PHILADELPHIA – Senior guard Nick Schlitzer (Pottsville, Pa./Pottsville) scored a career-high 36 points, on 10-of-17 shooting, as the Philadelphia University men's basketball team edged out the University of the Sciences, 84-82 in overtime, in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Tournament semifinal round game Friday night in the Gallagher Center.
Philadelphia—the 10th-ranked team in the NCAA Division II East Region Rankings—improves to 23-7 overall. The Rams are in the CACC championship game for the second straight season and will face Wilmington—a 75-71 victor over Holy Family—on Saturday, March 7 at 7 p.m. in the Gallagher Center.
The Rams were victorious at Wilmington on Jan. 7, while the Wildcats picked up a 72-70 win in the Gallagher Center.
Junior forward Derek Johnson (Conshohocken, Pa./Atlantic Christian) contributed 16 points, on 6-of-12 shooting, and three rebounds. Junior forward Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer) had 12 points and six rebounds.
USciences (24-5) started overtime with a Flo Da-Silva layup 44 second into to give the Devils a 76-74 lead, their first of the game. After Schlitzer hit two free throws to knot the score at 76, Wes Kerr knocked down a 3-pointer that put USciences ahead 79-76.
Then, with 3:00 minutes remaining, Alexis made two free throws to spark an 8-0 surge over the next 1:55 to put the Rams ahead 84-79. Schlitzer recorded the final six points of the run, including his sixth 3-pointer of the night.
USciences got two good free throws from Garret Kerr and one from Will Gregorits to cut the Philadelphia advantage to 84-82. On the final possession of the game, Da-Silva's fadeaway jumper from the left baseline was off the mark and put the Rams in final.
Philadelphia never trailed during regulation, leading by as many as 13 (37-24) with 1:43 left in the first half. The Rams owned a 73-67 lead with a minute left, but the Devils scored the final six points of regulation, finished off with a Garret Kerr three with 14 seconds left, to force overtime.
Garret Kerr led the Devils with 29 points and eight rebounds. Gregorits had 15 points, while Da-Silva poured in 13.
Philadelphia shot 55.8 percent (29-of-52) from the field and 57.9 percent (11-of-19) from 3-point range. It was the team's best 3-point shooting performance of the season.
USciences hit 49.1 percent (27-of-55) of its attempts, 45.0 percent (9-of-20) of its 3-pointers.