Friday, February 3, 2006
By Bob Heller
The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia rallied from an eight point deficit over the last four minutes of the game to defeat the New Jersey Institute of Technology 59-56 in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) women's basketball game last night at the Fleischer Center in Newark, New Jersey.
The win by the Devils improves their record to 13-6 overall and 12-4 in CACC games. NJIT falls to 13-7 overall and 11-6 in league play. With the win, USP Head Coach Nate Ware becomes the Devils all-time leader in wins in the history of the women's basketball program with 80, surpassing Andy McGovern who had 79 wins from 1996-2001. Ware's record now stands at 80-52 (60.6%).
Trailing by one at the half, USP's Rashanna Edwards (Jr., West Windsor-Plainsboro HS/ Cherry Hill, NJ) gave the Devils a 27-26 lead before the Highlanders went on a 9-2 run to take a 35-29 lead with 13:54 left. USP battled back to within three on two occasions the last at the 7:05 mark when Shelby Rance's (Jr., Central Columbia HS/ Bloomsburg, PA) three-point field goal cut the Highlanders lead to 43-40. Another 8-3 run by the Highlanders and USP found themselves trailing by eight, 51-43 with 4:08 left.
The Devils then went on a 10-1 run over the next 2:49 to take their first lead since the 17:19 mark of the second half, 53-52. Amanda Byrd (Jr., Christiana HS/New Castle, DE) started things off with a layup. Rance and Leah Shumoski (Sr., Marple Newtown HS/Broomall, PA) each made a pair of free throws to make the score 51-49. After NJIT's Jill Dickinson made one of two from the charity stripe, Byrd pulled the Devils within one, 52-51 with a layup. A steal by Shumoski off NJIT's Kelly Crowe (14 pts.) gave the Devils the ball and a chance to go ahead with 1:42 left. Shumoski then nailed a jumper to put the Devils up by one, 53-52 with 1:19 left.
On NJIT's next possession, Selena Kershaw (20 points, 10 rebs.) grabbed the rebound off a Crowe miss and put it back in for the basket and was fouled by USP's Edwards. Kershaw missed the free throw and the Highlanders had a 54-53 lead with just 45 seconds left. Lori Sedina's (Jr., Lower Cape May HS/Cape May, NJ) basket put the Devils back on top 55-54 at the 30 second mark before Kershaw again gave the Highlanders the lead 56-55 on a layup with just 10.4 second left. Edwards brought the ball up the court quickly and found Byrd underneath for a layup and the lead, 57-56 with just 2.8 seconds left. On the ensuing inbounds Crowe was called for traveling and the Devils had the ball with 1.4 seconds remaining. Sedina was fouled after the inbounds and promptly made both free throws with just .2 second left to provide the final margin of victory, 59-56.
Rance led the Devils with a game-high 21 points. Shumoski added 16 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three steals. Edwards had six points and six assists while Byrd scored all six of her points in the Devils 16-5 game-closing run. Mary Beth Christian (So., Villa Joseph Marie HS/ Warrington, PA) also pulled down six rebounds for the Devils, who remain in a three way tie for second place in the league standings with Philadelphia University and Dominican College.
USP returns home to face Post University on Saturday, February 4, 2006. Tip off time is 1 p.m.