BLOOMSBURG, Pa. – A strong first quarter turned out to be the difference in the No. 17 University of the Sciences women's basketball team's third straight win over a regionally-ranked opponent, as the Devils opened their road schedule with a 61-51 at Bloomsburg on Wednesday evening.
After the first quarter ended with USciences on top 17-9, the Devils would outscore the Huskies 19-17 in the second for a 36-28 halftime advantage, before the two teams would both score 14 points in the third and 11 points in the fourth.
University of the Sciences faced its first deficit of the season after Bloomsburg scored the first three points of the evening, but the Devils tallied the next seven to take the lead for good.
Up 7-3 after Irisa Ye found Jess Huber for a jumper 3:35 in, the Huskies answered with a 3-pointer to get as close as one before Kendall Keyes scored five straight to complete a 12-3 flurry with 4:29 left in the first.
After the two teams traded three points, Keyes completed a seven-point first quarter with a jumper 1:10 ahead of the end of the buzzer to put USciences ahead 17-9 following 10 minutes of play.
The Huskies got as close as four twice in the second quarter, including at 19-15 with 6:10 to go in the half, but Taylor Hamm's seven-point stretch capped 11 unanswered that ended with Harlem Jennings' layup to make the score 30-15 3:02 ahead of the half.
University of the Sciences also established a 15-point advantage when Keyes drained a 3-pointer to make the score 48-33 with 4:51 left in the third.
Bloomsburg finally made it a two-possession game, 53-48, with 1:56 to play, but Ye immediately answered with a three-point play 17 seconds later to begin a stretch of six consecutive points for her, and a stretch in which USciences made 6-of-7 free throws over the final 1:39 to seal the victory.
Ye fell one point shy of a game-high with 14, while also leading University of the Sciences with five rebounds and three assists.
Jordan Vitelli was one point behind her while also adding three assists, to go along with a game and career-high four steals. The senior made three 3-pointers to become the fifth player in program history to surpass 200 for their career.
Hamm (4-of-7 shooting) and Keyes (4-of-5) came off the bench to score 11 and 10 points, respectively, to make it four Devils in double-figures.
University of the Sciences next plays a neutral game against Assumption this Saturday, Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. at Molloy.