Saturday, January 14, 2006
By Bob Heller
A combination of red-hot shooting and tenacious defense led the University of the Sciences women's basketball to rally from a 13-point halftime deficit and defeat the Caldwell Cougars by the same 13-point margin, 77-64 this afternoon at Caldwell's George R. Newman Center.
The win, USP's sixth straight, improved the Devils record to 8-4 overall and 7-2 in Central Atlantic collegiate Conference games. Caldwell fell to 3-10 overall and 3-7 in CACC action.
Trailing 36-23 at the break, the Devils opened the second half on fire, outscoring the Cougars 21-7 in the opening eight minutes to retake the lead and control of the game. USP made their first six shots of the period while holding Caldwell to just 1-for-7 from the field and a pair of free throws. Two baskets each by Allison Weiss (Fr., Springfield HS/ Springfield, PA), Rashanna Edwards (Jr., West Windsor-Plainsboro HS/Cherry Hill, NJ) and Shelby Rance (Jr., Central Columbia HS/Bloomsburg, PA) brought the Devils within five 50-35 just 4:12 into the period. Weiss added another layup and Leah Shumoski (Sr., Marple-Newtown HS/Broomall, PA) completed a three-point play to tie the game at 40-40 at the 14:10 mark.
Caldwell's Dana Leary made a three-point play of her own to put the Cougars back up by three, 43-40 before two quick baskets by Rance gave the Devils their first lead since the 12:39 mark of the first half, 44-43.
USP made 10 of 13 shots from the field during their comeback run while holding Caldwell to 2-for-12 shooting and three turnovers during the same time frame. For the half the Devils shot 61.5% (16-26). Caldwell finished the half shooting 11-for-30 (36.7%) after making just four of their first 21 shots in the period. USP also took advantage of their size, outrebounding the Cougars in the period 24-6 and finished the game with a 44-21 advantage on the boards.
After the Devils regained the lead, Caldwell came back and tied the game twice, before Shumoski's two free throws put the Devils up for good 50-48,at the 8:22 mark and starting a 13-2 run that saw the Devils lead jump to 11, 61-50. Davitra Goode (Jr., Central Islip HS/Central Islip, NY) scored the final seven points of the run. USP then scored from the foul line the rest of the way, shooting a perfect 16-for-16 over the final 2:28 to provide the Devils with their winning 13-point cushion. Rance was 10-for-10, Shumoski 4-for-4 and Lori Sedina (Jr., Lower Cape May Regional HS/Cape May, NJ) 2-for-2 in the final stretch. USP finished the half with a perfect 21-for-21 from the free throw line.
Caldwell used a 14-5 run midway through the first half to turn a close game into a double-digit lead en route to the 36-23 halftime lead. The Devils were ice-cold from the field in the half, hitting just nine of 28 shots (32.1%) while Caldwell connected on 13 of 26 (50%) including 5-for-9 from beyond the arc.
Rance led all scorers with 24 points. Shumoski added 15 points and pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds. Weiss had 12 points and 11 rebounds while Goode added 10 points. Sedina pulled down a career-high 11 boards while scoring eight points. Edwards also added 8 points for the Devils. Rance paced the Devils with four assists and two steals.
Melissa Freeman led the Cougars with 16 points while Shannon Coyle added 12. Amy Gaudious came off the bench to score 11 for Caldwell.
For the game the Devils shot 46.3% (25-54) and were 26-for-29 from the charity stripe (89.7%). Caldwell finished the game shooting 24-for-56 (42.9%) from the field and 9-for-13 from the free throw line (69.2%).
The Devils return home next week to take on Wilmington College on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 in another CACC matchup. Tip off is scheduled for 6 p.m.