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Messiah shooters scorch Lady Royals

SCRANTON – Mike Strong could not do much more than look at the stat sheet and shake his head.

Messiah College had just shot nearly 74 percent from the floor while his University of Scranton Lady Royals missed more than half of their foul shots.

The result was an uncommon one at the John Long Center, a big win by a visiting team in a women’s basketball game.

Angie Rapchinski came off the bench to score 19 points in 18 minutes without missing a shot as the nationally ranked Falcons remained unbeaten with a 79-62 victory.

“The shooting percentage is unbelievable,” Strong said. “No team has ever done that to us. That’s the highest percentage I ever remember anybody shooting.”

Messiah shot 16-for-21 (76.2 percent) from the floor in the second half to finish at 28-for-38 (73.7 percent). The Falcons were 9-for-13 (69.2 percent) on 3-pointers.

When Scranton could not keep up, in part because of a 7-for-18 effort from the line in the second half, Messiah broke open what had been a tie game at halftime.

“They did it to us inside and outside,” Strong said. “They’re a very, very experienced team. They’re excellent in their execution of fundamentals.”

Messiah, an NCAA Division III finalist last year, is off to a 5-0 start that has the team ranked in the top 10 nationally. The Falcons are ranked eighth by d3hoops.com and ninth in the USA Today/ESPN coaches’ poll.

“If nothing else, they showed us what we need to be,” Strong said.

The Lady Royals, who have 17 straight 20-win seasons with six Final Four appearances in that stretch, are 3-2 and unranked.

“I think this team is tough, but this team is very, very young,” Strong said.

The Lady Royals have faced three teams from last year’s NCAA Tournament in their first five games. They open Landmark Conference play Saturday on the road against pre-season favorite Moravian.

Courtney Roselle led the Lady Royals with 20 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Megan Kopecki added 12 points. Ryan Mooney had nine assists.

MESSIAH (5-0) 79

Brooks 3-4 0-0 6, Shani 4-7 0-1 8, Wenrich 2-2 2-2 8, Kalb 3-5 0-0 9, Henninger 6-8 4-4 16, Walker 0-1 0-0 0, Groff 0-0 2-2 2, Rapchinski 6-6 3-3 19, Szolack 0-1 0-0 0, Schleich 4-4 3-6 11. Totals 28-38 14-18 79.

SCRANTON (3- 2) 62

Roselle 8-13 4-6 20, Klusek 2-6 0-4 4, McLane 1-8 3-3 5, Mooney 1-8 3-3 5, Kopecki 5-12 2-4 12, King 1-4 0-0 3, Jaques 0-0 0-0 0, Gage 1-1 0-0 2, Tratthen 3-4 1-5 7, Carman 1-3 1-4 3. Totals 24-56 11-26 62.

Halftime: Tied, 31-31. 3-point shooting: Messiah 9-13 (Rapchinski 4-4, Kalb 3-5, Wenrich 2-2, Walker 0-1, Szolack 0-1), Scranton 3-11 (McLane 2-4, King 1-3, Roselle 0-1, Kopecki 0-1, Mooney 0-2). Rebounds: Messiah 26 (Brooks 5), Scranton 27 (Roselle 9). Assists: Messiah 24 (Kalb 5), Scranton 18 (Mooney 9, Kopecki 6). Turnovers: Messiah 21, Scranton 13.

SCRANTON MEN WIN

Zach Ashworth, Ryan FitzPatrick and Paul Biagoli led the way as the University of Scranton men’s basketball picked up its offense in the second half to defeat Messiah, 68-61.

Ashworth and FitzPatrick scored in double figures after halftime as the Royals bounced back from a first half in which they scored just 26 points, including a span of 7:59 minutes without a field goal.

Ashworth had 14 of his 19 points, FitzPatrick 14 of his 17 and Biagoli nine of his 11 in the second half.

Scranton erased its last deficit when Ashworth hit a 3-pointer from the right side for a 38-37 advantage with 13:05 left.

FitzPatrick scored seven straight Scranton points on a free throw then two 3-pointers for a 49-44 lead with 7:50 left.

Biagoli, a 6-foot-6 senior forward from Abington Heights, had five points in the last 3:34 including a turn-around move inside after Messiah closed to within three for the last time.

Luke Hawk added 10 points for the Royals (4-2).

Jason Miller led Messiah (1-5) with 20 points.

MESSIAH (1-5) 63

Snyder 2-8 2-3 7, Hawk 5-11 1-2 11, Sneeringer 1-8 0-0 3, Miller 8-15 2-4 20, Yoder 6-14 0-1 14, Hartman 1-2 0-0 3, Wrigley 0-2 0-0 0, Reitz 2-4 1-2 5. Totals 25-64 6-12 63.

SCRANTON (4-2) 70

Biagoli 5-12 1-4 11, Hawk 1-4 3-4 5, FitzPatrick 5-6 3-4 17, Ashworth 7-12 2-2 19, Hawk 3-5 3-3 10, O’Connell 2-3 3-3 7, Londo 0-2 1-2 1, Wallace 0-1 0-0 0, Fuller 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-46 16-22 70.

Halftime: Scranton, 26-23. 3-point shooting: Messiah 7-19 (Miller 2-2, Yoder 2-6, Hartman 1-2, Snyder 1-2, Sneeringer 1-4, Hawk 0-1, Wrigley 0-1, Reitz 0-1), Scranton 8-15 (FitzPatrick 4-4, Ashworth 3-4, Hawk 1-1, Wallace 0-1, Fuller 0-1, Biagoli 0-2, Hawk 0-2). Rebounds: Messiah 41 (Hawk 9), Scranton 26 (O’Connell 5). Assists: Messiah 19 (Sneeringer 7), Scranton 15 (Hawk 5). Turnovers: Messiah 14, Scranton 11.

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