Monday, February 19, 2007
By Bob Heller
The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia men's basketball team rallied from a six point deficit in regulation to force overtime tonight against the University of Bridgeport only to run out of gas in the second extra period as the Purple Knights handed the Devils an 82-71 non-conference loss at the Bobby Morgan Arena in Philadelphia.
The Devils fall to 11-14 with the loss. Bridgeport improves to 18-7.
Eric Cangelosi (Sr., Camden Catholic HS/Haddon Heights, N.J.) led the Devils with 16 points before fouling out in regulation. Collin Harrington (Sr., Bishop Eustace HS/Sewell, N.J.) had 14 points and pulled down a game-high 13 rebounds while Keith Dundas (Jr., Pennsbury HS/ Morrisville, Pa.) added 13 points and four assists.
Jeremy Benjamin led all scorers with 21 points while pulling down a team-high seven rebounds. Ernest Daney had 16 points while Japhet McNeil had 13 points, nine assists and five steals.
The Devils led by three at the break 24-21 and the lead swung back and forth with six ties and six lead changes and neither team holding a lead larger than four points until the final three minutes of the period. With the score now tied at 46-all, Cangelosi was called for an intentional foul gave Bridgeport a two point lead and the ball. Daney added a layup to boost Bridgeport's lead to four, 50-46 with 2:33 left. After Cangelosi fouled out and subsequently drew a technical foul, McNeil put the Purple Knights up by six with two free throws, 52-46 with 2:14 left. USP made a defensive stop and on the next possession Dundas made two free throws to make the score 52-48 with 1:13 left. The Devils defense held and again USP went to the line. Howard Lanier (Jr., St. Augustine Prep/ Sicklerville, N.J.) made one of two free throws to pull USP within three, 52-49 with 1:03 left. The Devils again forced a miss and had a chance for a game tying shot in the final seconds. Bill Kurtz (Sr., Shawnee HS/ Shamong, N.J.) took a pass from Dundas and nailed a 'three' with 7.5 seconds to go to tie the game at 52-52 and send the game into overtime.
In the first overtime, the Devils went up by four on two occasions and led by three with 35 seconds left. This time it was Bridgeport's turn to rally as they got a layup from Casey Gordon to pull within one 62-61. Michael Mullane (Sr., Cherokee HS/Marlton, N.J.) made the second of two free throws to boost USP's lead back to two, 63-61 with 23 seconds left before Benjamin put in a layup to tie the game at 63-63 with 14 seconds left. Lanier's jumper as time was running out was short and the teams moved on to the second overtime.
The Purple Knights opened the second overtime by scoring nine straight points to take a 72-63 lead with 1:56 left, getting a three-point FG from Anthony Davis, a layup by McNeil and four free throws from Mantas Armonas. Lanier's layup pulled the Devils within seven 72-65 but this was as close as USP would get as Bridgeport outscored USP 10-6 over the final 1:39 to seal the win.
USP had last trailed by nine, 19-10 in the first half at the 9:38 mark only to close out the half with a 14-2 spurt to take the three point lead at the break.
The game saw a total of 56 fouls called with a seven players from both teams fouling out. As a result, Bridgeport made 23 of 30 free throws (76.7%) while USP made 24 of 37 (64.9%). From the field the Devils made just 22 of 65 shots (33.8%) including just four of 19 shots (21.8%) in the two overtime periods. The Purple Knights shot 45.2% (28-62) for the game (7-13, 53.8% in OT). The Devils held a slight 44-41 advantage on the boards and committed 16 turnovers to Bridgeport's 19.
The Devils will conclude their regular season with a road contest against Felician College on Saturday, February 24, 2007. Tip off is at 3 p.m.