PHILADELPHIA – The No. 16 University of the Sciences women's basketball team cut a 12-point fourth quarter deficit to three, but the Devils ran out of gas in an eventual 60-52 loss to unbeaten Adelphi – a team receiving votes in both national polls – on Sunday afternoon at Bobby Morgan Arena.
USciences trailed by a game-high 12 entering the fourth quarter but would hold the Panthers scoreless for the first 6:25, allowing the Devils to pull within three on Kendall Keyes' 3-pointer with 4:45 remaining.
University of the Sciences forced a stop the ensuing possession and had an opportunity to get closer but after a miss, Adelphi responded with back-to-back triples to re-establish a nine-point advantage with 2:56 to play.
USciences had one more surge in them as this time it was Irisa Ye leading one final comeback attempt with five consecutive points to pull the Devils within three again, 53-50, when she converted a three-point play with 1:07 to go.
The Panthers (7-0) were fouled four second later though, beginning a stretch in which they made 7-of-8 free throws down the stretch to close out the victory.
Free throws turned out to be a major difference in the final box, with Adelphi making more (20) than University of the Sciences attempted (17).
The Panthers also forced 25 Devils turnovers, helping them to 20-3 edge in fast-break points.
Ye scored 13 of her team-high 19 points in the fourth quarter to fall two points shy of a game-high.
Jordan Vitelli added 12 points and led University of the Sciences with seven rebounds, a career-best four assists and three steals.
Shannon May also tied a career-high with six rebounds, while Keyes was the Devils' third leading scorer with eight points.
Notably, Mikaela Giuliani led all players with three blocks to move into 10th in program history with 68 for her career.
The opening 18+ minutes were played within two possessions until Adelphi jumped out a to a first-half-high seven-point lead, 32-25, 1:19 ahead of the break, before USciences scored the final three points, capped by Juliana Gura's layup, to make the score 32-28 at the half.
The Devils came out of the locker room cold though, failing to score for the first 5:53, allowing the Panthers to take the game's first double-digit advantage with 6:36 showing.
University of the Sciences did not make a field goal in the entirety of the third quarter, managing just five free throws, which put the Devils in 12-point deficit entering the fourth.
USciences opens up Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) play this Tuesday with a 5:30 p.m. tip at cross-city rival Holy Family.