Saturday, January 7, 2006
By Bob Heller
Solid defense and clutch shooting down the stretch helped propel the University of the Sciences women's basketball team to their fourth straight victory this afternoon as the rallied from a seven point deficit to defeat New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), 55-53.
The win improved the Devils record to 6-4 overall and 5-2 in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference play. NJIT fell to 6-4 overall and 4-3 in league play.
Shelby Rance (Jr., Central Columbia HS/Bloomsburg, PA) led all scorers with 22 points on 6 of 13 shooting from the field and 10 of 12 from the free throw line. Leah Shumoski (Sr., Marple-Newtown HS/Broomall, PA) joined Rance in double figures with 16 points. Leah also pulled down 12 rebounds for her third double-double of the season and the 40th of her career. Shumoski and Rance also had six and four steals respectively.
Kelly Crowe led the Highlanders with 17 points and five assists. Emese Gyuricza and Selena Kershaw added 13 and 10 points respectively.
The Devils trailed by three at the half 27-24 and the Highlanders increased the margin to seven 37-30 at the 12:24 mark. USP tightened their defense holding the Highlanders scoreless for the next three possessions while cutting the lead to three, 37-33 at the 9:51 mark. After a basket by Crowe made the score 39-34, the Devils went on an 11-4 run to retake the lead 45-43 with 3:24 remaining. Rashanna Edwards (Jr., West Windsor-Plainsboro HS/Cherry Hill, NJ) started the run with a layup. Shumoski added two buckets and a pair of free throws to tie the game at 43-43 before Rance converted a layup off a Shumoski steal to give the Devils their first lead since late in the first half, 45-43.
Still leading by two, Edwards added a layup at the 1:23 mark as the shot clock was running out to put the Devils up four, 49-45. A three-point play by Crowe with 33 seconds left pulled the Highlanders within one, 49-48 but that was as close as they would get as Rance sunk six free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal the win - the last two with four seconds left to give the Devils a five-point lead 55-50. Crowe hit a desperation three-point field goal as time expired to make the final score 55-53.
The Devils out shot the Highlanders 40% (18-45) to 37.7% (20-53) and held the advantage on the charity stripe (19-31, 61.3%) to 12-18, 66.7%) for NJIT. The Highlanders also held a big advantage on the boards, outrebounding the Devils 39-29, but committed 18 turnovers to the Devils 12.
The Devils are off until Thursday when the take on Bloomfield College at the Bobby Morgan Arena. Tip off is slated for 6 p.m. This game will be webcast by Teamline Sports as the CACC Game of the Week. A link for the webcast has been placed on the USP Athletic Website.