Wednesday, January 19, 2005
By Bob Heller
The University of the Sciences men's basketball team scored just one field goal in their last nine possessions of the game as Caldwell College erased the Devils 11-point lead to send USP to their eighth loss of the season, 75-68.
USP had trailed at the start of the second period but used a 17-5 run over 4:18 period to take an 11-point lead, 57-46 with 9:11 left. Seven different players scored for the Devils. USP connected on four of five shots from the field (one three-point FG) and was a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line during the run.
The Devils offense then began to go south, managing just a pair of free throws by Gene Willard (Sr., Cardinal O'Hara HS/ Broomall, PA) over their next nine possessions. Caldwell took advantage of the Devils cold play, outscoring USP 14-2 over the next 4:27 to take a 60-59 lead with 4:45 left. Caldwell's Manny Perez had six of the 14 points during the run while Nolan Hall added five.
After Bill Kurtz (So., Shawnee HS/Shamong, NJ) nailed a three-point field goal to put the Devils back up by two, 62-60 with 4:22 left, Caldwell ran off eight straight points to go up by six, 68-62 with 2:01 to go. Ron Harris and Perez started the runs with layups and Hall added a three-point field goal and connected on one of two free throws to complete the run.
Meanwhile the Devils failed to score three straight times down the floor. Willard finally reached the free throw line and pulled the Devils back within four, 68-64 with 1:46 left. Caldwell failed to score and Willard again went to the line, making one of two to get the Devils within one possession of tying the game, 68-65. Harris' two free throws with 1:00 left put Caldwell back up by five, 70-65 before Kurtz connected for his fifth three-point field goal of the game, and the Devils lone basket in their final nine possessions, making the score 70-68. Forced to foul, the Devils put the Cougars on the line and they responded with five of six free throws to make the final score 75-68.
Willard led the Devils with 19 points (13-15 FT) and 11 rebounds, his second consecutive double-double. Kurtz and Chris Brattelli (Sr., Highland Regional HS/Clementon, NJ) each chipped in 15 points. Harris and Perez each had 19 points to lead the Cougars while B.J. Suchy added 17 (16 in the first half).
USP is now 6-8 overall and 5-4 in CACC play. The Cougars moved to 7-9 overall and 6-2 in the league, tied for first place with Holy Family University.