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No. 11 Women’s Basketball Receives Highest-Ever National Ranking; Dictates Play from Tip in Win Over Georgian Court

Credit: David Broytman
Credit: David Broytman

D2SIDA Women's Basketball Week 3 Media National and Regional Polls

WBCA NCAA Division II Top 25 Coaches' Poll

PHILADELPHIA – Hours after receiving its highest ranking in program history, the No. 11 University of the Sciences women's basketball team pulled away from Georgian Court in the first quarter and never looked back en route to a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) victory, its seventh straight win to open the season, on Tuesday evening at Bobby Morgan Arena.

Georgian Court would score the opening basket of the game, a 3-pointer, for what would be its only lead of the evening. Jordan Vitelli and Colleen Walsh answered with back-to-back threes, and USciences would lead the remainder of the night.

The Lions got within one on two occasions, the second making the score 8-7 with 6:33 showing, but the Devils rattled off the next seven points capped by a Walsh trifecta at the 4:40 mark.

A 3-pointer by Vitelli with 1:50 left put University of the Sciences on top 22-11 to give the Devils a double-digit advantage it would hold for the rest of the game.

Alex Thomas made one final triple, USciences' fifth of the first quarter, to make the scoore 25-11 after 10 minutes of play. 

In total, University of the Sciences made nine 3-pointers in the first half en route to a 46-21 advantage. The Devils made 12-of-27 for the game for their best percentage of the season – 44.4.

USciences (7-0, 2-0 CACC South)also set a new season-high with 19 assists, forced 18 turnovers that led to a 21-9 edge in points off turnovers, and outscored the Lions 26-12 in points in the paint and 13-5 in second chance points.

Vitelli had eight of her team-high 14 points, on 3-of-5 3-point shooting, in the first quarter.

Irisa Ye also had 14 points, the third straight game she has led USciences in scoring, in 11 minutes off the bench.

Sarah Abbonizio and Walsh added 10 and nine, respectively, with each making two 3-pointers. Abbonizio led University of the Sciences with two steals, while Walsh had a team-best four assists. 

Laura Trisch had four assists and two steals and also pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.

Molly Greenberg (five points), Hadiya Tucker (four), Micah Morgan (four), Marissa Sylvester (three) and Alyx McKiernan all came off the bench to set new season-highs in scoring, while graduate transfer Mary Kate Brokans scored the first points of her USciences' career as the Devils bench outscored Georgian Court's 35-10.

Notably, Tucker set or matched career-highs with four steals, three rebounds and two blocks, while McKiernan pulled down a career-best five rebounds.

After dropping to No. 13 in Week 2 after not playing, University of the Sciences was ranked No. 11 in the D2SIDA Women's Basketball Week 3 Media National Poll released on Tuesday afternoon, surpassing the previous program record of No. 12 set in Week 1. The Devils also set the program record with a No. 16 ranking in the D2SIDA Preseason Poll.

In the D2SIDA Week 3 East Region Poll, USciences stood tall at No. 2 behind Bentley for the fourth week in a row. Along with No. 3 St. Thomas Aquinas, Bentley and the Devils are the only three teams from the East Region currently ranked nationally.

Notably, University of the Sciences also achieved its highest ranking of the season in the WBCA Coaches' Poll, moving up three spots from No. 20 to No. 17.

University of the Sciences completes its three-game home-stand when it hosts Chestnut Hill in CACC play on Saturday, Dec. 9 at 1 p.m.