WASHINGTON, D.C. – Catholic University used a dominant performance on the defensive end and on the boards to hand The University of Scranton women's basketball team a 66-50 defeat on Saturday at the DuFour Center.
The Lady Royals (12-5, 4-2 Landmark) got 15 points from sophomore forward Meredith Mesaris (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax), but shot just 29.7 percent (19-for-64) from the field and lost the rebounding battle, 51-35.
The loss drops Scranton into a third-place tie with Juniata in the conference. The Eagles (13-4, 4-2 Landmark) currently hold the tiebreaker over Scranton by way of their 65-61 overtime victory over the Lady Royals on Jan. 5. The two teams will square off again on Saturday, Jan. 26, at 5 p.m. in the Long Center.
Catholic, which is ranked 18th in the D3hoops.com top 25, used a 10-0 run early to take a 16-6 lead midway through the first half. The Cardinals pushed the lead to 17 before Scranton scored the final six points of the half to cut the deficit to 32-21.
The Cardinals came out of the locker room and stretched their lead to 15 early in the second half, but Scranton went on a 12-3 run to get within six at 43-37 with 11:24 to play. Sophomore guard Lia DiSciascio (Broomall, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) had five points during the run.
But the Cardinals scored the next 11 points to take a 54-37 lead with 7:44 to play and the Lady Royals never got closer than 14 the rest of the way.
DiSciascio finished with eight points, three rebounds, two steals and an assist in 14 minutes off the bench for Scranton. Senior forward Erin Boggan (Danbury, Conn./Danbury) had six points, six rebounds and two blocks, and senior forward Tayler Pallotta (Dunmore, Pa./Dunmore) had four points, six rebounds, a steal, a block and an assist in 17 minutes off the bench.
Scranton shot just 12.5 percent (3-for-24) from 3-point range and hit nine of 10 free throws. The Lady Royals committed 12 turnovers, matching their season low.
Scranton is now 18-5 all-time against Catholic, but the Cardinals have won the last three.
Catholic (16-1, 5-1 Landmark) was led by senior forward Katarina Owunna (Pittsburgh, Pa./Mount Alvernia), who had a double-double with 17 points and 15 rebounds. Senior guard Jill Woerner (Providence, R.I./St. Mary's Bayview) added 16 points and nine rebounds, and senior guard Jenny McGann (York, Pa./York Catholic) had 11 points and eight rebounds.
The Cardinals pulled down 18 offensive rebounds and had a 34-18 advantage in points in the paint. They shot 41.3 percent (26-for-63) and committed 17 turnovers.
Scranton returns to action on Wednesday, Jan. 23, when it travels to Bethlehem, Pa. to take on Moravian College in a Landmark Conference game at 7 p.m.