PHILADELPHIA – The No. 14 University of the Sciences women's basketball team dominated the 20-minute stretch of the second and third quarters to open its 2018-19 season with a 60-51 victory over American International on Friday night at Bobby Morgan Arena.
The Yellow Jackets were one of just three teams to defeat the Devils in 2017-18.
Trailing 20-13 after 10 minutes of play, USciences outscored AIC 34-16 in the second and third quarters, including 18-5 in the second, before holding off the Yellow Jackets in the fourth.
University of the Sciences opened the second quarter with the first five points, as it held American International scoreless for the first 4:12.
Irisa Ye answered that Yellow Jackets basket with a 3-pointer just 18 seconds later to make the score 23-22 with 5:30 showing, giving the Devils the lead for good.
AIC got as close as one with 3:29 left in the half, but USciences scored the final five points to take a 31-25 lead into the break.
The Yellow jackets then got as close as three, 31-34, 2:53 into the third, but the Devils went on an 11-2 run capped by a Jordan Vitelli 3-pointer for the first double-digit advantage of the night, 45-33, with 2:30 on the clock.
American International could never manage to make it a two-possession from there on out.
Vitelli was the sparkplug in the second and third, scoring all 12 of her points on a perfect 4-of-4 from 3-point range.
As a team, University of the Sciences shot 50 percent from both the field (22-of-44) and 3-point range (12-of-24), and held American International to just 35.4 percent shooting (17-of-48). The Devils assisted 17 of its 22 baskets, compared to AIC totaling just nine on 17.
Ye and Alex Thomas paced the Devis with 17 and 16 points, respectively, as well as four rebounds and a game-high three assists each.
Ye's total was one point shy of a career-high and came on 7-of-10 shooting, including 3-of-4 from beyond the arc. The three assists tied a career-best, and the sophomore added a steal.
Notably, Thomas made 3-of-5 3-pointers, and with six field goals made, the senior moved into ninth in program history with 469 for her career.
Making the start in her first career collegiate appearance, freshman Taylor Hamm played a big part in the second quarter with five of her seven points.
Mikaela Giuliani provided the big boost off the bench for the night, recording a career-best three blocks, as well as two assists, two rebounds and one point in 18 minutes.
University of the Sciences concludes play in the second and final day of the conference challenge tomorrow, hosting Franklin Pierce at 2 p.m.