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Basketball Spotlight:
Defense Helps Devils Defeat Dominican

Thursday, January 6, 2005

By Bob Heller
USIP Sports Information Director

The USP women's basketball team turned in an impressive defensive effort to start off the second half as they handed Dominican College their ninth loss overall and third loss in the CACC 68-49.

Leading by 10 at the half 34-24, the Devils forced seven straight turnovers in the first 2:39 of the final period scoring six straight points to lead 40-24 before the Chargers got a shot off in the period. The Devils continued the defensive pressure, allowing only one basket while going on a 13-2 run over the next 5:10 to lead 53-26 with 12:11 left. Leah Shumoski (Jr., Marple-Newtown HS/Broomall, PA) had six points during the run, capping it off with a three point play. Lori Wernik (So., Lower Cape May Regional HS/Cape May, NJ) added four points while Shelby Rance (So., Central Columbia HS/ Bloomsburg, PA) had the other three. A little over four minutes later the Devils had their biggest lead of the game, 60-31 with 7:58 left before Dominican rebounded with a 16-4 run to pull as close as 17, 64-47 with 3:52 left. The Devils closed the door over the final 3 minutes, limiting the Chargers to just one basket before settling in for the 19-point win.

Shumoski led all scorers with 20 points. Leah also pulled down 10 rebounds, recording her fourth double-double of the season. Shumoski also had five steals. Rance added 13 points and Rashanna Edwards (So., West Windsor-Plainsboro HS/Plainsboro, NJ) chipped in 12. Rance, Edwards, Wernik and Shay Nelson (Fr., Cumberland Regional HS/Millville, NJ) each dished out three assists in a balanced game for the Devils. Wernik also pulled down eight rebounds.

Despite opening the game connecting on just six of 23 shots (26.1%) USP found themselves in a tie game at 15-15 at the 9:22 mark of the first period. The Devils then went on an 8-0 run open an eight-point advantage 23-15. After Dominican cut the lead in half, USP followed with a 7-0 run to go up 11, 30-19 with 2:50 left. The Devils connected on seven of their last eight shots to go into the lockerroom up 10, 34-24.

For the game, the Devils shot 43.6% from the field (24-55) compared to the Chargers 34.5% (19-55). The Devils committed only 16 turnovers compared to 28 for Dominican and held a slight advantage on the boards 37-36.

The Devils take to the road for their next two conference games, a Tuesday evening matchup at Goldey Beacom College on January 13th and an afternoon matinee at Nyack on the January 16th.

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