PHILADELPHIA – The No. 13 University of the Sciences women's basketball team used a 20-4 run spanning 8:06 over the end of the third quarter and beginning of the fourth to pull away from Holy Family in its Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) opener on Saturday afternoon.
Holy Family held two first half leads and despite USciences taking a 27-23 advantage into the locker room, the Tigers fought back to tie the score at 32 with 4:30 to go in the third quarter.
University of the Sciences (5-0, 1-0 CACC) took control from there with the run that began with a Colleen Walsh 3-pointer at the 4:04 mark of the third quarter and ended 4:02 into the fourth quarter.
Irisa Ye followed Walsh's trifecta with a jumper and despite a Holy Family 3-pointer momentarily halting the momentum, back-to-back triples by Alex Thomas and Jordan Vitelli gave USciences its largest lead of the game, 43-35, 24 seconds before the end of the quarter.
The Tigers made a free throw for the final point of the third quarter, but University of the Sciences came out in the fourth with the first nine to put a stamp on the stretch. Abbonizio converted a 3-point play 16 seconds out of the break for the Devils' first double-digit lead, 46-36, before Ye hit yet another trifecta.
Abbonizio closed out the run with three free throws, the final two coming with 5:58 remaining to make the score 52-36.
Holy Family scored the next four points but could get no closer than 11 over the final few minutes.
It was Ye and Thomas leading five Devils who scored at least eight points with 13 each.
For Ye, it was the second consecutive game in which she set a new season-best after tallying nine on Tuesday. The freshman had a near-perfect afternoon of shooting as she made 4-of-5 from the field, 3-of-3 from beyond the arc and 2-of-2 from the foul line. She also set new season-highs with four rebounds and two assists.
Thomas also made three 3-pointers to move into eighth in program history with 112 for her career.
Abbonizio was also in double-figures with 12 points to go along with a career-high four steals. She led University of the Sciences with four assists.
Walsh and Vitelli added nine and eight points, respectively.
Walsh made 3-of-5 from 3-point range to tie Thomas for eighth in program history in career triples. She also had three assists, two steals and a game-high two blocks.
Vitelli went 2-of-4 from beyond the arc, and grabbed a season-best five rebounds, as USciences made 11 3-pointers in the game compared to just five for Holy Family.
The Devils also turned the ball over just five times for their lowest total in a game since committing four in a win over Georgian Court on Jan. 27,2016. Notably, they forced 15 Tiger turnovers with a season-high 10 steals.
Laura Trisch had two of those steals and led University of the Sciences with a game-high eight rebounds.
Holy Family (1-7, 0-1) took its first lead, 10-9, with a free throw with 2:01 left in the first quarter and that score would hold heading into the second.
University of the Sciences scored the first six points of the second, but the Tigers would answer with a 10-2 run to take its second and final lead, 20-18, with 2:20 left in the half.
USciences answered with the next nine, capped by two Ye 3-pointers, before Holy Family closed the first half scoring with a 3-pointer four seconds before the buzzer.
University of Sciences is right back in action tomorrow, Sunday, Dec. 3, as it hosts Queens at 1 p.m. in a rematch of last season's NCAA Tournament Second Round matchup.