JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – Brendan Crawford's two free throws with seven seconds remaining gave the University of the Sciences men's basketball a 71-69 comeback victory over Pitt-Johnstown on Sunday afternoon, after the Devils had trailed by as many 15 in the first half.
Pitt-Johnstown also led by eight, 55-47, with 10:00 to play before USciences rattled off nine unanswered to take its first lead of the afternoon. After Paddy Casey scored the first four points of the run, Flo Da-Silva scored the final five to put the Devils ahead 48-47 with 8:26 showing.
The game remained within one possession for the remainder of the contest with seven lead changes and three ties.
The Mountain Cats held the only three-point lead in that stretch, 67-64, with 2:24 left after five straight points.
Casey first tied the score at 67 with a 3-pointer on the next trip down the court before putting University of the Sciences back on top with a jumper with 1:02 remaining.
Pitt-Johnstown answered with a basket of its own, giving USciences a chance to win the game in the final possession. Crawford got open beneath the basket and was fouled as he went up for a layup. He calmly nailed both free throws to give the Devils the two-point advantage.
The Mountain Cats had seven seconds to tie the game or come up with a game-winner, but a 3-pointer rattled off the iron and Will Gregorits grabbed the rebound to seal the comeback.
That was Gregorits' 15th rebound of the afternoon, which fell two shy of his career-best. He added 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting for his third double-double of the season and also had two assists and two steals.
With eight offensive rebounds, Gregoirts moved into 10th in program history with 206 career offensive rebounds.
He helped University of the Sciences to a 39-26 rebounding advantage, which led to a 19-8 edge in second chance points. The Devils also outscored Pitt-Johnstown by 16 points in the paint.
The senior was also a big reason why USciences shot a season-best 49.2 percent (30-of-61), which included an 18-of-27 shooting performance (66.7 percent) in the second half.
Casey was also a big reason as he shot 7-of-12 en route to tying his season-high of 16 points. The freshman was second on the team with eight rebounds and added three assists and two steals.
Da-Silva was right behind Gregorits with 18 points, 14 of which came in the second half, to go along with a game-high six assists. He grabbed six rebounds and led USciences with three steals.
Brandon Starr also had three steals, a new season-high, as well as a season-best two assists.
Crawford was one point shy of making it four Devils in double-figures.
Pitt-Johnstown held two 15-point first half leads, the second coming with the score at 34-19 with 5:01 on the clock.
From there, USciences scored the next nine points to begin a 15-2 run that brought them within two, 34-36, with 18:57 left to play after the Devils scored the first two baskets of the second half.
University of the Sciences tied the game for the first time when Crawford made a layup at the 15:29 mark to cap six unanswered, but the Mountain Cats responded with eight consecutive points for the first of three eight-point leads in the second half.
USciences opens its Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) schedule with a 3 p.m. tip at Holy Family on Saturday, Dec. 2.