Lady Royals Host Catholic in Search of Fifth Straight Landmark Conference Crown on Saturday

Freshman Bridget Monaghan and the Lady Royals host Catholic in the Landmark Conference Championship game on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. © Photo by Timothy R. Dougherty /
Freshman Bridget Monaghan and the Lady Royals host Catholic in the Landmark Conference Championship game on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. © Photo by Timothy R. Dougherty /

Fresh off a 74-63 win over Moravian in Wednesday's semifinal matchup, The University of Scranton women's basketball team (23-3) will host Catholic (21-5) in search of the program's fifth straight Landmark Conference Championship on Saturday at the John Long Center. Opening tip of the title game is slated for 3 p.m.

The winner of Saturday's game will receive the Landmark's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament that will begin at campus sites across the country on Friday, March 6.

Admission to the championship game is $7 for adults and $4 for seniors (62 and older) and non-Landmark Conference students. Children ages 10 and under are admitted free of charge, as are all Landmark Conference students, faculty and staff with their school ID.

Head coach Nick DiPillo's squad is ranked 14th in the latest D3Hoops.Com and WBCA polls that were released earlier this week. The Lady Royals are also No. 2 in the most recent Mid-Atlantic Regional Rankings and Catholic sits at No. 8.

Scranton defeated Elizabethtown by a score of 68-48 in last year's championship game and senior Sofia Recupero (Whitestone, N.Y./Saint Francis Prep) was named Tournament MVP. The Lady Royals wound up advancing to the NCAA Division III Final Four for the first time since 2006 and ninth time in program history.

This marks the fourth time in six seasons that the Lady Royals and Cardinals have met in the conference title game with Scranton winning in 2015-16 and 2016-17. Catholic last won the Landmark Conference crown in 2014-15 and has won three titles overall.

The Lady Royals trailed Moravian 35-34 at halftime of Wednesday's semifinal before beginning the third quarter on an 11-2 run to take the lead for good in the third quarter. Senior Makenzie Mason (Doylestown, Pa./Central Bucks West) notched her second straight double-double with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while classmate Emily Sheehan (Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore) tallied 15 points and freshman Bridget Monaghan (Florham Park, N.J./Morristown-Beard) added 13.

Mason has scored double-digit points in 10 straight games for Scranton and is averaging 15.6 points per game to go along with a 53.7% field goal percentage during that stretch. Sheehan is averaging 13.3 points per game in her last six contests and has knocked down at least two three-pointers in five of those six games.

Scranton features three of the top five three-point shooters in the conference with sophomore Emily Shurina (East Meadow, N.Y.) who ranks third at 40.1%, Sheehan (4th, 39.0%) and Monaghan (5th, 37.4%).

Catholic trailed Elizabethtown by one at the end of the third quarter before outscoring the Blue Jays by a 23-10 margin en route to the 77-65 victory in Wednesday's other semifinal. Sydney Poindexter led Catholic with 22 points and 11 rebounds.

Poindexter leads the team in scoring (14.8 ppg) and rebounding (8.0 rpg). She ranks fourth in the Landmark in rebounding and field goal percentage (49.8%).

The two teams split a pair of regular season meetings with each team winning on their home court. Catholic picked up a 65-62 win on Jan. 18 in Washington, D.C. and the Lady Royals returned the favor with a 65-52 victory on Feb. 8 in Scranton.

Click here to view the game notes for Saturday's game. If you can't make it to the game, links for video, audio and live stats are available on The University of Scranton women's basketball schedule page which can be found here.