PHILADELPHIA – The Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) men's basketball team (3-4) defeated the Bentley Falcons (3-1) by a final of 76-71 in the Gallagher Center on Saturday afternoon in the Rams' 2017-18 home opener.
The win puts an end to Jefferson's four-game losing streak, having faced some tough competition to begin the season in California and at their recent East Region Conference Challenge.
Freshman Alexander Gorton put up a game-high 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting. The Jonesboro, Arkansas native was 4-of-5 from three-point range and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.
Sophomore Kylan Guerra scored 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting including 4-of-6 from deep to go along with five boards and a game-high five assists.
Fellow sophomore Josh Bradanese also notched 16 points with six rebounds.
Senior Kaison Randolph was the fourth Ram in double figures, scoring 11 points. He is now 24 points away from becoming the 55th in program history to reach 1000 career points.
Jefferson jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the contest before Bentley was able to find their way back in it midway through the first half as the Rams held a 17-16 advantage.
The Falcons took the lead with under six minutes to play in the first half. Guerra scored to make it 23-22 and the Rams never lost the lead again, though it was a tight affair until the end. Jefferson owned a 31-28 edge at the break.
Guerra and Gorton combined for 26 of the team's 45 second-half points. Guerra, the reigning conference rookie of the year, hit all four of his three pointers to lead all scorers in the final 20 minutes with 14.
The Rams had their largest lead of the day with 6:55 to play in the second half. Up 13 at 64-51, Bentley then went on a 9-0 run, forcing Jefferson to call a timeout. Senior Yevgen Sakhniuk ended the Falcons' streak to put the Rams back up six with under four minutes to play, 66-60.
Bentley got within four twice late but could not catch Jefferson, 76-71.
Jefferson Men's Basketball gets some rest heading into the Thanksgiving-holiday week. The Rams return to action on Sunday, Nov. 26 against Bridgeport at 1 p.m. from the Gallagher Center.