Saturday, March 5, 2005
By Bob Heller
The USP women’s basketball team scored on their first nine possessions as they dismantled a physical Bloomfield College squad 78-60 to advance to the CACC Championship game for the second consecutive year.
Leah Shumoski (Jr., Marple-Newtown HS/ Broomall, PA) and Shelby Rance (So, Central Columbia HS/Bloomsburg, PA) combined for 49 points, with Shumoski scoring a game-high 28 and Rance adding 21. The Devils are 5-0 in games when both Rance and Shumoski score 20 points in the same game. Stephanie Watson (Jr., Archbishop Ryan HS/Warminster, PA) joined Shumoski and Rance in double figures with 15 points.
The Devils scored the first nine points of the game and never looked back, taking a 17-2 lead just 4:02 into the game, building their margin to 17 by halftime, 46-29. The first half also saw two USP career marks fall as Shumoski first broke the career free throws made mark and followed it by becoming the Devils all-time leading scorer.
Shumoski needed to make three free throws to eclipse Renee Chimock’s mark of 367 set from 1992-95. Leah made her first two free throws at the 16:27 mark and followed with her record-setting free throw at the 11:31 mark, completing a three-point play and starting the Devils on a 14-2 run as they took their biggest lead of the half, 20 points, 37-17.
The Devils all-time scoring record fell at the conclusion of the run as Shumoski nailed a short jumper for her eighth and ninth points of the game at the 6:25 mark, bringing her career total to 1,353 and surpassing Chauntrelle Clayton (1,352) as the Devils all-time leader. Shumoski finished the game with 28 points to lead all scorers and bring her career total to 1,373.
USP opened the second half with an 8-4 run to take their biggest lead of the game, 21 points, 54-33 at the 15:26 mark. Watson started things off with a three-point field goal and Lori Wernik (So., Lower Cape May Twp. HS/Cape May, NJ) finished the run with a layup. Bloomfield fought back, going on a 14-4 run to cut the Devils lead to 11, 58-47 at the 11:28 mark. The Devils remained calm and promptly scored six straight points, all on free throws to go back up by 17, 64-47 with 9:56 left.
An 8-4 run by the Deacons cut the lead back down to 13, 68-55 before the Devils countered with a 6-0 run to lead 74-55 with 4:36 left in the game. Shumoski started this run with a pair of free throws, followed by a Rance layup. Leah then completed the run with a short jumper. It was smooth sailing for the Devils as they finished off the Deacons for the first time this season, 78-60.
USP is now 21-8 overall and will face Holy Family University in the CACC Championship game on Saturday, March 5, 2005 at Caldwell College.