PHILADELPHIA – The University of the Sciences men's basketball team will enter the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Tournament with momentum after holding off Chestnut Hill 73-70 for its second straight win in its season-finale on Saturday afternoon.
The Devils (15-12, 11-8) travel to top seed Bloomfield for a 7:30 p.m. tip in the CACC Quarterfinals on Tuesday night.
USciences survived scoring just two points - two Brandon Starr free throws with two seconds remaining - over the final 5:23 after Brendan Crawford capped a 10-3 run to make the score 71-60, one point shy of the Devils' largest lead.
Chestnut Hills scored the next 10 points though, getting as close as 71-70 with just 1:07 to play.
A missed free throw on the front end of a one-and-one and a turnover gave the Griffins two chances to take the lead, but University of the Sciences came up with two big defensive stop, including a block by Will Gregorits with just five seconds showing.
Starr collected the defensive rebound and was fouled before making both of his free throw attempts, and Chestnut Hill's desperation heave was no good.
Those two foul shots capped a perfect 7-for-7 performance from the line and gave the freshman 11 points, the fifth Devil to reach double-figures.
Gregorits led USciences with 17 points on 8-of-14 shooting, and he added a game-high 10 rebounds in his final regular season game.
Also playing his final regular season game, Flo Da-Silva was right behind him with 16 points, to go along with five rebounds and three assists.
He also had two steals to become just the fourth player in program history to reach 75 steals in a single season.
Brendan Crawford made 6-of-10 from the field en route to 12 points, and he set a new career-high with five assists while also grabbing five boards.
Also with a new career-best in assists was Paddy Casey, who dished out a team-high four to go along with his 10 points.
Tanner Kerr came off the bench to score seven points, on 3-of-5 shooting, while adding four rebounds and two assists.
As has been the case much of the season, University of the Sciences was dominant on the glass, outrebounding Chestnut Hill 43-32. The Devils also outscored the Griffins 40-26 in the paint.
Neither team led by more than four until USciences scored nine unanswered, capped by a Casey 3-pointer with an even five minute showing in the first half, to go ahead 37-26.
1:44 later the Devils took the largest lead of the afternoon, 41-29, but Chestnut Hill closed out the half on a 10-4 surge to make the score 45-39 entering the locker room.
University of the Sciences scored the first four points out of the break though, and the Devils would take three more 12-point leads over the first 5:06 of the second half.
The closest the Griffins would get before their late charge was four, 61-57, with 10:04 remaining, before USciences went on its 10-3 run.