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Basketball Spotlight:
Frontcourt Duo Sparks Devils to Victory

Saturday, February 10, 2007

By Bob Heller
USIP Sports Information Director

The frontcourt duo of Allison Weiss and Erin Chesnavich combined for 21 points in the second half as the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia women's basketball team defeated Dominican College 59-52 at the Hennessy Center in Orangeburg, New York this afternoon.

The win improves the Devils to 16-8 overall and 13-6 in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference games and snaps Dominican's eight-game winning streak. The Chargers fall to 16-7 overall and 12-6 in league play.

Weiss (So., Springfield HS/Springfield, Pa.) led the Devils with 16 points (6-10 FG, 4-4 FT) and eight rebounds. Chesnavich (Fr., Bishop O'Reilly HS/Pittston, Pa.) and Shelby Rance (Sr., Central Columbia HS/Bloomsburg, Pa.) each added 13 points with Chesnavich getting 11 of them in the second half. Both Rance and Chesnavich pulled down seven rebounds. Rashanna Edwards (Sr., West Windsor-Plainsboro HS/Cherry Hill, N.J.) and Lori Sedina (Sr., Lower Cape May HS (NJ)/Springfield, Pa.) paced the Devils with three assists apiece. Rance and Edwards also had three steals each.

Adele Laskowski led the Chargers with 16 points and seven rebounds, while Jackie Tracey-Spitaleri added 11 (9 in second half) and six assists. Kristen Tracey chipped in nine points, all in the first half.

USP had jumped out to a 17-9 lead in the first half only to see the Chargers score 10 straight points to take a 19-17 lead with 5:34 left in the period. After the Devils tied the game at 19-19, the Chargers scored six straight for their biggest lead of the period, six points, 25-19 before settling in for the 29-25 lead at the break.

The Devils trailed by four at the break and Dana Rotio's three-point field goal made in a seven point lead for the Chargers 32-25 just 27 seconds into the second half. The Devils then went on a 16-4 run over the next 5:46 to take a five point lead, 41-36. Chesnavich and Weiss combined for 14 of the Devils 16 points during the run with Rance getting the other field goal. USP made seven of 11 shots from the field during the run.

After the run, USP's lead fluctuated between one and five points as the Chargers battled back and eventually tied the score at 47-47 with 6:39 left. Edwards then hit a three-point field goal with 5:35 left and Rance sank a pair of free throws at the 4:54 mark to put the Devils back up by five, 52-47. Laskowski pulled the Chargers within two, 52-50 with a three-point field goal at the 3:11 mark, but this would be as close as Dominican would get as the Devils ran off seven straight points to take their biggest lead 59-50 with 1:03 left. Chesnavich was fouled while making a layup and completed the traditional three point play to start the spurt. Edwards followed by making one of two free throws. Weiss added a layup and Sedina another point from the foul line to complete the run. Tracey-Spitaleri's layup with 14 seconds left provided the final score of 59-52.

Hot second half shooting and fewer turnovers were two keys to the Devils success in the second half. USP shot 13-for-21 in the period (61.9) and finished the game shooting 46.9% (23-49, 2-9 3FG)) from the field. After committing 15 turnovers in the first, the Devils made eight in the second to finish with 23 while forcing 10 Dominican miscues as the Chargers finished with 19. The Devils were also 11 of 13 from the free throw line (84.6%) while the Chargers made just four of five shots (80%). The Devils also held a big advantage on the boards, 39-25. For the game, the Chargers shot 37.5% (21-56, 6-21 3FG).

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