|Makenzie Mason||Sofia Recupero||Emily Sheehan|
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The No. 2 University of Scranton women's basketball team (11-1) held off a late Saint Vincent rally in a 63-57 win over the Bearcats (6-5) on Monday afternoon at the D3Hoops.Com Classic at South Point Arena in Las Vegas.
The Bearcats were able to cut the lead to six at 58-52 with 2:31 to play, but were unable to get any closer and senior Makenzie Mason (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) hit a three with one minute left to stretch the lead back to nine.
This marked the first ever meeting between the two programs.
Mason led five Scranton players in double figures with 14 points and added nine rebounds, while seniors Sofia Recupero (Whitestone, N.Y./Saint Francis Prep) and Emily Sheehan (Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore) added 12 points apiece. Sophomore Emily Shurina (East Meadow, N.Y./East Meadow) had 11 points and junior Taylor Rodriguez (Wayne, N.J./Wayne Hills) chipped in 10 points off the bench.
Madison Kollar paced Saint Vincent with a game-high 24 points and Paige Montrose had 13 points.
The Lady Royals scored the first 10 points of the game as Sheehan and Shurina both connected on three-pointers during the stretch. Saint Vincent was able to battle back to cut the lead to 13-8, but Scranton scored the final five points of the quarter and a triple from Sheehan in the final seconds extended the lead to 18-8 after one quarter. Sheehan's three ignited a 12-3 run and Recupero's layup made it a 27-11 lead with 6:09 left in the second quarter. The Bearcats answered with a 9-0 spurt of their own and the Lady Royals took a 31-22 advantage into the locker room.
Kollar hit a three to open the scoring in the second half to cut the lead to 31-25, but the Lady Royals answered with a 17-6 run over the remainder of the quarter and Recupero's layup at the 1:06 mark made it a 48-31 game for the time being. Recupero had six points during the run. Mason scored the first seven points of the fourth quarter for Scranton and then a three from Rodriguez off a feed from Mason extended the lead to 58-44 with 5:05 to play. Saint Vincent would not go quietly however and embarked an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 58-52 with 2:31 left.
Scranton shot 38.1% (24-of-63) from the field and 9-of-27 (33.3%) from deep, while the Bearcats hit 39.0% (23-of-59) from the floor and 4-of-19 (21.1%) from three-point range. The Lady Royals held a 42-28 edge in rebounding and collected 13 offensive rebounds including four from Recupero who had a game-high 10 boards.
The Lady Royals will return to action on Saturday, Jan. 11 when they host Elizabethtown at 4 p.m. in a Landmark Conference battle.