Wednesday, February 28, 2007
By Bob Heller
The Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference women's basketball playoffs opened tonight as the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia placed five players in double figures to defeat Bloomfield College 73-63 at the Bobby Morgan Arena.
The win improved the Devils record to 19-9 overall as they advance to the semi-finals. Bloomfield falls to 15-12.
Shelby Rance (Sr., Central Columbia HS/Bloomsburg, Pa.) and Rashanna Edwards (Sr., West Windsor-Plainsboro HS/Cherry Hill, N.J.) led the Devils with 17 points apiece. Allison Weiss (So., Springfield HS/Springfield, Pa.) added 11 points (all in the second half) and pulled down nine rebounds. Lori Sedina (Sr., Lower Cape May HS (NJ)/Springfield, Pa.) also scored 11 points (7-8 FT) and Erin Chesnavich (Fr., Bishop O'Reilly HS/Pittston, Pa.) chipped in 10. Rance also had seven rebounds, six steals and three assists. Edwards recorded a game-high five assists, pulled down six rebounds and was 9-of-10 from the free throw line.
Bloomfield placed four players in double figures led by Shantae Barnes. Barnes scored 19 points and pulled down 23 rebounds. DeAnjole Felton added 12 points while Marissa Franklin had 11 points and six rebounds. Ciera Darby chipped in 10 points before fouling out with three minutes to go in the game.
The first half was one of streaks as the devils jumped out to a 9-3 lead only to have the Deacons score 12 straight points to take a 15-9 lead at the 13:32 mark. The Devils followed with an 11-0 run of their own and led 20-15 midway through the period. USP's lead fluctuated from one to three points until a Felton layup gave the Deacons a 27-25 lead with 3:20 left. Sedina sank two free throws to tie the game at 27-27 before the Deacons scored seven straight points to take a 34-27 lead with 1:37 left in the period. The Devils made a solid comeback in the final 1:37, outscoring the Deacons 8-2 over those final 97 seconds to pull within one at the break 36-35. Edwards had six of the Devils eight points (4-4 FT and a layup off a steal at the buzzer.)
Barnes opened the second half with a layup putting the deacons up three, 38-35. The lead then changed hands three times over the next five minutes with the Deacons holding onto a 44-43 lead at the 14:42 mark. The Devils then used a 13-1 run to retake the lead and take control of the game, boosting their lead to double digits, 56-45 with 9:36 left. Weiss started the run with a pair of free throws to give the Devils a 45-44 lead. Hayley Lentz (Jr., Wilson Area HS/Easton, Pa.) followed with two layups to make the score 49-44. Franklin then made the first of two free throws before the Devils ran off seven straight points, five from Weiss. The bedeviled Deacons pulled within nine 59-50 before a Rance baseline jumper made the score 61-50 with 6:53 left. From there the rest of the Devils scoring came from the foul line as they made 12 of 15 free throws over the final six minutes to seal the win.
USP's defense in the second half played a key part in their winning effort as the deacons made just nine of 35 shots from the field in the period (25.7%) after shooting 48.1% (13-27) in the first half to finish the game shooting 35.5% (22-62). The Devils meanwhile made 11 of 25 shots in the second period (44%) to finish the game shooting 45.1% (23-51). USP also connected on 15 of 21 free throws in the period (71.4%) and finished the game with a big advantage at the charity stripe, making 24 of 31 for the game (77.4%) while the Deacons made just 16 of 18 (88.9%). Bloomfield held a slight advantage on the boards 38-37 but committed 16 turnovers (10 assists) to USP's 13 (14 assists).
The Devils will face #2 seed Philadelphia University in the first semi-final game to be held at Dominican College on Friday, March 2, 2007. Tip off time is noon. Top-seed Holy Family University will face #5 seed Goldey Beacom College at 2:00 p.m.