WILMINGTON, Del. – The University of the Sciences men's basketball team posted a near wire-to-wire win as it opened its season with a 63-54 victory over LIU Post on Friday night at Wilmington.
LIU Post scored the first basket of the game, but USciences scored the next five points and after the Pioneers momentarily tied the game at five, the Devils went on an 11-2 run and would lead throughout the remainder of the night.
Leading by as many as 14 in the first half and 11 early on in the second, University of the Sciences was forced to hold off a charging LIU team that closed to within four, 41-37, with 11:28 remaining in the contest after seven unanswered points.
After a USciences miss, LIU had an opportunity to get within a single possession for the first time since there was over 12 minutes left in the first half, but the Devils forced a stop. Flo Da-Silva scored on the next possession to reestablish a six-point lead and the Pioneers would get no closer than six the remainder of the night.
University of the Sciences reestablished its double-digit lead, 51-41, on Beni Toure's layup with 8:17 to go.
LIU Post got back within single digits twice over the next two plus minutes, but a Paddy Casey 3-pointer at the 5:06 mark put a final ending to any potential comeback.
LIU Post would not pull within single digits until the final minute of the contest.
Brendan Crawford's game-high 18 points on 9-of-14 shooting were one shy of a career-high, and he fell two rebounds shy of his first career double-double.
In his first career game a Devil Casey got the start and played 36 minutes, providing 13 points, including 3-of-4 3-point sheeting, seven rebounds, three assists and three steals.
Will Gregorits made it three Devils in double-figures with 11 points, to go along with six rebounds and four assists.
Da-Silva stuffed the stat sheet with nine rebounds, six steals, six points and four assists. The six steals were one shy of a career-best.
University of the Sciences recorded 10 steals as it forced 18 turnovers. The Devils also held LIU Post to 32.4 percent (22-of-68) shooting.
USciences doubled-up on the Pioneers in assists, 16-8, assisting on 64 percent of its 25 baskets.
The Devils shot 6-of-15 (40 percent) from beyond the arc.
Notably, JJ Melchior went 2-for-4 from 3-point land as he provided eight points off the bench.
Gregorits capped the 11-2 first half run with a layup to make the score 17-7 5:55 into the contest.
LIU Post closed to within 16-13 less than two minutes later, but this time it was 11 unanswered over 5:26 to give University of the Sciences a game-high 27-13 advantage on Carawford's layup with 6:47 remaining.
The Pioneers came as close as six late in the half, but Da-Silva scored the final basket of the period to give USciences a 33-25 advantage at the break.
University of the Sciences returns to Wilmington tomorrow, Nov. 11, to take on NYIT at 6 p.m.