The Susquehanna University Women's Basketball team had been held to 53 points or fewer in three of the previous four games with the River Hawks losing all three in a rare four-game skid. The struggling offense was a distant memory Wednesday night as Susquehanna connected on 46 percent of its shots to post a 71-52 victory over Juniata College in a Landmark Conference game in O.W. Houts Gymnasium in Selinsgrove.
Bailey Trell led the rejuvenated Susquehanna (11-5 overall, 2-3 Landmark) offense with a career-high 23 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field with three 3-pointers and all six of her free throw attempts. Nikki Komara produced a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds while Janine Conway netted 11 for the River Hawks.
"The difference between tonight and the last few games were intensity, effort and competitiveness," said head coach Jim Reed. "We have worked hard the last couple days in practice to create more intensity and we changed a few things around with our pre-game to get things going again. Tonight we saw a much higher level of intensity."
Juniata (9-7, 1-4) led 10-7 midway through the first quarter before Courtney Adams hit a jumper and Komara drained a 3-pointer to spark an 11-0 run to end the period. The run continued in the second quarter with the River Hawks scoring the first four points of the period to take a 22-10 advantage.
After the Eagles hit a short jumper to stop the run, Trell nailed a 3-pointer and then hit a jumper to extend the Susquehanna lead to 27-12.
The River Hawks led 39-24 at the half.
In the second half, Juniata battled back trimming the lead all the way down to four points at 45-41 with three minutes remaining in the third quarter. After free throws by each team, a Tess Nichols jumper at the buzzer to end the quarter gave the River Hawks a 50-43 lead heading into the final 10 minutes.
Susquehanna scored the first 10 points of the fourth quarter to open up a commanding 17-point lead and cruised to the win.
"Bailey (Trell) is and has been a scoring threat," said Reed of the sophomore guard's scoring outburst. "We have been waiting for this breakout and I know she is capable to keep it going. Tonight should be a big confidence builder for her."
The River Hawks hit the road for a Landmark contest at Drew Saturday and play Catholic at home next Wednesday.