PHILADELPHIA – The Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) men's basketball (2-3) closed out the weekend at Holy Family University in an East Region Conference Challenge with a neutral site loss to American International of the NE10 Conference by a final of 69-64.
Jefferson trailed slightly at the end of the first half, 37-35. Senior Kaison Randolph scored a team-high 10 points in the opening period with two made three-pointers but the Yellow Jacket's Tahlib Swan was able to match him on the other end going 5-of-5 from the floor and 3-of-3 from deep for 13 first-half points.
The game was tied at 22-22 with under 10 minutes to play in the first before the Rams grabbed a 26-24 lead after a basket from senior Yevgen Sakhniuk with 7:12 to play. The senior extended it with a jump shot a minute later to 28-24. American International scored 10 points in the final three minutes to take a 37-35 advantage into the break.
Freshman Alexander Gorton turned on in the second half, scoring 12 points behind 5-of-8 shooting in the final 20 minutes. But Swan's game-high 21 points for American International and nine Yellow Jacket bench points in the second half proved to be too much for the Rams in the second weekend of competition.
Sophomore Kylan Guerra finished with a team-high 15 points for Jefferson on 5-of-9 shooting with seven assists and four steals. Gorton followed him with 14 points while Randolph notched 13 and sophomore Josh Bradanese notched 10.
Sakhniuk notched eight points on 4-of-6 shooting and tied for a team-high six rebounds.
Sophomore Jordan Purcell scored four points off the bench with six boards.
The Yellow Jackets bench outscored the Rams, 20-4, in the affair.
Jefferson shot 43.6% as a team compared to American International's 47.1%.
Jefferson Men's Basketball plays on the road this Wednesday, Nov. 15 at Saint Thomas Aquinas at 7:30 p.m. before returning for the Rams' home opener on Saturday, Nov. 18 against Bentley at noon.