PHILADELPHIA – The No. 14 University of the Sciences women's basketball used a stifling defense to jump out to a double-digit lead in the first half on Saturday afternoon, but a furious Franklin Pierce comeback forced the Devils to overcome a two-point fourth quarter deficit en route to completing their season-opening weekend 2-0 as part of the seaon-opening Conference Challenge hosted at Bobby Morgan Arena.
Leading by as many as 16 in the second quarter, USciences found itself trailing 43-41 with just 3:52 to play after the Ravens took their first lead since early in the first.
Alex Thomas responded by tying the score at 43, beginning a run of 12 unanswered to help University of the Sciences close out the game on a 15-5 run.
On a day where USciences did not shoot it well, the defense was the story as the Devils held Franklin Pierce to just 22.2 percent shooting (6-of-27) in the first half to take a 27-13 lead into the locker room.
That included a stretch of 11:34 of game-time in which the Ravens did not score between the end of the first quarter and the beginning of the second, allowing University of the Sciences to jump out to the game-high 22-6 advantage on Ye's jumper with 4:49 to go in the half.
USciences led by as much as 13, 35-22, in the third quarter when Jess Huber nailed a 3-pointer with 5:42 showing, before Franklin Pierce closed out the period with the final seven points.
The Ravens then chipped away to a one-possession game two minutes into the fourth, before tying the score at 41 with 5:16 remaining and finally taking the lead 58 seconds later, capping a 21-6 stretch.
Ye had her second straight efficient night, shooting 6-of-9 and scoring nine of her game-high 15 points in the fourth. She led all players with eight rebounds, which tied her career-best.
Walsh also shot it well, 4-of-5 including 3-of-5 from beyond the arc, and she added eight rebounds as well as a game-high four assists.
Also in double figures was Thomas, who scored nine of her 13 points in the fourth. The senior made field goals to move into eighth in program history with 473 for her career.
Huber came off the bench to score nine points on three 3-pointers, while Vitelli rounded out the scoring with six points to go along with six rebounds.
Notably, Mikaela Giuliani blocked two shots, her second straight came with multiple rejections.
University of the Sciences hits the road for the first time this season on Wednesday, Nov. 14 when it travels to West Chester for a 5:30 p.m. tip.