Lady Royals clinch spot in conference playoffs

ERIC HURD
WEB MANAGER

It was a weekend full of achievements for The University’s women’s basketball team as they took on the Susquehanna University Crusaders in a Landmark Conference matchup Saturday.
After becoming the newest member of The University’s 1,000-point club, junior forward Meredith Mesaris led the Lady Royals past the Crusaders 69-40 and earned them a spot in this year’s Landmark Conference Tournament.
Mesaris followed up her 13-point performance against Juniata College with 11 points and three rebounds in Saturday’s win.
Mesaris said she was excited not just for the 1,000-point mark and the team’s performance overall.
“I am really happy with my teammates, how we have been playing, and coming together, “Mesaris said. “Coach Strong has given me a great opportunity to play and that’s all I wanted.”
Inspired by Mesaris’ latest accomplishments, many other Royals stepped up for the game against the Crusaders.
First-year forward Alexix Roman had one of her biggest games of the season with 14 points and eight rebounds on six of eight shooting from the field.
Roman said her success came from the ball movement and her ability to get good looks at the basket.
“There were some really great passes into the post,” Roman said. “I’m a back-to-the-basket player, so I like to play physical underneath.”
The Lady Royals started off strong on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. Junior guard Lindsay Fluehr hit back-to-back three pointers to spark an early 10-4 lead with 15:50 in the first half.
The Lady Royals controlled the offensive and defense glass as well as time of possession to take a commanding 41-18 halftime lead.
The second half proved to be much of the same for the Lady Royals, with strong play from the bench and the team’s collective success at the free-throw line. The Royals finished the game going 14-19 from the line and out-rebounded the Crusaders 39-33.
Although they are happy with a spot in the tournament, Mesaris said the Royals are looking to secure the number one seed.
“Our goal is to host the tournament,” Mesaris said.
The Lady Royals’ performance Saturday put them in a tie for first in the Landmark Conference with Catholic University (16-4, 9-1 conference).
The Lady Royals’ experienced much of the same success in this cross-town matchup as well. A strong start on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball, and tremendous play off the bench from Roman powered the Lady Royals to a 72-58 victory over the Pacers.
Roman shined in her performance against the Crusaders with 19 points and eight rebounds, while Mesaris added 13 points, 11 of which came in the first half.
The Lady Royals will take their three-game winning streak to Madison, N.J., for a late season Conference Matchup against Drew University (11-10, 4-6 conference) at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Contact the writer:
eric.hurd@scranton.edu

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