Saturday, February 18, 2006
By Bob Heller
The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia women’s basketball team survived a late comeback from Bloomfield College to win their ninth straight game, 78-77 this afternoon in Bloomfield, New Jersey.
With the win, the Devils clinch the #2 seed in the upcoming Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference playoffs and improve their record to 19-6 overall and 18-4 in league play. USP concluded the road portion of their regular season with an 11-1 record. Bloomfield falls to 17-8 overall and 15-7 in league play.
USP placed four players in double figures on the afternoon, led by senior CACC Player-of-the-Year candidate Leah Shumoski (Sr., Marple Newtown HS/Broomall, PA). Shumoski, who played the entire second half with an injured foot, scored a game-high 22 points and pulled down a team high eight rebounds. 16 of Shumoski’s 22 points came in the second half (6-8 FG). Leah also had two steals to raise her career total to 300, becoming just the second USP player to do so.
Shelby Rance (Jr., Central Columbia HS/ Bloomsburg, PA) added 14 points for the Devils while recording four steals. Lori Sedina (Jr., Lower Cape May HS/Cape May, NJ) had 11 points, seven rebounds and two blocks while Autumn Tully (Fr., Union-Endicott HS/Endicott, NY) had another good game off the bench, scoring 10 points and pulling down five rebounds. Rashanna Edwards (Jr., West Windsor-Plainsboro HS/ Cherry Hill, NJ) dished out a team high six assists.
The Deacons placed five players in double figures, led by Marissa Franklin’s 16 points. Domenica Raymond added 15 points and nine assists while Alesha Clayton came off the bench to score 14 points and pull down a game high 10 rebounds.
The first half saw 13 lead changes and four ties. The Deacons had led by six early, 8-2 before the devils battled back to take a slim three-point lead, 17-14 midway through the period. Both teams battled back and forth the rest of the half with neither team leading by more than three the rest of the period. The Deacons emerged on top as the buzzer sounded for halftime, 36-35.
Bloomfield continued to lead in the opening minutes of the second half, taking their biggest lead of the period, four points 41-37 at the 16:00 minute mark. Baskets by Amanda Byrd (Jr., Christiana HS/New Castle, DE) and Shumoski tied the gamer up at 41-41 just 90 seconds later. Shumoski later added a three-point play to give the Devils a three-point lead, 46-43 with 12:21 left. The Deacons came back to retake the lead 49-48 at the 10:44 mark before the Devils went on a 6-0 run to take their biggest lead at the time, five points, 54-49 at the 9:33 mark.
Rance started the run with and was followed by a 15 ft. left side swish from Shumoski. On the same play USP’s Davitra Goode (Jr., Central Islip HS/Central Islip, NY) was fouled and went to the line to shoot the one-and-one. Goode made both free throws and the Devils completed an untraditional four-point play to go up by five 54-49, with 9:33 to go.
USP led by two when Shumoski was fouled making a layup at the 6:35 mark to put the Devils up four, 58-54. Shumoski missed the free throw but not one Bloomfield player moved and Shumoski had an uncontested offensive rebound. Byrd converted a jumper following the rebound to make the score 60-54.
USP still led by five, 63-58 at the 3:52 mark when Clayton pulled the Deacons within three, 63-60 with 3:42 left. Sedina and Byrd then added two consecutive baskets to give the Devils their biggest lead of the game, seven points, 67-60 with just 2:32 remaining.
The Deacons again closed within three on two occasions and trailed 69-66 with 1:14 left before Sedina made a baseline jumper to put the Devils back up by five, 71-66 with just under a minute to go. Rance then converted two free throws on a technical foul charged to the Bloomfield bench and led 73-66 with 50 seconds to go.
Bloomfield’s Ciera Darby (10 points) added a jumper and DeAnjole Felton (11 points) connected on a three-point field goal to pull the Deacons within two, 73-71 with just 35 ticks left on the clock. The Devils then went to the foul line, making five of six in the final 30 seconds to secure the win. Franklin’s layup for the Deacons at the buzzer made the final score 78-77.
The Devils shot 59.1% (13-22) in the second half and finished the game connecting on 27 of 56 shots (48.2%). Bloomfield made 30 of 68 shots from the field for the game (44.1%) USP held the advantage on the foul line, making 22 of 32 (68.8%) to Bloomfield’s 15 of 22 (68.2%). On the glass, the Deacons benefited from 20 offensive rebounds and outboarded the Devils 43-31. Both teams had 19 assists and 15 turnovers. For the game there were nine ties and 20 lead changes.
The Devils will close out their regular season at home next week with a games against Caldwell College on Tuesday, February 21, 2006 and Holy Family University on February 25, 2006. The Caldwell game will tip off at 6 p.m. while the Holy Family game will start at 1 p.m.