NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Despite holding a seven-point lead early in the second half and getting a double-double from Will Gregorits, the University of the Sciences men's basketball team could not overcome Southern Connecticut State for a fifth straight win in its non-conference finale on Tuesday afternoon.
Gregorits' double-double of 12 points and a game-high 14 rebounds was his fourth this season. He shot an efficient 6-of-8 from the field and 2-of-3 from the foul line.
Almost joining him was Flo Da-Silva, who was two rebounds shy of his third consecutive double-double as he led all players with 16 points.
The two teams traded early runs, with University of the Sciences (7-4) scoring the first six points capped by a Beni Toure dunk 2:49 in before Southern Connecticut State came back with the next eight to go ahead 8-6 6:44 into the action.
From there the game was played within one possession until SCSU established its largest advantage of the first half, 25-21, at the 4:00 mark, only to have USciences respond with the final nine points of the half.
Brandon Hathaway sparked the surge with a 3-pointer before Da-Silva made two free throws, Paddy Casey nailed a jumper and Da-Silva closed the first half scoring with 1:52 showing to put the Devils on top 30-25.
Da-Silva then made a layup 50 seconds out of the locker room for University of the Sciences' largest lead of the afternoon, but Southern Connecticut State came right back with seven unanswered for the first of three second half ties.
The Owls (6-5) were not able to take their first second half lead until after that third tie, converting a 3-point play to make the score 43-40 with 10:46 remaining. That was part of seven straight for SCSU, who took a five-point advantage 50 seconds later.
Twice over the next two minutes Gregorits layups made it a one possession game, but each time Southern Connecticut State had an answer.
University of the Sciences then got as close as two on two separate occasions, the second time coming when a Gregorits free throw made the score 50-48 with 5:25 left, but SCSU responded with five points in a row and it would lead by at least six the rest of the contest.
No other Devil had more than seven points, with Casey also contributing four rebounds and two assists.
Toure had seven rebounds and a team-best two steals to go along with four points.
University of the Sciences plays one last time in the calendar year of 2017 when it returns to Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference play on Saturday, Dec. 30 for a 3 p.m. tip at Wilmington.