Wednesday, February 23, 2005
By Bob Heller
A late run in the second half by the University of the Sciences men’s basketball team fell short as the host Caldwell Cougars hung on to defeat the Devils 68-56 in a CACC matchup at the George Newman Center in Caldwell, New Jersey tonight.
USP trailed by 14, 53-39 with 6:52 left when they went on an 11-3 run to cut the deficit to six 56-50, with 4:08 remaining. Bill Kurtz (So., Shawnee HS/Shamong, NJ) started things off with two consecutive three-point field goals, his only two ‘3-balls’ of the game, to make the score 53-45 at the 5:52 mark. Pete Adams (Sr., Camden Catholic HS/Marlton, NJ) concluded the run with a three-point play at the 4:08 mark. The Devils failed to score on their next two possessions and Caldwell took advantage with four free throws to go back up by 10, 60-50 with 2:32 left. Eric Cangelosi's (So., Camden Catholic HS/ Haddon Heights, NJ) two free throws pulled the Devils back within eight, 60-52. Caldwell then went on an 8-0 run to take a 68-52 lead with 49 seconds left to seal the win and clinch a home playoff game in the upcoming CACC playoffs.
The Devils placed three players in double figures led by Cangelosi’s 14 points. Adams added 11 including a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line while Kurtz chipped in 10. Manny Perez led the Cougars with 23 points and 11 rebound while Jean Georges scored 14.
USP shot 34.9% from the field (15-43) while the Cougars made 51.4% of their shots (19-37) including a blistering 61.1% in the second half (11-18). USP made 24 of 25 free throws while Caldwell converted 27 of 37. Caldwell held a 32-22 advantage on the boards. USP had a season low five assists while committing 23 turnovers.
The Devils kept the game close in the first half despite going through a 4:29 stretch without scoring. The Cougars outscored the Devils 5-0 over this stretch turning a tied game into a 17-12 lead with 4:50 left. Adams finally ended the drought with two free throws at the 4:43 mark. USP pulled within one 19-18 with 3:09 left before the Cougars closed out the half with an 8-0 run to go up 27-18 at the break.
The loss drops the Devils to 11-15 overall, 10-9 in league play. Caldwell evened its record at 13-13 overall, 12-6 in league play, clinching the home playoff berth in the process.