Tuesday, January 18, 2005
By Bob Heller
Shelby Rance scored 19 points and Leah Shumoski recorded her seventh double-double of the season with 15 point and 11 rebounds as the Devils defeated Caldwell College 57-50 earlier tonight for their sixth straight win.
Rance (So., Central Columbia HS/ Bloomsburg, PA) connected on 8 of 18 shots for the game and also paced the Devils in steals and assists with 5 and 4 respectively. Shumoski (Jr., Marple-Newtown HS/Broomall, PA) was 5 of 13 from the field and 5 of 7 from the free throw line. Leah also recorded four blocked shots and three steals.
The game was a game of streaks. USP took early command of the contest with 10 straight points to lead 12-2 with 13:38 left in the half, only to have Caldwell come back to tie the score at 17-17 at the 8:07 mark. The Cougars even held a brief lead, 21-20 with 6:41 left only to have the Devils regain it on a Shumoski jumper at the 6:20 mark. The score was tied at 23-23 when the Devils went on a 10-2 run over the final 3:40 to close out the half leading by eight, 33-25. Stephanie Watson (Jr., Archbishop Ryan HS/Warminster, PA) provided the spark during the run, with six points on two field goals and two free throws.
Both teams exchanged baskets in the early minutes of the second half and the Devils still led by eight, 37-29 with 15:50 to go when they went on a 12-4 run to take their biggest lead of the game, 16, 49-33 with 11:35 remaining. Shumoski started the run with a basket as she was fouled. Leah converted the free throw for the three-point play to make the score 40-29. Hayley Lentz (Fr., Wilson Area HS/Easton, PA) followed with a put-back at the 14:33 mark to make the score 42-29. A Cougar layup by Cecilia Green followed and was countered by a short jumper by Shumoski. Phylicia Holmes then added a pair of free throws before Shay Nelson (Fr., Cumberland Regional HS/Millville, NJ) made a fast break layup and was fouled . Nelson made the free throw to complete the three point play and Rashanna Edwards (So., West Windsor-Plainsboro HS/ Plainsboro, NJ) completed the run with a layup of a Rance pass to give the Devils a 49-33 lead.
Caldwell followed the USP run with an 8-0 run of their own over the next 4:17 to cut the Devils lead in half, 49-41 with 7:18 to go. The Devils put the Cougars on the foul line three times during the run with Caldwell making four of six free throws. The free throws, coupled by a layup by Melissa Shubiak and a jumper by Jenn Murray forced the Devils Head Coach Nate Ware to call a timeout and settle his team down.
The timeout seemed to work as Watson, Rance and Shumoski each scored a bucket to put the Devils back up by 14, 55-41 with 3:40 to go. From this point the Devils hung on as the Cougars outscored USP 9-2 over the final 3:40 to make the final score respectable, 57-50.
Despite shooting 34.5% in the second half, the Devils finished the game shooting 40.7% (22-54) from the field and 68.4% from the free throw line. Both teams were a combined 0-for-14 from three-point range. Caldwell held a slight rebounding edge 37-36.
Dana Leary led the Cougars with 19 points and 12 rebounds while Holmes added 10.
USP is now 11-4 overall and 9-1 in the conference. The Devils are in sole possession of second place in the CACC, one-half game behind Holy Family who handily defeated Bloomfield College earlier tonight.