Friday, March 2, 2007
By Bob Heller
Keith Dundas sank four free throws in the final minute as the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia held off a late rally by Post University to upset the Eagles 62-55 tonight at Dominican College and advance to the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference men's basketball championship game.
The #6 seed Devils improve to 14-14 with the win. Post falls to 17-12. USP will play #5 seed Caldwell College, a 73-64 victor over top seed Philadelphia University for the CACC Championship tomorrow afternoon on Coach Baxter Court at Dominican College. Tip off is at 4:00 p.m. The winner will receive an automatic berth into the NCAA Division II Tournament.
Dundas (Jr., Pennsbury HS/Morrisville, Pa.) led all scorers with 19 points. Eric Cangelosi (Sr., Camden Catholic HS/Haddon Heights, N.J.) had 15 points and Bill Kurtz (Sr., Shawnee HS/Shamong, N.J.) chipped in10. Dundas also paced the Devils with eight rebounds while Cangelosi dished out a game high five assists.
Jesse Iyalekhue led Post with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Arthur Robertson added 10 points while Peter Lawal kicked in eight.
The Devils used a 14-0 run in the first half turn a one-point deficit intro a 13-point lead and take control of the game. Dundas started the run with a short jumper and Kurtz followed with a three-point field goal to give USP a four point lead, 13-9. Kurtz, Dundas and Howard Lanier (Jr., St. Augustine Prep/Sicklerville, N.J.) followed with baskets and the Devils had a 19-9 lead. Cangelosi capped the run with a 3-ball at the 9:04 mark to give USP a 22-9 lead. Post quickly came back and cut the lead to eight 22-14 on a three-pointer by AJ Reitter and the Devils closed out the half leading by seven 33-26.
USP opened the second half with a 9-3 spurt to go back up by 13, 42-29 with 17:20 left, getting a pair of free throws from Lanier, layups from Collin Harrington (Sr., Bishop Eustace HS/Sewell, N.J.) and Dundas and a trifecta from Kurtz. Four minutes later Michael Mullane (Sr., Cherokee HS/Marlton, N.J.) converted an "and-1" to give the Devils their biggest lead of the game, 48-34 with 13:13 left. Post followed with eight straight points to cut the lead to six 48-42 before Mullane added another two free throws and Dundas a single free throw to boost USP's lead back to nine, 51-42 with 8:50 left.
The Devils still led by nine, 53-44 with 7:30 left when the Eagles went on an 11-3 run to pull within one 56-55 with 3:29 left. Neither team scored on their next two possessions as the clock wound down to under a minute left. Dundas was fouled by Lawal with 56 seconds left and sank both to give USP a 58-55 lead. Post missed a layup attempt and the Devils came down with the loose ball. Dundas was fouled again with 16.6 seconds left and again made both free throws to make the score 60-55. The Eagles missed a three-point attempt with Cangelosi securing the rebound. Eric then made two free throws with nine seconds left and the Devils now led 62-55. Robertson's three-point attempt was short in the final seconds and Dundas secured the rebound to preserve the win, allowing the Devils to advance to their first ever CACC Championship game.
USP shot a blistering 53.8% (14-26, 2-4 3 FG) in the first half and finished the game shooting 47.6% (20-42, 3-7 3 FG). Post made just 10 of 28 shots (35.7%) in the first half and finished the game shooting 37.9% (22-58, 8-28 3FG) from the field. USP held a huge advantage on the foul line, connecting on 19 of 24 free throws while the Eagles made just three of four shots. The Eagles held the advantage on the boards, 34-27 (13-3 on the offensive glass) but committed 16 turnovers (10 assists). The Devils committed just 10 turnovers on the night (9 assists).