|Makenzie Mason||Bridget Monaghan||Lily Warhaftig|
SELINSGROVE, Pa. – Senior Makenzie Mason (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) hit a layup with one second left and the No. 14 University of Scranton women's basketball team (17-3, 7-2 Landmark) rallied late to capture their fifth straight win with a 62-61 victory over the Susquehanna River Hawks (12-8, 4-5 Landmark) on Wednesday night at Orlando W. Houts Gymnasium in Selinsgrove.
Mason took a feed from freshman Bridget Monaghan (Florham Park, N.J./Morristown-Beard) and connected on a layup as she fell away from the basket. Scranton trailed 61-60 with six seconds left and Susquehanna had possession before senior Lily Warhaftig (Harlem, N.Y./Poly Prep) forced a jump ball to give the ball back to the Lady Royals for one last chance.
Head coach Nick DiPillo's squad trailed 61-58 with 2:02 to play before scoring the final four points of the contest on a pair of layups from Mason.
Mason and Monaghan had 18 points apiece to pace the Lady Royals as the duo combined to shoot 14-of-23 from the field and 4-of-9 from beyond the arc on the night. Senior Emily Sheehan (Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore) had nine points and classmate Sofia Recupero (Whitestone, N.Y./Saint Francis Prep) tallied eight points and seven rebounds.
This marks the fifth straight game that Monaghan has scored in double figures and is averaging 15.8 points per game during that stretch.
Sadie Comfort led four River Hawks in double figures with 17 points and Amalia Esposito added 15 points, while Nevin Hoenninger and Erin McQuillen had 10 apiece.
The two teams traded baskets for much of the first quarter before the River Hawks took a 17-11 lead at the 1:55 mark, but Scranton closed the quarter on a 7-0 run that included five straight points from Monaghan to take an 18-17 lead. A layup from Mason gave the visitors a 26-20 lead with 7:03 to play, but Susquehanna answered with a 9-3 run to take a 29-28 lead momentarily. The River Hawks led 34-33 with just over a minute left in the half before a layup from Mason and a triple from Sheehan gave the Lady Royals a 38-34 advantage at the break.
Scranton held the River Hawks to just eight points in the third quarter and a Recupero jumper stretched the lead to double digits at 46-36 with 5:16 left in the third quarter. Freshman Kyra Quigley (Drexel Hill, Pa./Sacred Heart Academy Bryn Mawr) hit a free throw in the final minute to open up a 51-42 edge after three. Monaghan buried a three to open the scoring in the fourth, but an 8-0 run from Susquehanna cut the lead to four at 54-50 with 5:59 to play. Sheehan hit a pair of free throws to make it a 58-54 game at the 3:25 mark, however, the River Hawks responded with a 7-0 run that included five points from Esposito to take the afore-mentioned 61-58 lead for the time being.
The Lady Royals shot 42.9% (24-of-56) from the floor and 21.7% (5-of-23) from deep to go along with a 9-of-11 mark (81.8%) at the charity stripe, while Susquehanna was 18-of-46 (39.1%) from the field, 9-of-18 (50%) from three-point range and 16-of-19 (84.2%) at the free throw line. The River Hawks held a slight 32-28 edge on the boards and Recupero's seven rebounds led the way for the Lady Royals.
Scranton returns home to host Catholic in a key Landmark Conference battle on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. The Lady Royals currently sit second in the Landmark standings at 7-2, trailing the first place Cardinals by one game.