SCRANTON, Pa. — A different Goucher team stepped foot in the John Long Center this afternoon. One with passion and a willingness to get better, something that didn't show in the 72-37 loss just weeks ago to this very same Scranton team. Patrick Daniel's squad played stout defense and matched the No. 4 team in the nation's every move in the first half. Unfortunately, the result was similar, as the Gophers were outscored 40-29 in the final 20 minutes of action, leading to a 69-51 defeat.
"While we are disappointed in the loss, I am so proud of how my team played and the effort they gave throughout the game," Daniel's commented at the conclusion of the contest. "Scranton is one of the best teams in the country and for a majority of the game we with them."
"Our team grew up today and we look forward to continuing to build on this type of effort."
Goucher never held a lead in the contest but the visiting team stayed right on the heels of Scranton — even with a slow start in the opening 10 minutes.
Briana Bull (Baltimore, Md./Owings Mills) scored her team's first points with 5:38 remaining in the first to cut the lead to three. Two possessions later, the Gophers (8-15, 3-11 Landmark) trailed by one as Jaida Scarborough (Baltimore, Md./Digital Harbor) cashed in a steal for two points.
The Royals (23-0, 14-0 Landmark) extended their lead back to five but Bull hit a mid-range jumper with 2:09 left on the clock to once again, cut the lead to three. In the final minute, the home team notched four points and took a 13-8 advantage into the second quarter.
Denise Rizzo's layup with a minute and 56 seconds off the clock was the first basket by either team in the second. Scranton stretched its lead to nine until India Perkins (Brentwood, Md./Bladensburg) made a jumper with 6:33 remaining to cut the deficit to seven. Olivia Nono (Silver Spring, Md./Montgomery Blair) notched her first basket of the game three minutes later to inch closer at the home team's advantage. Though, the Royals held a 29-22 lead at the break.
Scarborough grabbed a rebound and got fouled in Goucher's first possession of the third quarter. That sent her to the free-throw line where she sunk both to make it a five-point game.
For the remaining eight minutes and 51 seconds, Scranton outscored the visiting team 25-11 to take a commanding 54-35 lead into the final quarter of play.
Alexix Roman registered a double-double as she scored 23 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Royals. The home team also made 20 of its 25 foul shots in the win.
Bull led the Gophers with 20 points while Perkins added 10 points on the day.
Goucher travels to Selinsgrove, Pa. on Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tip-off against Susquehanna.