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Basketball Spotlight:
Defense Spurs Devils to Victory in Season Opener

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

By Bob Heller
USIP Sports Information Director

Defense was the key in last night's season opener against East Stroudsburg University for the University of the Sciences men's basketball squad. The Devils held the Warriors to 38% shooting from the field as they pulled away late in the game to win 66-59.

Gene Willard (Sr., Cardinal O'Hara HS/Broomall, PA) and Chris Brattelli (Sr., Highland Regional HS/Clementon, NJ) paced the Devils with 19 points apiece. Brattelli also led the Devils with eight rebounds and four assists on the evening. Bill Kurtz (So., Shawnee HS/Shamong, NJ) added 11 points including a back-breaking three-pointer with 2:10 left to put the Devils up by six.

USP trailed by six 53-47 with just 8:25 left before going on an 8-1 run over the next 3:44 to take a 55-54 lead. Brattelli started things off with a basket at the 7:21 mark and Chris Dougherty (Sr., Haverford HS/ Haverford, PA) added a pair of free throws at 7:02 to pull USP within two 53-51. After a Warrior free throw by Anthony Ross, Willard's jumper pulled the Devils within one 54-53 with 6:10 remaining. Eric Cangelosi (So., Camden Catholic HS/Haddon Heights, NJ) followed with a layup at the 4:41 mark to put the Devils ahead for good, 55-54. The Devils defense allowed just six points over the final 8:25 while their offense scored 19 points to give USP the seven-point win.

The Warriors had taken the lead for the first time in the game early in the second half with a 10-0 run that turned a five-point USP lead into a five-point deficit 44-39 with 12:11 left. The Devils countered with a 8-3 run to tie the game up at 47-47. East Stroudsburg then hit two straight three pointers to go up 53-47, setting the scenario for the Devils comeback over the final 8:25.

The Devils (1-0) will face another tough opponent from the PSAC as they travel to Millersville University on Saturday, November 20, 2004.

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