Wednesday, March 1, 2006
By Bob Heller
Shelby Rance scored a game-high 24 points and Leah Shumoski came within one assist of a triple-double as the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia defeated Felician College 67-51 in the quarterfinal round of the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference Women's Basketball Championship tonight at the Bobby Morgan Arena in Philadelphia.
USP improves to 21-7 with the win and advances to the semi-finals on Friday, March 3, 2006 at USP. The second-seeded Devils will take on #3 seed Bloomfield College, a 76-54 winner over Caldwell in the first of two women's semi-final games starting at noon.
Rance (Jr., Central Columbia HS/ Bloomsburg, PA) connected on 11 of 17 shots from the field while pulling down five rebounds along with 2 blocks, two steals and two assists. Shumoski (Sr., Marple Newtown HS/Broomall, PA) shot 7-for-13 from the field and scored 16 points while pulling down 10 rebounds, including the 1000th of her college career and dishing out nine assists. Leah also had four steals. Joining Shumoski and Rance in double figures was Allison Weiss (Fr., Springfield HS/Springfield, PA) with 11 points. Lori Sedina (Jr., Lower Cape May HS/Cape May, NJ) and Rashanna Edwards (Jr., West Windsor-Plainsboro HS/ Cherry Hill, NJ) dished out seven and four assists respectively.
Danielle Norman paced the Golden Falcons with 19 points and 11 rebounds and was the lone Felician player in double figures.
Shumoski entered the game needing just one rebound to reach the 1,000th mark for her career. The senior forward grabbed a missed shot by Felician's Rochelle Forbes to reach the mark and become just the first USP basketball player (male or female) to have 1,500 career points and 1,000 career rebounds and just the third women's player to reach the 1,000 career rebound plateau. Leah's nine assists also moved her into sixth place on the USP all-time list with 279 for her career.
Rance scored 16 of her 24 points in the second half, connecting on eight of 11 shots from the field. Shelby's 24 points push her over the 500-point total for the season with 502. This marks the second consecutive season that Rance has eclipsed the 500-point mark, becoming only the third USP player to record back-to-back 500-point seasons (Kim Koschineg in 97-98, 98-99; and Shumoski in 03-04, 04-05).
The Devils jumped out to an early 14-4 lead and still led 26-17 when Felician went on a 10-1 run to tie the game at 27-all with 3:44 left. Baskets by Stephanie Watson (Sr., Archbishop Ryan HS/Warminster, PA) and Rance put the Devils back up by four, 31-27 before Saule Vadopalaite nailed the sixth three-point field goal by the Golden Falcons in the half with 27 seconds left to make the score 31-30 where it stayed until the break.
USP came out on fire in the second half, opening the periods with a 20-6 run to boost their lead to 15 points, 51-36 with 12:05 remaining. Rance scored half of the Devils points in the run while Weiss contributed six. After Norman's basket pulled Felician within 13, 51-38, the Devils boosted their lead to 20 with an 11-4 run to lead 62-42 with 5:42 remaining. Edwards started things off with a pair of free throws followed by a Shumoski layup. Diane Burns then added two free throws for the Golden Falcons to make the score 55-40. Weiss then went to the line and made one of two and Rance added another layup to boost the USP lead to 18, 58-40 with 7:45 left. Norman followed with a jumper and Rance and Sedina added baskets to close out the run.
A 9-3 run by the Golden Falcons cut the lead to 14, 65-51 with 2:21 left but the Devils held Felician scoreless the rest of the way, adding one more basket by Rance at the 2:16 mark to make the final margin 67-51.
The Devils connected on 44.1% of their shots for the game (30-68) while Felician made 37.3% (19-51). Both teams were fairly even from the free throw line (7 of 11 for the Devils, 7 of 12 for the Golden Falcons). Felician also made six three -point field goals, all in the first half and finished the game shooting 6-for-16 from beyond the arc. (USP was 0-3). The Devils held a slight edge on the boards 39-36 and turned in a good assist/turnover ratio of 24/13 compared to Felician's 12/24.