Tuesday, January 16, 2007
By Bob Heller
William Kurtz's fade-away 23 foot jumper with 23.8 seconds left and the shot clock expiring proved to be the game-winner as the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia men's basketball team recorded a 56-51 victory over the first place Philadelphia University Rams at the A & R Center tonight.
The win improves the Devils overall record to 9-6 overall and 7-3 in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference games. The Rams, in suffering their first CACC loss on their home court this season, fell to 13-4 overall and 8-2 in league play.
Kurtz (Sr., Shawnee HS/Shamong, N.J.) led all scorers with 27 points. For the second time in three games, the senior guard sank seven three-point field goals, including the decisive basket as the clock wound down. Eric Cangelosi (Sr., Camden Catholic HS/Haddon Heights, N.J.) added 12 points and a team-high six rebounds. Howard Lanier (Jr., St. Augustine Prep/Sicklerville, N.J.) chipped in 10 points and had a game-high four assists. Kurtz also recorded four assists.
Jason Hickenbottom led the Rams with 17 points before fouling out with 4:42 left in the game. Christian Burns recorded a double-double with 16 points and 16 rebounds. Russell Frederick had four assists.
The Devils had built a 51-43 lead with 3:42 left, only to have the Rams score eight straight points to tie the game. Russell Frederick's layup with 58.4 seconds capped the run which saw Frederick score seven of the teams eight points during the run. The Devils were patient on offense during their next possession working the ball around the perimeter. Kurtz finally got the ball as the shot clock was winding down and launched an NBA range fade-away from the left side which caught nothing but net and gave the Devils a 54-51 lead. After a Ram timeout, Frederick penetrated the lane and lost the ball to Kurtz who took a few dribbles forward and was fouled. Kurtz made both free throws with 9.3 seconds left to put the icing on the cake. Two three point field goal attempts by the Rams in the final seconds failed and the Devils had their upset win.
It was the third of Kurtz's five second half three's that gave the Devils their first lead of the second half 40-37 at the 8:11 mark. After Burns cut the lead to 40-38 with a free throw, the Devils, over the next 4:08, the Devils engineered an 11-5 spurt to take an eight point lead 51-43. Cangelosi started the run with a pair of free throws and Kurtz added another trey to make the score 45-38. After two free throws by Hickenbottom, Cangelosi countered with a layup to keep the spread at seven, 47-40. PU's Levi Winters then sank a three point field goal to pull the Rams within four 47-43. Kurtz made two free throws at the 4:42 mark and Lanier then added a driving bank shot as the shot clock was expiring to end the run but not the drama as the Rams then began their comeback leading up to the final Kurtz trey to win it for USP.
For the game, the Devils connected on 18 of 40 shots from the field (45%). The Rams also made 18 field goals on 48 shots (37.5%). The big difference was found beyond the arc as the Devils made 11 of 22 three point shots (50%) to PU's 3-of-13 (23.1%). Both teams were fairly even on the charity stripe with the Devils making nine of 14 (64.3%) and the Rams, 12 of 19 (63.2%). The Rams outrebounded the Devils 31-27.
The Devils return to action on Saturday, January 20, 2007 when they take on Nyack College. Tip off is set for 3 p.m.