The University of Scranton women's basketball had arguably its most impressive win on Wednesday night. Now, they are one victory from back-to-back Landmark Conference championships.
Senior forward Meredith Mesaris (Fairfax, Va./Fairfax) led five players in double figures with 24 points as the Lady Royals rolled past Susquehanna, 92-49, in a Landmark Conference semifinal in the Long Center. Top-seeded Scranton advances to the championship game and will host second-seeded Catholic on Saturday in the Long Center at a time to be announced.
Senior guard Lia DiSciascio (Broomall, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) had 16 points, junior guard Noelle Alicea (Downingtown, Pa./Downingtown East) and sophomore forward Alexix Roman (Hawley, Pa./Wallenpaupack) both had 11, and sophomore forward Sarah Payonk (Schwenksville, Pa./Spring-Ford) had 10 points and 10 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season.
Scranton (24-2), which is ranked 12th in the D3hoops.com and WBCA top 25 polls, used strong defense to take a 36-20 halftime lead. They then put the game way by shooting 64.3 percent (18-for-28) from the field and 16 of 17 (94.1 percent) from the free throw line in the second half.
Mesaris scored the first seven points of the second half and DiSciascio put the finishing touches on a 10-0 run with a 3-pointer. She finished the night with four 3-pointers, her second straight game with four.
The Lady Royals finished the night shooting 54.0 percent (34-for-63), their third-highest shooting percentage of the season. Their 92 points were the most they've scored this season, and the 56 second-half points were also the most in a half.
Senior guard Lindsay Fluehr (Bensalem, Pa./Nazareth Academy) also had another strong night, finishing with six points, eight assists and six rebounds. Mesaris finished with eight rebounds as Scranton won the rebounding battle, 44-33. Alicea had a career-high seven assists, and Payonk added four assists and four steals.
Susquehanna (17-9) was led by senior guard Jonaida Williams (Williamsport, Pa./Loyalsock Twp.), who had 15 points and seven rebounds. The Crusaders shot 28.8 percent (19-for-66) and committed 16 turnovers, which led to 24 Scranton points. The Lady Royals also had an 18-2 edge in fast-break points.
Scranton will be going for its second straight Landmark Conference title and fourth overall on Saturday against Catholic. The Cardinals advanced with a 52-47 win over third-seeded Elizabethtown on Wednesday night.