WASHINGTON – In spite of charging to an opening first half lead, the University of Scranton overpowered the Cardinals 83-73, halting their 10-game win streak on Saturday, Jan. 25 in Scranton, Pa.
The weekend loss drops the Cardinals to 12-4 on the season and 5-1 in Landmark action, Scranton is the only undefeated conference squad with a 15-2 overall record and an unblemished 7-0 record among its Landmark counterparts.
Jayni Webster and Josephine Migash guided the Cardinal offense with 17 points apiece, as Emily Grabiak added 12 points to the offensive effort and Melissa Errico rounded out the double-figure effort with 11 points.
The Cards bested Scranton 5-0 in the opening minutes of action before the Royals tied the contest 7-7 at the 14:35 mark. CUA took back the lead on a free throw by Errico and a jumper by Migash at 13:30 left to go up 10-7. Meredith Mesaris connected on two foul shots for Scranton followed by Noelle Alicea who drained a three-pointer to give the Royals a 12-10 lead with 12:45 on the clock as the duo sparked a 20-0 run.
The Cardinals were scoreless for seven minutes and ten seconds and fell behind 27-10 before Melissa Errico stopped the bleeding on a layup with 6:20 left in the half. The squads then traded baskets for the next five possessions, before Scranton reached its largest lead of the game, a 20-point advantage on a lay-up by Lia DiSciascio at 4:31.
From that point, Catholic went on a 12-3 run to close out the half and head to the lockerroom down 40-29.
To kickoff the second half, CUA scored back-to-back layups to close the gap to seven before the Royals extended the lead back to 19 at the 15:53 mark. The Cardinals did not give up, and were able to chip away the Scranton's lead, getting to within eight points on five separate occasions.
Webster connected on a career-high five 3-pointers on her way to a second consecutive 17 point game. Migash and Grabiak combined for a perfect 13-13 from the free throw line as the Cardinals had their second-best performance of the season from the charity stripe, going 18-of-23, for a 78.3% accuracy.
The Royals owned a 41 to 27 advantage on the boards as Saturday marks just the fourth time all year that the Cardinals have been outrebounded.
For the game, Scranton shot a blistering 55.2% from the floor, a season-high for any CUA opponent thus far. Point guard Lindsay Fluehr set a school record for the Royals, dishing out 17 assists. Mesaris, DiSciascio, and Alicea all finished with 17 points for the Royals, and Sarah Payonk was the fourth Scranton player to reach double-figures, with 15 points.
With just one more game before the midway point of Landmark play, the Royals sit in the top spot a 7-0, and Catholic is in a tie for second with Moravian at 5-1 but holds the head-to-head advantage, after beating the Greyhounds in overtime 82-77 on January 18th.
CUA concludes the month of January with a home contest against the Gophers of Goucher on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m.
NOTES: With five assists in today's game, Emily Grabiak passed former teammate Kerry Confrey '11 on the career assists record book. She entered the game with 387 assists and notched her second assist of the contest with 13:30 left in the fist half to surpass Confrey. Grabiak was a freshman when Confrey was a senior at CUA. With 392 assists and at least eight more games left in her career, Grabiak now only trails Maria Rojas '07 who dished out 470 assists.