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Basketball Spotlight:
Christian Sparks Rally as Devils Defeat Rams

Friday, December 2, 2005

By Bob Heller
USIP Sports Information Director

Mary Beth Christian came off the bench to score 12 points in the second half as the Devils rallied from a four point deficit midway through the period to defeat host Philadelphia University 68-58.

The Devils improve to 2-2 overall with the win and 1-0 in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference play. The Rams drop to 1-1 overall and 0-1 in the conference.

Christian (So., Villa Joseph Marie HS/Warrington, PA) was one of four players in double figures for the Devils who were led by Shelby Rance’s (Jr., Central Columbia HS/Bloomsburg, PA) 21 points. Rashanna Edwards (Jr., West Windsor-Plainsboro HS/Cherry Hill, NJ) added 11 points and five assists, while Leah Shumoski (Sr., Marple-Newtown HS/Broomall, PA) chipped in 10 points. Shumoski also pulled down seven rebounds, added three steals and a blocked shot. Rance had six boards, three steals and a block. Allison Weiss (Fr., Springfield HS/Springfield, PA) had nine rebounds to pace the Devils on the glass.

Meg Abele led Philadelphia with 20 points while Nicole Mechell and Alisha Ferguson each chipped in 16. Ferguson also pulled down a game high 14 rebounds.

Christian scored eight of her 12 points in the final 11:23 pacing the Devils offense. USP trailed 49-45 when Rance nailed a three-point field goal to bring the Devils within one 49-48 at the 11:00 mark. The Rams’ Nicole Mechell had a follow-up layup at the 10:32 mark to boost their lead back to three 51-48. Christian followed with a 10-foot baseline jumper but Ferguson countered with a basket to keep the lead at three. After Lori Sedina’s (Jr., Lower Cape May Regional HS/Cape May, NJ) driving layup brought the Devils within one again, Abele hit her fourth and final three-pointer of the game to put the Rams back up by four 56-52 with 8:00 to go.

Abele’s trey was the last field goal the Rams would get as the Devils defense went to work. The Rams were a collective 0-for-7 in the final eight minutes and just 3-for-12 over the final 11:23. USP outscored Philadelphia 16-2 over the final eight minutes to come away with the 10-point win.

Christian, who came into the game when starter Shumoski picked up her fourth foul at the 15 minute mark of the period, had six points during USP’s stretch run. The Devils were also a perfect 8-for-8 from the free throw line in the final 8 minutes and finished the game without a miss from the charity stripe (10-10).

The Devils connected on 28 of 59 shots from the field (47.5%) to Philadelphia’s 41.2% (21-51). USP also held the advantage on the boards 36 to 28 and committed 15 turnovers (just 4 in the second half) to the Rams’ 18.

The Devils return home on Saturday, December 3, 2005 to take on Dominican College in a CACC matchup. Tip off time is 1 p.m.

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