Saturday, February 19, 2005
By Bob Heller
The University of the Sciences men's basketball team put themselves right back into the heart of the conference playoff race as they held off a Nyack rally down the stretch to defeat the Warriors 64-51 and earn their third straight Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) win.
The win boosts the Devils record to 11-14 overall and 10-8 in conference play. The win also assures the Devils of a playoff spot as they can finish no worse than 10-10 in the league and three of the 11 teams in the league already have 11 losses. (The top eight teams qualify for playoffs). Nyack falls to 15-10 overall and 10-7 in league play.
Chris Brattelli (Sr., Highland Regional HS/Clementon, NJ) led the Devils with 19 points. Chris Dougherty (Sr., Haverford HS/Haverford, PA) and Eric Cangelosi (So., Camden Catholic HS/ Haddon Heights, NJ) each chipped in 10 to join Brattelli in double figures. Lataiva Escho scored 21 for Nyack and Antaeus Hayes added 11.
The Devils held a five point lead at the break 25-20 and opened the second period with an 8-4 run to go up by nine 33-24 with 16:21 left. Nyack cut the lead back down to four three times over the next 2:08, the last time on a Hayes basket to make the score 37-33 at the 14:13 mark. USP then went on a 9-0 run over the next 5:03 to take their biggest lead of the game, 46-33 at the 9:11 mark. Brattelli started things off by making a layup and being fouled in the process, converting the free throw to complete the three-point play. Brattelli added another layup at the 10:59 mark and Cangelosi and Howard Lanier (Fr., St. Augustine Prep/Sicklerville, NJ) each sank a pair of free throws to complete the run.
Nyack countered with a 9-0 run of their own to pull within four again, 46-42 at the 6:53 mark. Escho had a pair of free throws and a layup while the Warriors got a layup from Will McAllister and a three-point field goal from Maurice Bennett to complete the run. Brattelli and Cangelosi added baskets to quickly put the Devils back up by eight 50-42 at the 5:38 mark. Nyack was able to pull back within five 54-49 with just 3:33 left before the Devils pulled away to secure the win.
USP closed out the game with a 10-2 run to make the final score 64-51. Dougherty started things off with a layup at the 3:17 mark. Bennett added a free throw for Nyack to make the score 56-50. Pete Adams (Sr., Camden Catholic HS/Marlton, NJ) followed with a layup with just 44 seconds left to go up by eight 58-50. Hayes made a free throw for Nyack to make the score 58-51 before the Devils sank six of eight free throws over the final 25 seconds to make the final margin of 13 points, 64-61.
Next up for the Devils will be a crucial conference matchup at Caldwell College on Tuesday, February 22, 2005.