USciences Halts Women's Basketball’s Streak, 71-56

Hyslip made 9-of-10 free-throws for a team-high 13 points tonight. (PHOTO BY Barry Gutradt)

Abbonizio scores 26 and Devils outscore Skyhawks 25-11 in the fourth

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (December 28, 2017) – The University of the Sciences of Philadelphia, receiving votes in the most recent Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll and ranked No. 6 in the D2SIDA East Region poll, used a fourth quarter surge to claim a 71-56 victory over Stonehill College, receiving votes in the WBCA and D2SIDA Division II polls and No. 4 in the D2SIDA East Region poll, in non-conference women's basketball action at Bobby Morgan Arena tonight.

Senior Sarah Abbonizio (West Chester, Pennsylvania/Episcopal Academy) scored a game-high 26 points to lead USciences on 6-of-12 shooting from the field, including 4-for-6 from three-point distance, while converting 10-of-11 free-throws, adding five rebounds in the contest. Junior Alex Thomas (Hockessin, Delaware/St. Elizabeth) added 19 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals, while sophomore Jordan Vitelli (Warrington, Pennsylvania/Central Bucks South) contributed 13 points, three boards and two assists.

Senior Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy) fell just a rebound shy of a double-double with a team-best 13 points, aided by 9-of-10 shooting from the free-throw line, with a game-high nine rebounds. She has now totaled 946 points in 95 career games, having added 594 career rebounds.

Senior Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) added eight points, six rebounds and two assists, while junior Maty Diabate (Holden, Massachusetts/Wachusett Regional) chipped in six points and five boards in 16 minutes off the bench.

Stonehill was limited to 30.2-percent shooting (19-for-63) from the field, including 4-for-24 (16.7%) from three-point distance, despite posting a 45-35 rebounding advantage that produced an 18-4 edge in second chance points. USciences connected on 40.7% (22-54) of its shots, including 9-21 (42.9%) from beyond the arc, converting 18-21 (85.7%) free-throws.

Diabate chipped in six points and five rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench. (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)

USciences made 7-of-12 shots in the fourth quarter to break open a one-point game (46-45) after three quarters of play, while Stonehill was just 2-for-14 (14.3%). Senior Courtney Walsh (Windham, New Hampshire/Central Catholic) buried a three-pointer and junior Tayler Wornum (Randolph, Massachusetts/Archbishop Williams) added a layup to draw within a point in the final minute of the third after trailing by six.

Wornum pushed Stonehill in front (47-46) in the first minute of the fourth quarter, but Abbonizio drilled a three-pointer to give Sciences the lead back and then Thomas gave the Devils a four point lead (51-47) with 8:19 remaining. USciences scored eight straight to open a ten-point gap (59-49) midway through the quarter after four-straight points from freshman Irisa Ye (Lansdale, Pennsylvania/North Penn). Abbonizio stretched the Devils lead to 11 (64-53) with a three-pointer with four minutes to go and then gave the hosts a 12-point cushion (65-53) by converting one of two free-throws with two minutes remaining.

USciences was able to seal the win and snap Stonehill's nine-game winning streak despite going without a field goal over the final 2:26 by converting 9-of-10 free-throws in the fourth quarter overall, including 6-for-6 in the last two minutes, while the Skyhawks made just 1-of-4 shots from the floor and turned the ball over twice down the stretch.

Stonehill scored 11 of the game's first 13 points to grab a nine-point lead in the opening five minutes of the game. Martin drained a pair of three-pointers during that stretch, while sophomore Grace Carter (Arlington, Massachusetts/Arlington) added a three as well to cap the run. USciences was able to close within three (16-13) by the end of the opening quarter, but the Skyhawks reclaimed a six-point advantage (24-18) after a Diabate layup with 6:50 left in the half. Thomas drained a three-pointer to give Sciences its first lead of the night (25-24) midway through the quarter. Back-to-back Vitelli triples sent the Devils into halftime with the lead (31-28).  

Stonehill (9-2, 6-1 NE10) is back in action on Monday, when it rings in the New Year by hosting Roberts Wesleyan College at Merkert Gymnasium on New Year's Day at 1 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online at USciences (10-2, 2-1 CACC) visits Wilmington (Del.) University for a CACC matchup on Saturday at 1 p.m.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks "Front Row" mobile app, powered by PrestoSports, on iTunes and the Android Market.