PHILADELPHIA – The No. 11 University of the Sciences women's basketball team jumped on Felician early, before having to hold off a Golden Falcons comeback that came down to the final shot in a 61-58 Central Atlantic Collegaite Conference (CACC) victory at Bobby Morgan Arena on Saturday afternoon.
The Devils were leading 18-5 after 10 minutes of play and 35-17 at the half, but the game would come down to a missed 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have forced overtime.
USciences (14-1, 5-1 CACC) built its biggest lead of the afternoon, 35-14, on Jordan Vitelli's 3-pointer 10 seconds ahead of the half, capping an 18-point first half for the junior.
She led all players with a season-high 23 points on the afternoon, setting her career-best with eight field goals and tying another with six trifectas.
Felician would beat the halftime buzzer with a triple of its own, but USciences still seemed to be in control when it scored five of the first seven points as Vitelli again hit another 3-pointer to match the game-high 21-point advantage, 40-19, just 2:03 out of the locker room.
The Devils were still in control with 4:50 showing on the third quarter clock after an Irisa Ye layup made the score 42-25, but the Golden Falcons would go on to close the third quarter on a 15-2 run over the final 4:24.
Ahead 44-40 entering the fourth, University of the Sciences regained its composure with 16 of the first 19 points, with a Jess Huber triple putting the Devils on top 60-43 with just 5:38 to play.
USciences scored just one point from there on out though, a free throw with 3:54 remaining. The Devils then went scoreless the remainder of the afternoon.
Felician took advantage, making it a one-possession game for the first time since the first quarter with a transition layup that made the score 58-61 with just 1:13 showing.
The Golden Falcons got their opportunity to tie it with a stop, but two final timeouts could not produce a play to find an open shot against the USciences defense and a deep running three at the buzzer did not draw iron.
Ye was second on University of the Sciences with 18 points and was one of three Devils with a team-high two steals.
Alex Thomas also had two steals, to go along with 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Huber had six points and a career-best five boards, while Colleen Walsh led USciences with five assists.
University of the Sciences struggled to shoot, making just 33.3 percent of its field goals (22-of-66), but the Devils did find success on the boards, outrebounding Felician and outscoring the Golden Falcons 19-8 in second-chance points.
USciences also won the turnover battle, 14-9, leading to a 17-12 edge in points off turnovers.
The Devils had 18 assists to Felician's 10, and made 11 3-pointers to the Golden Falcons' seven.
University of the Sciences returns home to host Wilmington this Wednesday, Jan. 16 at 5:30 p.m.