RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Powered by double-doubles from Flo Da-Silva and Brendan Crawford, the University of the Sciences men's basketball team won a tightly contested 67-62 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) matchup at Felician on Saturday afternoon.
With Goldey-Beacom and Jefferson both idle until tomorrow, the Devils (11-7, 7-3) will end the night with a half-game lead atop the CACC South.
All eight lead changes and six ties in the contest came in the first half 19 minutes of play, a stretch where no team led by more than five points.
With USciences facing its largest deficit of the afternoon, 19-24, 2:41 ahead of the break, the game turned when the Devils closed the half with a 9-1 surge over the final 2:21 to take a 28-25 advantage into the locker room.
Paddy Casey initiated the spark with a 3-pointer, the first of three to end the half. Despite a Felician free throw, Brandon Starr kept the momentum with another triple before Da-Silva's trifecta nine seconds ahead of the buzzer gave the Devils a lead they would hold onto the remainder of the afternoon.
Felician (8-9, 5-4) was only able to get as close as two, which happened four times including when a layup made the score 51-49 with 10:11 to play.
Each time University of the Sciences had a response, the final one a 10-2 run for the first and only double-digit lead, 61-51, 6:54 later. Crawford's 3-point play, which came 51 seconds before Beni Toure ended the run at the 3:17 mark, highlighted the stretch.
Casey made 6-of-7 free throws over the final 1:03 to seal the victory. That put the freshman in double-figures with 13 points, and he tied his career-high with eight rebounds to fall two boards short of his first career double-double.
Da-Silva's double-double was his seventh of the season, and his third in the last four games. The senior led all players with 21 points, 13 rebounds four assists and four steals.
The four steals gave him 203 for his career as he became the third Devil in program history to surpass 200.
Crawford's double-double of 15 points and a career-best 10 boards was the first of his career.
Toure added 10 rebounds, one shy of a career-high, to help University of the Sciences outrebound Felician 50-36, with the Devils falling one board shy of their season-best.
Tanner Kerr fell one point shy of his season-high with seven off the bench, while Starr contributed seven in his second career start.
USciences is back on the road on Wednesday, Jan. 24 for an 8 p.m. tip at Georgian Court.