Wednesday, December 1, 2004
By Bob Heller
The USP women's basketball team got a 'career' game from its captain Leah Shumoski but faded down the stretch as host West Chester University prevailed 60-51 last night.
Shumoski (Jr., Marple-Newtown HS/Broomall, PA) tallied 17 points and pulled down 17 rebounds for her second consecutive double-double. In addition Leah recorded eight steals, three blocked shots and dished out four assists, leading the Devils in each of these categories.
Despite a poor shooting first half (30.4%) the Devils trailed by only two at the break 20-18, due to a solid defensive effort. In the second half, Shumoski's basket at the 16:16 mark gave the Devils their first lead of the game 24-22. Over the next ten minutes of action, their were seven ties and five lead changes with a pair of free throws by West Chester's Dominique Lewis putting the Golden Rams back on top 45-44 with 5:28 to go.
West Chester opened up a six point lead 50-44 with 4:19 left before Stephanie Watson (Jr., Archbishop Ryan HS/Warminster, PA) cut the deficit in half with a three-point field goal at the 3:55 mark. The Devils defense held the Golden Rams in check and USP had a chance to cut the deficit to one. A missed foul call and an ill-timed technical foul on USP assistant coach Jeff Lorenzo swung the momentum pendulum back to West Chester. The technical foul turned into a four point play for West Chester as the made both free throws and scored on their ensuing possession to increase their lead to seven, 54-47 with 2:52 remaining. USP managed just two field goals down the stretch as West Chester hung on to win 60-51.
Shelby Rance (So., Central Columbia HS/ Bloomsburg, PA) joined Shumoski as the only USP players in double figures, finishing the game with 10 points.
For the second consecutive game, the Devils failed to break the 37% shooting mark from the field, connecting on just 36.1% (22-61) for the game.
The Devils fall to 1-2 with the loss. USP starts conference play in their next contest, a home game against Felician College on Thursday, December 2, 2004.