UNION – The Kean University women’s basketball team limited University of Scranton to less than 22 percent shooting from the floor and forced 31 turnovers en-route to a 56-39 win in non-conference action on Tuesday evening.
Freshman Emily Cristaldi finished with a team-high 15 points for the #3/4 Cougars (9-1), as they remain undefeated against Division III opponents.
The Lady Royals were led by seniors Megan Kopecki and Jennifer King, who each finished with nine points apiece.
After a scoreless opening three minutes of the game, the Royals took an 8-2 lead after back-to-back three-pointers by King. The Cougars scored 14 straight points, taking the lead for good on a jumper by Cristaldi midway through the run, and used a 14-2 run to lead by as many as 19 points after another jumper by Cristaldi, before taking a 35-18 lead at halftime.
In a sloppy first half that saw both teams combine for 35 turnovers, Cristaldi led the Cougars with 13 points, while Kopecki and King each scored six points.
Kean led by as many as 23 points at 41-18 following a lay-up by senior forward Tiffany Patrick early in the second half. The Lady Royals scored the game’s next 10 points to trim the lead to 13 points at 41-28, however that would be as close as Scranton would get, as the Cougars would push the lead back out to 21 points on several occasions en-route to the 17-point victory.
The Cougar defense limited the Lady Royals to just 21.5 percent shooting (14-of-65) for the game, including 17.9 percent (7-of-39) shooting in the second half.
Patrick finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocks, while sophomore Simone Smith grabbed a career-best 11 rebounds.
Kean’s leading scorer Naimah Clemons was held scoreless, but contributed with five assists, four rebounds and three steals in the balanced Cougar attack.
The Cougars are off a week before returning to action at Gwynedd-Mercy College on Tuesday, December 28, at 7 p.m.
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