Saturday, February 25, 2006
By Bob Heller
Bill Kurtz' three-point basket with 6.3 seconds left lifted the Devils to a 60-59 win over area rival Holy Family University at the Bobby Morgan Arena this afternoon.
The win improves the Devils league record to 10-12 with their overall record at 12-15. With Post University, Goldey Beacom College and Dominican College all losing, all four teams including the Devils finished in a four-way tie for the last three playoff berths. When the tie-breakers are applied, Post and Dominican get the 6th and seventh slots respectively and the Devils earned the eighth and final slot by virtue of being Caldwell earlier this season. USP will travel to #1 seed Bloomfield College on Tuesday, February 28, 2006.
The Tigers fell to 16-13 overall and 12-10 in league play.
Holy Family's Edward Greene-Long had tied the game at 57-all with a layup with 2:10 left. Both teams failed to score on their next possession, giving the Devils the ball with just under 1:30 left. The Devils turned the ball over and Dan Welch made an easy layup to give the Tigers their first lead since the 17:00 minute mark of the second half, 59-57. USP's Eric Cangelosi (Jr., Camden Catholic HS/Haddon Heights, NJ) missed a short jumper with 21 seconds left and Welch grabbed the rebound. Kurtz (Jr., Shawnee HS/Shamong, NJ) fouled the Tigers who got to inbound the ball since it was only the Devils' sixth team foul. On the ensuing inbounds play, Collin Harrington (Jr., Bishop Eustace HS/Sewell, NJ) fouled Ryan Lancaster with 16 seconds left to send him to the line for a one-and-one. Lancaster missed the front end of the one-and-one and Cangelosi grabbed the rebound, setting up the late game heroics similar to when these teams met for the first time this season.
In that first game, Howard Lanier (So., St. Augustine Prep/Sicklerville, NJ) canned a 'trey' with 3.8 seconds left to provide the Devils with the 69-66 win. This afternoon Lanier found Kurtz coming off a screen on the right side and Kurtz nailed the 21-foot jumper to give the Devils a one point lead, 60-59 with just 6.3 seconds left. After a timeout the Tigers brought the ball up the court but Ryan Haigh's shot in the final seconds was blocked from behind by Lanier. The Tigers got the ball back but were unable to get another shot towards the basket as time expired, giving the Devils a 60-59 win.
Cangelosi led all scorers with 20 points, including a stellar 12-for-13 performance from the free throw line. Keith Dundas (So., Pennsbury HS/Morrisville, PA) added 16 points while Harrington and Kurtz chipped in 12 and 10 respectively. Cangelosi and Lanier paced the devils with six rebounds apiece. Haigh led the Tigers with 19 points while Lancaster added 11. Andrew Presner came off the bench to score 10. Greene-Long led the Tigers with nine boards.
The Devils played nearly mistake free basketball in the second half, committing just four turnovers and turning a two-point halftime deficit into an 11-point lead, 51-40 with 9:20 to go in the period. The Tigers roared back with an 11-0 run to tie the game at 51-all before Dundas made two free throws to break the run and give the Devils a 53-51 lead. After Hazin Harris made one-of-two from the line, Harrington made a short jumper to boost the Devils lead back to three, 55-52 with 3:11 left. Haigh tied the game up again for the eighth time with a 'three' at the 2:48 mark before Cangelosi made the last two of his 12 free throws to boost the Devils lead back to two, 59-57 and set up the dramatic finish over the final two minutes of play.
The Devils made 21 of 48 shots from the field (43.8%) while the Tigers who made two more field goals, shot just 37.7% (23-61), including an 8-for-21 (38.1%) effort from beyond the arc. The Devils held a big advantage on the foul line, making 16-of-19 (84.2%) while Holy Family managed only a 5-for-7 (71.4%) effort from the charity stripe. The Tigers held a 37-31 advantage on the boards and each team committed 15 turnovers.