PHILADELPHIA – All wins are special, but for University of the Sciences Head Women's Basketball Coach Jackie Hartzell the 100th one was particularly memorable.
No. 12 USciences made history on Tuesday night, setting a new program record with a 17th consecutive victory after defeating Goldey-Beacom 41-32 in its home-finale inside of Bobby Morgan Arena.
The previous record of 16 was set during the 2014-15 season.
For Hartzell, the second coach in program history to reach the century mark, the milestone came in her 143rd game in charge.
With the win, University of the Sciences (24-2, 16-1) also clinched a home playoff game in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Tournament; a Quarterfinal matchup against either the No. 3 or No. 4 seed from the CACC North on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at a time yet to be determined.
USciences found itself trailing for the first time, 24-25, with 3:44 remaining in the third quarter and after two more free throws 39 seconds later Goldey-Beacom went ahead by three.
Alex Thomas tied the score on a 3-pointer with 27 seconds left in the third, and Sarah Abbonizio scored the first three points of the fourth quarter to reestablish an advantage the Devils would not relinquish.
After Abbonozio's layup made the score 30-27 with 6:44 to play Goldey-Beacom momentarily got back within one the next trip down the court, but Laura Trisch answered with a layup of her own to start a run of nine straight points.
That run did not continue for over five minutes though, as both teams went scoreless until Abbonizio's layup with just 42 seconds showing. The crucial basket came after Trisch had grabbed an offensive board.
Abbonozio then made 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch to all but seal the victory, capping a performance in which she scored 22 points. No other player scored more than nine.
The senior also led all plyers with three assists and added a team-high two steals, while not turning the ball over in 38 minutes.
Trisch's late offensive board was her 10th board of the game, giving her a third straight double-digit rebounding output.
Vitelli made a 3-pointer, her 64th this season, to move into a tie for third in the program's single-season annals, as well as a tie for eighth all-time with 126 for her career.
Abbonozio hit a 3-pointer with 13 seconds left in the first quarter for the largest lead of the first half, 14-9, but Goldey-Beacom came back with a triple of its own 25 seconds into the second, and the Devils would lead by no more than four before the Lightning tied the score at 20 heading into the break.
Earlier in the day, University of the Sciences moved up one position to No. 12 in the D2SIDA National Poll, one spot shy of yet another program record that was set earlier this season.
The Devils also remained No. 2 in the D2SIDA East Region Poll and No. 18 in the WBCA Coaches Poll.
Notably, the NCAA Regional Polls, which will eventually determines the seeding in the NCAA Tournament, will be released tomorrow.
University of the Sciences faces its last CACC North opponent of the season on Saturday, Feb. 17, when it travels to Nyack for a 1 p.m. tip.