Saturday, March 3, 2007
By Bob Heller
Shelby Rance became the all-time leading scorer in the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia women's basketball history yesterday afternoon but the Devils lost a heartbreaker to cross-town rival Philadelphia University 66-64 in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference semi-finals at Dominican college in Orangeburg, New York.
Rance (Sr., Central Columbia HS/Bloomsburg, Pa.) entered the game with 1,916 career points, trailing all-time leader Leah Shumoski (1,924) by eight. Rance got on the scoreboard with a three point field goal at the 15:32 mark of the first half and added another 'trey' at the 12:08 mark. A third '3-ball' just 43 seconds later and Rance had broken the record. Rance added her third consecutive three-pointer midway through the period and finished the half with 12 points.
Rance finished the game with 23 points to close out her career with 1,939 points. Shelby also recorded her 500th career rebound, becoming just the eighth player in school history to reach 1,000 points and 500 rebounds. Rance finishes her career as the best free throw shooter in school history with an 86.0% average from the line (418-486) in 120 career games played (also a school record). In those 120 games, Rance never fouled out.
Three other players joined Rance in double figures, including senior Rashanna Edwards (West Windsor-Plainsboro HS/Cherry Hill, N.J.) who finished the game with 12 points and three assists. Edwards closed out her career with 863 points (13th all-time) and 427 assists (second on the Devils-all-time list). Erin Chesnavich (Fr., Bishop O'Reilly HS/Pittston, Pa.) and Allison Weiss (So., Springfield HS/Springfield, Pa.) also reached double figures scoring 14 and 13 points respectively. Both players also had seven rebounds to pace USP. Senior Lori Sedina (Lower Cape May HS (NJ)/Springfield, Pa.) led the Devils with six assists. Sedina closed out her USP career with 664 points (19th all-time), 301 assists (7th all-time) and 573 rebounds (tied for 8th all-time). USP's fourth senior; Davitra Goode (Central Islip HS/Central Islip, N.Y.) saw limited action on the afternoon and closed out her career with 313 points over 90 games played.
The Rams put a trio of players in double figures led by Meg Abele's 24 points (20 in second half). Alisha Ferguson added 14 points and 15 rebounds while Ashley Webster chipped in 13 points despite a team high six turnovers. Jessica Romano added 11 rebounds to go along with her eight points.
Philadelphia crafted a 20-8 run in the second half to turn a ten-point USP lead into a two point lead of their own, 59-57 with 3:40 left. The Devils had boosted their lead to 10 with a seven point outburst over a 22 second span to lead 49-39 at the 11:46 mark. The Rams scored five straight points to cut the lead in half before two free throws by Edwards increased the margin back to seven, 51-44 at the 9:23 mark. The Rams shaved four more points off the lead before Edwards added a jumper to make the score 53-48 with 7:56 left. A quick 7-2 outburst and the Rams had tied the score at 55-55 with 6:19 left. Two free throws by Weiss gave the Devils a 57-55 lead before a Rams' basket by Webster and two free throws by Abele (7-7 FT) gave the Rams their first lead since they scored the opening four points of the game. Edwards layup tied the game again at 59-59 at the 3:35 mark and the game was still tied at 61-61 when Abele made a crucial 'and-1' to boost Philadelphia's lead to three 64-61 with 54 seconds left. A free throw by Edwards made the score 64-62 with 45 seconds left. USP had two chances to tie the game but could not convert. Romano added two free throws with one second left to make the score 66-62 before the Rams were called for a technical foul for six players on the court. Rance made both free throws to make the score 66-64 and give the Devils a glimmer of hope but USP could not get a final shot off and saw their season come to an end.
The Devils finished the game shooting 37.3% (22-59, 5-13 3 FG) from the field. The Rams shot 37.5% (24-64, 1-6 3FG) from the field. The Rams however dominated on the boards 45-33 (22-15 on the offensive glass) and shot a perfect 17-17 from the free throw line compared to USP's 15 for 20 (75%). The Devils committed just nine turnovers (15 assists) while the Rams made 14 miscues (8 assists).
The Devils finish the season with a 19-10 record. Philadelphia University will advance to the CACC Championship game with a 20-8 record and take on top seed Holy Family University.