Scranton, Pa. - The Catholic University of America women's basketball team was downed 62-43 by No. 13 the University of Scranton on Saturday afternoon.
Following a five-game hiatus, Catholic senior Payton Smith returned to the hardwood and shot 5-of-9 from the floor and 6-of-6 from the free throw line for a game-high 18 points. Smith added three rebounds, two assists and a steal for the Cardinals as sophomore Megan Stafford grabbed a game-high seven rebounds and tallied a block.
The Cardinals made it onto the scoreboard first as sophomore Sydney Poindexter sunk two free throws in the first minute of play. Two foul shots from Smith along with layups from senior Samantha Cowan and Poindexter gave the Cards an 8-3 lead which they maintained through the 6:47-minute mark of the first quarter.
Scranton's leading scorer, senior Bridget Mann hit a three-point shot and two free throws to start the Royals on a 11-0 run to finish out the quarter ahead 14-8.
The opening four and a half minute of the second quarter went scoreless before a three-point play on a layup and one from Smith brought the Cardinals within 3 of the Royals (14-11). The Royals picked up speed to go on the 10-4 run in the final minutes of the period earning a 24-15 advantage at the break.
The nationally ranked Royals (22-1, 11-1) opened up their lead shooting a perfect 16-of-16 from the free throw line in final two quarters. They outscored the Cardinals 38-28 in the second half for their 11th Landmark victory of the year.
Catholic remains on the road and is set to travel to Elizabethtown, Pa., to take on the Blue Jays on Wednesday, February 14 at 7 p.m.
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