Thursday, December 2, 2004
By Bob Heller
The USP men's basketball team placed three players in double figures as they held off a comeback attempt by Felician College to win their Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Opener 72-66, breaking a three game losing skid.
Gene Willard (Sr., Cardinal O'Hara HS/Broomall, PA) led all scorers with 18 points. Willard also pulled down seven rebounds, tying him for team high honors with Eric Cangelosi (So., Camden Catholic HS/ Haddon Heights, NJ). Cangelosi also had 16 points while Chris Brattelli (Sr., Highland Regional HS/Clementon, NJ) chipped in 14.
With the Devils leading by seven at the half, Felician slowly whittled away at the lead cutting the margin to four 38-34 with 15:45 left in the game. USP then went on a 6-0 run over the next 1:45 to open up a double-digit advantage 44-34 with 14 minutes left. Cangelosi started the run with a layup and a free throw for a three-point play at the 15:13 mark. Willard added a jumper at the 14:19 mark and Cangelosi added another free throw at the 14 minute mark to complete the run.
A 7-3 run by Felician cut the lead back down to six 47-41 with 12:06 left but free throws by Keith Dundas (Fr., Pennsbury HS/Morrisville, PA) and a layup by Collin Harrington (So., Bishop Eustace HS/ Sewell, NJ) put the Devils back up by 10, 51-41 with 11:39 to go. Bill Kurtz (So., Shawnee HS/Shamong, NJ) gave the Devils their biggest lead of the half 54-43 with the second of his three three-point field goals at the 7:03 mark. Felician countered with five straight points to pull back within six 54-48 before Kurtz added another trey at the 5:47 mark to put the Devils back up by nine 57-48.
Felician mounted another comeback attempt, outscoring USP 8-4 to pull within five 61-56 with 3:13 to go. Layups by Brattelli and Cangelosi put the Devils back up by nine 65-56 with just 2:17 left. Cangelosi added two free throws with 55 seconds left to, putting USP up by 10, 68-58. Felician closed out the game with another 8-4 run to make the final score 72-66.
First half action saw nine lead changes and two ties before the Devils took the lead for good 24-22 with 5:58 left in the period. USP led by seven at the half 32-25.
The Devils are now 2-3 overall and 1-0 in conference play. Next up for USP is a conference game at Post University in Waterbury, Connecticut on Saturday December 4, 2004.