Back-to-Back Games Against Nationally Ranked Opponents
SCRANTON, Pa. — Goucher appeared poised to make the most of having to face a second nationally ranked opponent in less than 24 hours when it opened up a 23-15 lead over Scranton this afternoon. Even when the Lady Royals went on a 21-6 run over the final 6:50 of the first half, the Gophers were still within striking distance — down by just seven points — at the break.
But then the Lady Royals, who entered the game in sole possession of second place in the Landmark Conference and No. 7 in the USA Today ESPN Division III national rankings, seized complete contol of the contest by scoring the first 13 points of the second half and went on to defeat the Gophers, 80-47.
The Gophers spotted Scranton (15-2, 6-1 Landmark) an early 12-6 advantage, but they caught the Lady Royals at 15-15 on a pair of free throws by Shante Atkinson (Millersville, Md./Old Mill). Including the two free throws, Atkinson scored four points and Kiara Doughty (Salisbury, Md./Wicomico) and Candra Scott (Bowie, Md./Eleanor Roosevelt) both landed shots from three-point range during a spurt of 12 unanswered points that provided Goucher with an eight-point lead with 7:09 remaining in the first half.
The two free throws Katherine Tarto made with 6:50 left to play before halftime ended the Gophers' 12-0 run and were the first points the Lady Royals managed for nearly six minutes. Scranton went ahead to stay on a layup by Megan Kopecki that made the score 27-25 with 2:13 remaining in the period.
The Gophers (5-12, 1-6 Landmark) missed their first six field goals attempts of the second half and watched their seven-point deficit at the break grow to 49-29 before Allie Russo (Bethesda, Md./Bethesda-Chevy Chase) got her short jumper to fall 4:20 into the period. Scranton's biggest lead came with 3:29 left to play when a layup by Emily Rainey made the score 79-43.
Kopecki, the third-leading scorer in the Landmark Conference at 16.3 points per game going in, contributed 28 points to the victory. That's one shy of her career-best scoring performance of 29 points which she achieved Friday night in Scranton's 83-52 triumph over Catholic.
Elizabeth von Ende (Leawood, Kan./American Hebrew Academy), who was limited to two points in Friday night's 70-47 loss to No. 15 Moravian, bounced back and supplied the Gophers with 15 points.