Thursday, December 28, 2006
By Bob Heller
The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia turned a close game into a big lead with a 17-3 run in the final four minutes of the first half as they defeated Chestnut Hill College 70-47 in a women's basketball game at the Bobby Morgan Arena in Philadelphia tonight.
The Devils improve to 5-4 overall with the win while the Griffins drop to 4-7.
Erin Chesnavich (Fr., Bishop O'Reilly HS/Pittston, PA) returned to action after missing six games with an ankle injury to lead all scorers with 16 points. Shelby Rance (Sr., Central Columbia HS/Bloomsburg, Pa.) also reached double figures for the Devils with 13 points. Chesnavich and Rance also led the Devils with eight rebounds apiece. Rashanna Edwards (Sr., West Windsor-Plainsboro HS/Cherry Hill, N.J.) chipped in nine points and dished out a game high six assists. USP also got 22 points from their bench including eight from Shay Nelson (Jr., Cumberland Regional HS/Woodbury, N.J.) and six from Hayley Lentz (Jr., Wilson Area HS/Easton, Pa.).
Chestnut Hill was led by Tara Walsh's 12 points. Marianne Finfrock and Jenna Beck contributed seven points apiece off the bench. Kate Quintus led the Griffins on the glass with six rebounds.
Leading but just two 23-21 with 4:22 left in the first half, the Devils took advantage of five Griffin turnovers in the final four minutes to open up a 16-point lead at the break 40-24, outscoring Chestnut Hill 17-3 and shooting 8-for-9 from the field in the process. Rance started the run with a layup on a pass from Lentz. After a steal by Edwards, Davitra Goode (Sr., Central Islip HS/Central Islip, N.Y.) added a layup at the 3:41 mark Another CHC turnover and subsequent layup by Rance made the score 29-21. Lentz followed with a put-back off an Edwards miss to put the Devils up by 10, 31-21 and force a Chestnut Hill timeout.
After the timeout, Kaitlin DuRoss (Fr., Ocean City HS/Sea Isle City, N.J.) made it 10 straight points for the Devils with a short jumper at the 1:55 mark. Judy Parise then broke the run with a three-point field goal to make the score 33-24 with 1:23 left in the half. Nelson added a short jumper with about a minute left and Rance put the exclamation point on the run, closing out the half with a three-point field goal with five seconds left, putting the Devils up by 16 at the break, 40-24.
The Devils finished the half shooting 56.7% from the field (17-30) boosted by their 8-for-9 effort in the final four minutes. Chestnut Hill made just 10 of 27 shots in the period (37%).
The Devils opened the second half with a 14-7 run to take a 23-point lead, 54-31 with 13:22 left. Over the next five minutes the Griffins shaved three points off the lead and trailed by 20, 58-38 with 8:38 left before the Devils went on a 10-0 run to make the score 68-38 with 4:38 left. Chestnut Hill finished the game, outscoring the Devils 9-2 to make the final score 70-47.
For the game, the Devils shot 50% from the field (29-58) while Chestnut Hill shot 36% (18-50). The Devils also made 11 of 15 from the free throw line (73.3%) and held a 39-29 advantage on the glass. USP committed just 13 turnovers to Chestnut Hill's 18.
The Devils return to action tomorrow afternoon as they take on Saint Michael's College at 4:00 p.m. at the Bobby Morgan Arena.