The women’s basketball team fell short to Catholic University 52-51 in the Landmark Conference Championship game Saturday, but a completely new season is set to begin for the Lady Royals.
Catholic defeated Scranton in devastating fashion after the Lady Royals beat them by 27 points a week prior to the Landmark Conference Championship upset.
Lindsay Fluehr, the team’s all-time assist leader, shared her, and likely the rest of the team’s, post-game emotions.
“It felt like a bad dream and I was waiting for myself to wake up,” Fluehr said. “But after it was all said and done, we still hoped to get an at-large bid.”
Fortunately for Scranton, Fluehr and the rest of the team’s dreams came to life when they heard the news from the NCAA on Monday: Scranton earned an at-large bid to the Division III NCAA Tournament. The Lady Royals are now set to host Eastern Connecticut State in the first round 7 p.m. Friday in the Long Center.
Despite the devastating loss Saturday, the Lady Royals are preparing to bounce back and make a run in the tournament.
The senior Lady Royals – Fluehr, Meredith Mesaris, and Lia DiSciascio – are particularly excited about the opportunity to continue playing basketball. The three starting captains do not plan on allowing their basketball careers, and Scranton’s season, to end any time soon.
DiSciascio, the team’s three-point specialist and more, is confident that she, Mesaris and Fluehr will take advantage of the time they have left on the court.
“Positivity is key if we want to bounce back,” DiSciascio said. “It’s time for us to step up as leaders and help pick up the pieces.”
Mesaris, the Lady Royals’ leading scorer, said the Catholic game is history. She and the rest of the team are focused on what is in front of them, not behind them.
“The emphasis has to be on the future, not the past, and we all must remain confident in the ability of our team,” Mesaris said.
Fluehr, Scranton’s crafty point guard and game manager, is well aware that the time is now for her and the rest of the Lady Royals.
“After losing a game by one point and now knowing that every game could be our last, our intensity is at an all-time high,” Fluehr said. “If we want it, we have to take it.”
The Lady Royals are fortunate enough to receive an at-large bid following the Catholic loss, and Head Coach Deanna Klingman believes her team will take advantage of the opportunity.
“This year after our two losses, we came back with more energy, more fire and (we were) more inspired,” Klingman said. “I absolutely believe we will bounce back.”
An at-large bid for Scranton means they will have the opportunity to host two games at the Byron Center, where they have only lost two games the entire season.
Eastern Connecticut State earned an automatic bid by winning the Little East Conference championship, but their team will have to do something it has never done in its program’s history: beat Scranton.
March 6, 2015