Tuesday, March 2, 2004
By Bob Heller
After two close regular season wins against the New Jersey Institute of Technology women's basketball team (one and four points), the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia women's basketball team left no doubts that they were the better team as they rocked the Highlanders 92-52 to advance to the semi-finals of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament on Friday.
The Devils got 24 points from Leah Shumoski (So., Marple-Newtown HS/Broomall, PA) and 22 points from Shelby Rance (Fr., Central Columbia HS/Bloomsburg, PA). Shumoski also pulled down 10 rebounds for her 12th double-double of the season. Rance connected on nine of ten shots from the field, including four of five from beyond the three point line. Kate Jordan (Sr., Delaware Valley HS/Matamoras, PA) also reached double figures, scoring 14 points. Jordan also dished out a team-high eight assists. Roni DiCiccio (Sr., Clearview Regional HS/Mullica Hill, NJ) had seven assists on the night. Every USP player who played scored on the evening.
USP clamped down on defense, holding the Highlanders to 29.3% shooting from the field (17-58). On the offensive end, the Devils were on fire, connecting on 59.3% of their shots (35-59) including an 85.7% effort from three-point range (6-7). USP held the advantage on the boards 38-29 while committing just 11 turnovers to their opponents 20.
Jordan opened the game with a three-point field goal and the Devils led the rest of the way. After playing their way to a 13-point lead at the half, USP poured it on in the second half, outscoring the Highlanders 50-23. A 12-4 run opened the half, boosting USP's lead to 21, 54-33 with 15:36 to go. The Devils continued to stay sharp, going on an 20-5 run over a 7:27 period to take a 76-42 lead with 6:35 left to go, allowing Devils Head Coach Nate Ware to empty his deep bench.
The Devils bench performed well for USP, outscoring NJIT's bench 28-5 over the course of the game, including a 7-0 run to close out the game.
With the win, the Devils tie the school record for most wins in a season with 22, set during the 1998-99 season. USP is now 22-5 overall. The Devils will take on Dominican College in Friday's semi-final game at Holy Family University. Tip off is 2 p.m.
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