#3 Scranton surges past Saint Joseph’s in NCAA tournament, 64-45

SCRANTON, Pa. – The #3 University of Scranton (28-0) defeated Saint Joseph’s College (23-6), 64-45, in the first round of Friday night’s NCAA DIII women’s basketball tournament.

The win moves Scranton into the second round of the national tournament, hosting Rhode Island College at 8 p.m. Saturday – who beat Rowan University 67-59 in the first competition.

For the Monks, the defeat means the end of the 2022-23 season.


Saint Joseph’s kept pace with Scranton early on and stayed within striking distance for most of the contest, but the Royals finally clinched a double-digit lead with a 16-5 run in the third quarter and grabbed a game-high 23-point cushion (63-40) after an 11-0 run that lasted five minutes late in the fourth frame.

St. Joe’s led for most of the first quarter before Maddie Hartnett hit a deep three at 1:11 in the opening frame to give the Royals a 14-12 advantage. SJC junior guard Nina Howe (York, Maine) leveled the game with a layup 13 seconds later as the contest went 14-14 into the second stanza

The Monks opened the second with layups from Elisabeth Stapelfeld (Brookline, NH) and Hannah Talon (Windham, Maine) to gain an 18-14 advantage at 8:33 on the clock. Scranton continued with a 14-0 run and secured the game’s first double-digit lead by 3:42 before the break (28:18).

Saint Joseph’s managed to salvage the quarter by scoring five unanswered points in the last 40 seconds when Nina Howe hit a three and Stapelfeld dumped a knight with three seconds left to make it a 32-25 game, that went on break.

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The Monks started the third period the same way they ended the second – with a 5-0 run. The 10-point run cut the Royals’ lead to just two points (32-30) after Talon grabbed a few freebies in the third quarter at 6:49, but the hosts went off the rails with a 16-5 breakout Way to hold a 48-35 pad with a quarter to play.


Scranton scored 16 points from 14 SJC turnovers and committed just four turnovers in the winning performance…the Royals also led in points in the suit (40-14) and bank points (16-2).


Talon passed the Monks by 18 points and added five rebounds. Nina Howe scored eight points with three boards and two assists. Stapelfeld scored eight points with five collisions. Hurley pulled off nine rebounds and added five points


Bridget Monaghan had a game-high 19 points with six rebounds. Kaci Kranson added 13 points and seven rebounds. Maddie Hartnett came off the bench and had 10 points with five assists and two boards


The setback signals the end of college basketball for the Monks’ three seniors: Jayne Howe (Pembroke, Mass.), Mikayla Van Zandt (Westbrook, Maine) and Katie Whitmore (South Portland, Maine). The 2023 graduating class helped St. Joe’s to an overall record of 69-21 (.767), including a 38-6 (.864) mark in conference play, with three appearances in GNAC championship games and a conference title during their time on the Hardwood. Your contributions on and off the pitch will be missed in the future.

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