The win streak is over. The University of the Sciences women's basketball team suffered their first conference loss at home this season as nationally ranked Holy Family University surged ahead late in the game to defeat the Devils 60-51 at the Bobby Morgan Arena Wednesday evening.
The loss, the Devils first since January 6, snapped the Devils record breaking 14-game winning streak and dropped Sciences record to 20-5 overall and 15-3 in Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference games. The Tigers, ranked #17 nationally and #1 in the East region, clinched the CACC southern division title with the win, improving to 20-3 overall and 17-1 in league play. The Devils finish in 2nd place with the loss.
Colleen Christian (Central Bucks South HS/Warrington, Pa.) turned in a solid effort against the Tigers, scoring 22 points (9-17 FG, 4-9 3FG) to lead all scorers. The senior guard/small forward has scored a total of 42 points against the Tigers in the Devils two games this year. Caitlin Shaw (Monmouth Regional HS/Eatontown, Pa.) added 12 points and nine rebounds to join Christian in double figures.
Samantha Thompson led the Tigers with 19 points while Catherine Carr added 11. Erin Mann had 12 rebounds and nine points.
Neither team found the mark in the first half with the Devils making just eight of 28 shots (28.6%) and the Tigers seven of 33 (21.2%) in the opening 20 minutes of play. When the ball finished clanking off the rims and the dust settled, the Tigers held a slim 24-22 lead at the break.
Shaw tied the game at 24-24 to open the second half and a Christian layup five minutes into the period put the Devils ahead for the first time 27-25. Sciences went up by three 31-28 before Lauren Peters completed the traditional three-point play to tie the game again at 31-31 with 12:37 left. Christian's triple at the 10:47 gave the Devils the lead for the last time 34-33 before the Tigers went on a rampage that Sciences could not recover from, outscoring the Devils 21-6 over the next 7:27 to take a 14-point lead 54-40 with 3:20 left. The Devils made just one field goal during the stretch (1-8) while the Tigers converted on nearly every possession during the run. Carr had three field goals (8 points) during the Tiger explosion (after missing her first nine shots of the game) with Thompson adding five points. Layups from Shaw, Melissa Rotz (Central Dauphin HS/Harrisburg, Pa.) and Christian's fourth 'triple' of the game cut the margin in half 54-47 with 1:19 left but there was no gas left in the tank. Meanwhile, the Tigers were a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe in the final minute sealing the victory.
The two teams made 17 field goals apiece but neither had impressive shooting numbers. The Tigers shot 17-56 (30.4%) while the Devils shot 17-59 (28.8%). Sciences had one more three-point field goal but the game was won on the glass with HFU turning in a dominating 52-35 effort (20-12 on the offensive end) and the free throw line where the Tigers held a 2:1 advantage, making 21 of 29 shots (72.4%) to Sciences 11 of 14(78.6%). The Devils did commit fewer turnovers with 10 (only 2 in the second half) while the Tigers had 15.
The Devils close out their regular season with a road game at Post University in Waterbury Connecticut on Saturday, February 26, 2011. Sciences then open up the post-season with a home game on Monday, February 28, 2011 against Goldey-Beacom College. Tipoff for that contest is 7:00 p.m.