CALDWELL, N.J. -- Kaison Randolph (Trenton, N.J./Pennington Prep) scored a career-high 26 points, including the go-ahead free throw with 2:18 left, as the Philadelphia University men's basketball team fended off a tough challenge from host Caldwell, 66-61 in a Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference game on Monday night in the Newman Center.
Philadelphia has now won three straight games as it improves to 13-4 overall and 7-2 against the CACC. Caldwell is 5-11 overall, 3-6 in conference play.
Randolph and Brendan Kilpatrick (Norristown, Pa./Malvern Prep)—who had have 13 points in the win—were instrumental down the stretch for the Rams as the tandem combined to score 21 of the team's final 23 points. Randolph had 13 points, while Kilpatrick scored eight.
Kilpatrick's third and final 3-point basket of the night put Philadelphia in front 58-57 with 3:06 left in a back-and-forth second half, that featured eight lead changes and three ties.
After the Cougars' Dawan Lighty put the home team up one on Caldwell's next possession, Randolph drove down the middle of the lane and drew a foul. Randolph stepped to the line and hit his two free throws to put Philadelphia ahead 60-59 at the 2:18 mark.
With the Rams' lead sitting at 64-61 after two more successful Randolph free throws, Caldwell had one chance to send the game to overtime. Lighty's open 3-point attempt from the right wing circled the rim and flew out. The rebound fell to Peter Alexis (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./Holy Redeemer), who hit a pair of free throws with 1.6 seconds left to seal the win.
Alexis finished up with 16 points and 15 rebounds for his conference-best eighth double-double of the year.
Philadelphia appeared to have control of the game during the first half thanks to a run of 17 straight points to put the Rams up 25-9 with 9:49 before halftime. Randolph had eight of the points while Alexis added six.
Caldwell managed to close the gap to 34-29 at the break.
A Mike Louden (Glen Mills, Pa./Cardinal O'Hara) triple at the 15:45 mark of the second half gave Philadelphia a half-high eight-point lead (43-35). Caldwell—with the help of eight points each from Brian Kenny and Billy McDonald—answered back with a 16-8 spurt to tie the score at 49.
Lighty and McDonald paced Caldwell with 19 points each, and Kenny contributed 11 points.
The Rams hit a season-high 10 3-pointers on 20 attempts, while the Cougars were 1-of-9 from three. Philadelphia owned a 39-33 rebounding advantage.
Philadelphia returns to the Gallagher Center to finish up non-conference play on Wednesday, Jan. 13 against Kutztown at 7 p.m.