PHILADELPHIA – The University of the Sciences men's basketball team took a five-point advantage into the break and were leading eight minutes into the second half before going cold, allowing Bridgeport to comeback for a 70-56 win at Bobby Morgan Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Trailing for the first time in the second half, Connor Murphy's layup to make the score 44-43 with 12:23 to play turned out to be USciences' last lead as the Devils would not make another basket for 7:04
University of the Sciences made just two free throws in the stretch, and the Purple Knights (3-1) would take advantage with an 18-2 spurt that put the game out of reach with 6:03 remaining.
Murphy led all players with 20 points and 15 rebounds for his fourth consecutive double-double. He made 10-of-17 from the field.
Sean Simon was the only other Devil in double-figures with 12, to go along with a team-high two steals.
Jordan White led University of the Sciences with four assists.
Notably, Franklin Okpala had a career-best seven rebounds in just five minutes.
Both teams shot under 40.0 percent but Bridgeport attempted 22 more shots thanks in large part to 23 USciences turnovers. The Purple Knights turned those turnovers into 23 points and also had a 13-2 edge in second-chance points.
The first half was played within two possessions, with Bridgeport taking a first-half-high lead of six, 23-17, on a 3-pointer with 6:03 left in the opening period.
University of the Sciences came back with 10 unanswered over the next 2:58, capped by Murphy's jumper to make the score 27-23.
Simon then later hit a 3-pointer to give the Devils their largest first half advantage, 32-27, with 1:58 showing, a lead Cameron Hoffman matched, 34-29, with two free throws 23 seconds ahead of the break.
USciences (2-3) also led by five three times early in the second half, including when a Muphy layup 5:41 out of the locker room put the Devils on top 42-37.
University of the Sciences wraps up a three-game home-stand next Saturday, Nov. 30 when it hosts No. 10 Daemen at 3 p.m.