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No. 14 Women’s Basketball Takes Control Early, Pulls Away from West Chester in Road-Opener

Credit: David Broytman
Credit: David Broytman

WEST CHESTER, Pa. – The No. 14 University of the Sciences women's basketball team controlled the first quarter, establishing a cushion it would hold on to throughout the evening, en route to a 77-70 victory in its first road contest of the season at West Chester on Tuesday. 

Four times USciences trailed early, including 6-8 3:46 into the action, until an Irisa Ye three-point play 28 seconds later sparked her own personal run of seven straight points to put the Devils on top for good. 

That was part of a 21-13 first quarter for University of the Sciences, who commanded the period by outscoring West Chester 14-2 in the paint. The Devils made 8-of-14 field goals (57.1 percent) and 4-of-5 free throws, and also outrebounded the Golden Rams 11-5. 

West Chester could get no closer than five points the remainder of the evening, as USciences built a 13-point lead in the second quarter and as high as a 19-point advantage in the third. 

Alex Thomas and Taylor Hamm both made layups in the final minute of the first quarter for eight-point leads and after West Chester pulled within five with five of the first seven points of the second, those two combined to score eight straight to give the Devils thier 13-point advantage with 5:41 left in the half.  

Thomas, Hamm and Ye combined for 31 of University of the Sciences' 33 points in the first half, but it was Jordan Vitelli who would help the Devils put the game away for good in the third quarter. 

She scored the first seven of 12 unanswered for the game-high 19-point lead. After a Ye layup, Huber put an exclamation point on the stretch with a 3-pointer to make the score 49-30 with 3:23 showing.  

All five University of the Sciences starters scored in double-figures, led by Ye's game-high 20 on 8-of-9 shooting. The sophomore added a career-high four assists as well as two steals. 

Vitelli also shot it well, 7-of-13, en route to 16 points, and she led all players with a career-best three steals. 

Hamm paced the Devils with six rebounds and four assists, and she made 5-of-9 field goals and all four of her free throw attempts for 14 points. 

Those three spearheaded a performance in which USciences shot 53.8 percent from the field (28-of-52), compared to West Chester's 43.1 (25-of-58). That was the difference as both team made six three-pointers, with the Devils making one more free throw, 15-14. 

Thomas and Walsh each added 11 points. Thomas had five rebounds and two steals, while Walsh had four assists. 

Notably, the point total moved Thomas into fifth in program history with 1,358 for her career.  

Huber (four rebounds) and Mikaela Giuliani (three assists), who rounded out the scoring with a combined five points, both tied career-bests on the night. 

University of the Sciences takes the next week off before traveling to Florida to compete in the Rollins Thanksgiving Tournament, where the Devils will open up with 2018 NCAA Tournament participant Hillsdale on Friday, Nov. 23 at 2 p.m.