PHILADELPHIA – With an opportunity to win the game late, the University of the Sciences men's basketball team could not get a shot off in the final seconds of a 75-74 loss in its Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) opener at Holy Family on Tuesday night.
Trailing 68-73 with two and a half minutes to play, Sean Simon made a layup and after a Tigers miss, Jordan White was fouled after an offensive rebound before eventually making two free throws to cut the deficit to 72-73 with 1:41 remaining.
Holy Family answered with a basket and after a USciences miss, a Thomas Melonja steal led to a White jumper that once again made it a one-point game, 74-75, with just 23 seconds left.
The Tigers then missed the front end of a one-and-one, giving University of the Sciences one final opportunity.
White fell two points shy of his career-best, leading all players with 27 points on 9-of 15 shooting while also grabbing a team-high nine rebounds. He made 5-of-9 3-pointers and all four of his free throw attempts.
Making his first career start, Melonja posted a stat-line of 23 points, five rebounds, four assists and a game-high three steals.
Simon was also in double-figures with 12 points, while Paddy Casey had a team-high six assists.
University of the Sciences had a season-best 22 assists as a team and committed a season-low 10 turnovers, while producing 18 takeaways that led to a 25-7 edge in points off turnovers.
The Devils could not slow down the hot-shooting Tigers though, as they made 59.3 percent from the floor (32-of-54).
White sparked USciences early, scoring 10 points in the opening 5:24 to help the Devils establish their largest advantage of the night, 15-7, but Holy Family came back to tie the score at 20-20 with 9:34 showing and from that point on there were six ties and five lead changes in the half that ended 37-37.
The Tigers took their first three-possession advantage of the night, 54-47, 5:38 into the second and were leading until Brandon Starr completed his own 6-1 surge with a three-point play and triple that put USciences on top, 60-59, with 9:54 to go.
The two teams traded baskets, the second a Javon Gordon jumper to make the score 62-61 with 8:22 left, but that would be University of the Sciences' final lead of the night.
Holy Family made back-to-back 3-pointers to take the first of four five-point leads down the stretch, as the two teams would trade points until White's two free throws with 1:41 remaining.
University of the Sciences returns home to host Georgian Cour