Wednesday, December 29, 2004
By Bob Heller
Leah Shumoski and Shelby Rance combined for 36 second half points as the USP Devils rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit to defeat Bowie State University 81-70 in women's basketball action at the Bobby Morgan Arena earlier today.
After allowing the Lady Bulldogs to shoot a sizzling 62.1% in the first half, the USP defense forced their opponents to miss 22 shots in the second period (13-35, 37.1%). USP's offense started to click as well in the second half, with the Devils making 14 of 24 shots (58.3%) from the field and 20 of 24 from the free throw line (83.3%).
Shumoski (Jr., Marple-Newtown HS/Broomall, PA) finished the game with a season high 31 points, connecting on 12 of 17 shots from the field and 7-of-9 from the charity stripe. Rance (So., Central Columbia HS/ Bloomsburg, PA) also had a season-high 26 points (8-16 FG, 9-9 FT). Shumoski added six rebounds, four assists, three blocks and seven steals to go along with her 31 points while Rance dished out a game-high five assists. Lori Wernik (So., Lower Cape May Regional HS/Cape May, NJ) finished as the Devils high rebounder with 12.
Trailing 39-32 at the half, USP opened the final stanza with a 7-2 run to tie the game at 41-41 at the 14:28 mark. After Bowie State went back up by three 46-43 less than a minute later, the Devils countered with an 11-0 run to take a 54-46 lead with 10:34 remaining. Shumoski started the rally with a layup and Wernik followed with a jumper at the 12:59 mark to give the Devils their first lead of the period, 47-46. Rance added a layup and Shumoski a pair of free throws before Shay Nelson (Fr., Cumberland Regional HS/Millville, NJ) connected on a layup and was fouled. Nelson made the free throw to complete the three point play and boost the lead to eight 54-46.
Bowie scored two straight baskets to cut the lead in half 54-50 with 8:51 left. USP countered with a 12-4 run, boosting their lead to their largest margin on the afternoon, 12, 66-54 with 5:41 left in the game. The Lady Bulldogs again cut the lead to four, 68-64, with a 10-2 run over the next three minutes. Rance's layup with 2:03 left made the score 70-64 and the Lady Bulldogs were forced to foul. The Devils made 11 of 12 free throws down the stretch, providing the final 11-point margin of victory, 81-70.
Bowie State had opened the game, outscoring the Devils 8-2 before USP answered with nine straight points to take an early 11-8 lead. The Lady Bulldogs kept the game close and went on a 10-2 run late in the half to boost their lead to seven, 35-28 - a margin they held until the half ended.
Less than 24 hours earlier, the Devils suffered their worst non-conference loss in seven seasons, falling to nationally ranked Glenville State College (#19) 74-42. Wernik led the Devils with 13 points while Shumoski and Rance each chipped in 12. Shumoski's total included the 1,000th point of her college career. The Devils lost the battle of the boards 45-21 and were outshot 50%( 29-58) to 36.2% (17-47) from the field.
The Devils return to action on Thursday, January 6, 2005 with a CACC matchup against Dominican College.