Saturday, February 5, 2005
By Bob Heller
The New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) Lady Highlanders handed the USP women’s basketball team their second consecutive loss this afternoon, 61-44.
The Devils could not recover from a disastrous first half where they connected on just four of 17 shots (23.5%) from the field and trailed by 21 points at the break, 41-20. Conversely, NJIT shot 62.5% for the period (15-24). Twelve of USP’s first half points came from the foul line, where the Devils shot 12 for 14 (85.7%).
Shelby Rance (So., Central Columbia HS/ Bloomsburg, PA) paced the Devils with 15 points and six rebounds. Rance, while shooting only 3-for-12 from the field, made nine of 11 free throws to account for her 15 points. Joining Rance in double figures was Rashanna Edwards (So., West Windsor-Plainsboro HS/ Plainsboro, NJ) with 11 points. Seven of Edwards’ 11 points came in the second half.
NJIT built a 22-3 lead in the first 10 minutes of play as the Devils failed to score a field goal until Leah Shumoski (Jr., Marple-Newtown HS/Broomall, PA) put back her own miss at the 9:54 mark and was fouled in the process. Shumoski completed the three-point play and Rance added a pair of free throws 20 seconds later to pull the Devils within 14, 22-8. This was as close as the Devils would get as the Highlanders outscored USP 19-12 over the remaining 9:34 to lead by 21 at the break.
NJIT scored the first six points of the second period to go up by 27, 47-20 before Lori Wernik (So., Lower Cape May Regional HS/Cape May, NJ) sank a short jumper and Edwards had a fast break layup to cut the lead to 23, 47-24. This was as close as USP would get until late in the game when the outcome was already decided. With the score 57-30, the Devils went on a 9-0 run to bring the deficit under 20 points, 57-39 with just 4:08 remaining. Edwards started things off with a layup and then the Devils made seven straight free throws to complete the run. USP scored five of the final nine points in the game to make the final score 61-44.
The Devils have a long break next week as their next game will take place on Saturday, February 12, 2005 at Dominican College.