Philadelphia, Pa. - The game came down to the final seconds but the Holy Family University women's basketball team came away with a 60-56 victory over visiting the University of the Sciences in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) contest Tuesday night at the Campus Center Gym.
Holy Family, ranked 14th in the recent USA Today/ESPN NCAA Division II National Top-25 Coaches' Poll, improves to 15-2 overall and 9-1 in the CACC. The Tigers currently hold a one game lead over Goldey-Beacom College (8-2) for first place in the CACC South Division. USciences is now 8-9 overall and 6-4 in conference action after the loss.
Senior Erin Mann (West Chester, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) recorded her seventh double-double of the season as she led the Holy Family offense with a game-high 20 points to go along with a team-high 11 rebounds. Mann shot 8-of-15 from the field and also recorded five blocks on the defensive end. With her five blocks, Mann moves into second-place all-time with 205 career blocks.
Senior Kelly Brady (Ocean City, N.J./Ocean City) finished with ten points and eight rebounds, while fellow classmate Ana Cruz (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) finished with seven points, four assists and three rebounds. Junior Carolyne Heston (Feasterville, Pa./Villa Joseph Marie) added six points off the bench for the Tigers.
For USciences, sophomore Brianne Traub finished with a team-high 18 points, while fellow classmate Jessica Sylvester finished with 12 points. Senior Becca Ruggear also scored in double-figures with 11 points and totaled a game-high 14 rebounds to record a double-double.
The game came down to the final minute as Holy Family led 58-54 with :49 seconds to play in regulation after Mann scored a layup to give the Tigers a two possession advantage. On the following possession by USciences, the Devils come within two points of the Tigers' lead thanks to a jumper by Ruggear to make the score 58-56 with :24 seconds to play.
On the Tigers ensuing possession, the Devils forced a turnover to have at least one more chance to tie the game or take the lead. However, junior Mary Ellen McCollum (Abington, Pa./St. Basil Academy) came up big defensively for the Tigers as she took the ball away from the Devils' Elsebeth Birman recording a steal with four seconds left on the clock.
McCollum was quickly fouled and as a result converted a pair of free throws to give the Tigers a 60-56 lead. The Devils' managed to get off a last second shot but a three-pointer attempt came up short. Even if the shot were good, the Tigers would still have a one-point advantage.
Holy Family led by as many as ten points midway through the second half with its biggest lead of 48-38 coming with 10:51 to play in regulation. The Tigers opened the game on an 11-2 run.
Holy Family shot 44.6-percent from the field and controlled the boards with a 45-38 advantage over the Devils. USciences held the edge with five three-points and 15 made free throws (15-23) to keep pace with the Tigers throughout the game.
Holy Family is back in action Wednesday, Jan. 23 as the Tigers travel to face Chestnut Hill College in a CACC contest. Game time is slated for 6 p.m.
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