PHILADELPHIA – Trailing by four points after its first quarter of the 2017-18 season, the No. 16 University of the Sciences women's basketball team outscored Southern New Hampshire 20-7 in the second quarter en route to a season-opening 65-56 victory over the Penmen on Friday night at Bobby Morgan Arena.
In a back-and-forth first quarter, the lead changed six times and there were three ties. A 3-pointer with just over one minute remaining in the quarter gave Southern New Hampshire its largest lead of the evening, 21-17.
After shooting 7-of-15 (46.7 percent) in the first quarter, including 4-of-8 from beyond the arc, USciences held Southern New Hampshire to just 11-of-37 (29.7 percent) shooting the remainder of the contest, including 4-of-14 from 3-point range.
The final one came when Laura Trisch's jumper gave University of the Sciences a 27-26 advantage with 5:01 left in the half.
That sparked 12 unanswered points by USciences, with seven of the final 10 coming from Sarah Abbonizio. She first hit a three and after an Alex Thomas 3-point play, back-to-back layups gave the Devils their first double-digit lead, 37-26, 1:40 before the half.
Southern New Hampshire scored the final bucket of the half and the first basket of the third quarter, but two Vitelli free throws and an Irisa Ye layup 2:13 out of the break put USciences ahead by 11, and the Devils would lead by at least nine throughout the remainder of the night.
One of the times it reached nine, 51-42 with 1:01 to go in the third quarter, University of the Sciences responded with a 9-0 run capped by a Marissa Sylvester layup to give the Devils a game-high 60-42 advantage at the 5:12 mark of the fourth quarter.
Abbonizio led all players with 19 points. With two 3-pointers, she moved into seventh in program history with 111 for her career.
She also led the team with two steals, while her six rebounds and two assists were one shy of team-bests.
Thomas shot 6-of-11 form the field en route to 14 points and added four rebounds, while Vitelli made 3-of-7 from beyond the arc to contribute 13 points.
Trisch posted team-highs of seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and one block to go along with her six points.
Walsh rounded out the starting five with eight points.
University of the Sciences is back on its home court tomorrow to host Le Moyne at 2:00 p.m.