Saturday, March 5, 2005
By Bob Heller
Shelby Rance scored 23 points for the University of the Sciences women's basketball team tonight, but the Devils fell short in their quest to repeat as Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Tournament Champions, falling to area rival Holy Family University 65-59 at Caldwell College.
With the loss , USP falls to 21-9 and will have to wait and see if they get an at-large bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament. By winning the game, the Tigers earn an automatic bid into the tournament. Seeding will be announced on Sunday night.
Joining Rance (So, Central Columbia HS/Bloomsburg, PA) in double figures were Leah Shumoski (Jr., Marple-Newtown HS/ Broomall, PA) and Rashanna Edwards (So, West Windsor-Plainsboro HS/ Plainsboro, NJ). Shumoski finished the game with 16 points and 11 rebounds, recording her 13th double-double of the season. Edwards added 11 points, all in the second half as the Devils fought back from a 10-point halftime deficit to keep the outcome in doubt until the final seconds of play.
Still trailing by 10 early in the second half, the Devils went on a 9-2 run to pull within three, 40-37 at the 15:46 mark. Shumoski started things off with a layup. Holy Family's Jamie Battinieri countered with a short jumper to boost the lead back to 10, 40-30. USP then rattled off seven straight points, two layups by Shumoski and a three-point field goal by Edwards to make the score 40-37.
The Tigers pushed the lead back up to seven 46-39 with a 6-2 run before the Devils once again pulled within three, 48-45 at the 10:19 mark with a 6-2 run of their own, getting baskets from Stephanie Watson (Jr., Archbishop Ryan HS/Warminster, PA), Edwards and a pair of free throws from Shumoski.
For the next 4:30 the Devils had opportunities but could get no closer. Trailing by six, 54-48, the USP defense kept the Tigers from scoring on three straight possessions only two turn the ball back over to their opponent each time down the floor. After the third straight turnover, the Tigers took advantage, getting a layup from Megan Bauer to go up by eight, 56-48 with 4:44 left.
USP countered with a short jumper by Rance and a layup by Mary Beth Christian (Fr., Villa Joseph Marie/Warrington, PA) to pull within four 56-52 with 2:30 left before the Tigers went on a 7-2 run to take a nine point lead with just 53 seconds left. Rance then banked in a three-point field goal from the left baseline to make the score 63-57 with just 42 seconds left. Holy Family's Kelly Killion then missed two free throws and the Devils were still alive. Shumoski nailed a 12 foot jumper to pull USP within four 63-59 with 24 seconds left. Now forced to foul, the Devils put Christine Kosiek on the line who made one of two giving the Devils another chance. USP failed to score and were forced to foul again as time wound down. The Tigers made one more free throw to provide the final margin of victory, 65-59.
The Devils shots 44.6% for the game (25-56) including a 53.6% (15-28) effort in the second half. The Tigers connected on 38.7% (24-62) of their shots from the field. Holy Family held a huge advantage on the free throw line, connecting on 13 of 22 shots (59.1%) to the Devils 4-for-9 (44.1%).
For the Tigers, Battinieri finished the game with 15 points, Killion with 14 and Dunek with 11.
USP's Shumoski and Rance were named to the All-Tournament Team.