Saturday, February 24, 2007
By Bob Heller
Bill Kurtz's four point play broke a 48-48 tie early in the second half as the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia men’s basketball team clinched a playoff spot with a 83-73 victory over Felician College this afternoon in Rutherford New Jersey.
The Devils finish with a 10-10 record in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference games and a 12-14 overall record. Felician finishes the regular season with a 12-15 overall record and a 10-10 conference record. The Devils swept the season series with the Golden Falcons. With win, the Devils clinch a playoff spot and will be seeded either fifth or sixth and will play have a road game against Goldey Beacom College or Holy Family University in the first round of playoffs which begin on Tuesday, February 27, 2007.
USP placed four players in double figures led by Eric Cangelosi's (Sr., Camden Catholic HS/Haddon Heights, N.J.) 23 points. Kurtz (Sr., Shawnee HS/ Shamong, N.J.) added 18 points while Keith Dundas (Jr., Pennsbury HS/ Morrisville, Pa.) and Collin Harrington (Sr., Bishop Eustace HS/Sewell, N.J.) each contributed 12 points. Cangelosi led the Devils with seven rebounds while Dundas and Harrington each had six apiece. Howard Lanier (Jr., St. Augustine Prep/ Sicklerville, N.J.) led the Devils with eight assists.
Michael Pierrot led the Golden Falcons with 31 points and 19 rebounds. Sydir Mitchell added 20 points and eight rebounds.
With the score tied at 48-48 in the second half, Kurtz took a pass from Cangelosi and nailed his second three point field goal of the game and was fouled in the process. Kurtz completed the four-point play to give the Devils a four point lead 52-48 with 15:58 remaining. Felician pulled within two, 54-52 at the 14:33 mark before the Devils went on a 15-3 run over the next 4:51 to take a 69-55 lead with 9:42 left. Kurtz started the run with a three-point field goal and Cangelosi followed with layup. Pierrot added a layup to pull the Golden Falcons within five 59-54 before Cangelosi scored again. A single free throw by Derrell Thomas made the score 61-55 before the Devils closed out the run with eight straight points (a ‘trey’ by Kurtz, two layups by Harrington and a free throw by Cangelosi).
Felician cut the lead down to 10, 71-61 and had two opportunities to pull within single digits but failed to convert on a pair of three-point attempts. Kurtz however converted another three-point attempt to make the score 74-61 with 6:09 left. A pair of free throws by Cangelosi gave the Devils their biggest lead of the game, 15 points, 76-61 with 3:10 left in the game. Felician could only pull within ten points in the final three minutes as the Devils prevailed 83-73.
Neither team led by more than five points in the first half with a total of five lead changes and ten ties with the scoring being deadlocked after 20 minutes at 42-42. The first four minutes of the second half saw another lead change and four more ties before the four-point play by Kurtz gave the Devils the lead for good.
USP used a 56.5% (13-23) shooting effort in the second half to forge their big lead as the second half progressed, executing their offense with precision like accuracy. For the game the Devils shot 50% (29-58, 6-15 3FG) from the field and 19 of 26 (73.1%) from the free throw line. Felician finished the game shooting 37.1% (26-70, 6-26 3FG). Felician held a slight advantage on the glass, 39-38 while committing 11 turnovers (16 assists). The Devils produced 23 assists while committing just 12 turnovers.
The Devils will open the CACC playoffs with a quarterfinal game on the road against either Goldey Beacom College or Holy Family University depending upon the outcome of the Goldey Beacom-Caldwell game later tonight. The Devils will play on Tuesday, February 28, 2007 with a 7:30 tip-off time.