PHILADELPHIA – The University of the Sciences men's basketball team led throughout much of the game, but a late running jumper with just under four seconds remaining gave District of Columbia a 65-64 victory over the Devils at Bobby Morgan Arena on Sunday afternoon.
The Devils did not trail until the 4:19 mark of the second half when nine unanswered UDC points put the Firebirds on top 63-56 with just 3:51 to play.
After nearly two minutes of scoreless play, Cameron Hoffman made 1-of-2 free throws to put the Devils back ahead, 64-63, with just 24 seconds to go.
District of Columbia hit a tough mid-range jumper with just four seconds left though, and despite a timeout the Devils could not get a shot off in the final seconds.
Casey fell two points shy of the game-high with 16, and he made three 3-pointers to become just the 10th player in program history to surpass 100 for his career.
Freshman Connor Murphy recorded his first career double-double with 13 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, while also leading USciences with four assists.
Both teams shot a nearly identical field goal percentage, 43.5-43.3, but UDC had a major edge from beyond the arc as they made 11-of-21 (52.4 percent) compared to the Devils' 7-of-19 (36.8 percent).
Despite this, University of the Sciences did not trail for the opening 35:41 after starting the afternoon with the first eight points.
UDC tied the score twice in opening stanza, including at 26-26 4:18 ahead of the break, but the Devils closed the half on a 7-2 surge highlighted by four points in the final 28 seconds after a Casey steal and layup just before the buzzer.
USciences matched its largest lead of eight three times in the opening minutes off the second half, including when a Murphy layup made the score 45-37 with 13:32 showing.
District of Columbia hung around though, finally taking its first lead, 58-56, on a steal and ensuing basket with 4:19 to play.
University of the Sciences plays its first away game of the season when it travels to Kutztown this Wednesday, Nov. 13 for a 7 p.m. tip.