the consolation game on Thursday evening.

The Lady Royals scored 27 points off of the 30 Misericordia turnovers and led by double digits for the majority of the final three quarters of the contest.

Freshman Bridget Monaghan (Florham Park, N.J./Morristown-Beard) had a season-high 13 points on 4-of-6 shooting to lead five Scranton players in double figures. Senior Sofia Recupero (Whitestone, N.Y./Saint Francis Prep) added 12 points on 5-of-7 shooting, while senior Emily Sheehan (Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore) and junior Taylor Rodriguez (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills) had 11 points apiece. Senior Makenzie Mason (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) added 10 points and nine rebounds in the win for the Lady Royals.

Sheehan was named Tournament MVP after averaging 14.5 points per game in the two games, while Monaghan and Rodriguez were named to the All-Tournament team.

Rodriguez and Sheehan added five steals apiece in the victory and Scranton recorded 20 thefts on the night. The five steals represented a career-high for Sheehan.

Erica Haefele and Tessa Zamolyi tallied 13 points apiece to pace the Cougars.

Misericordia's Nora Tracey hit a jumper to cut the lead to 9-6 with 3:28 left in the first quarter, but the Lady Royals closed the quarter on an 8-2 run capped a three from Monaghan to make it a 17-8 game. Scranton scored eight of the first 11 points in the second quarter to take a 25-11 lead with 4:59 left in the first half, but Misericordia scored the next five to draw within nine at 25-16. Sheehan hit consecutive threes in the final three minutes of the quarter and head coach Nick DiPillo's squad took a 38-24 lead into the locker room.

Following a three-pointer from Zamolyi that cut the lead to 43-32, the Lady Royals answered with a 10-0 run capped by a layup from sophomore Danielle McCurdy (Philadelphia, Pa./Archbishop Ryan) with 2:20 left in the third quarter. Monaghan beat the buzzer with a layup in the final seconds to stretch the lead to 59-39. Rodriguez's jumper from the elbow gave Scranton their largest lead of the night at 61-39 with 8:53 to play and the Cougars were unable to get closer than 14 the rest of the way.

Scranton shot 43.1% (28-of-65) from the floor on the night and 7-of-28 (25.0%) from deep, while Misericordia was 20-of-48 (41.7%) from the field and 7-of-19 (36.8%) from long range. Misericordia held a 40-32 edge in the rebounding battle and Mason's nine rebounds paced the Lady Royals.

The University of Scranton women's basketball team will host Rosemont in non-conference action on Saturday afternoon at the John Long Center at 1 p.m.