PHILADELPHIA – The Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) men's basketball team (9-5, 4-0 CACC) outlasted the Wilmington Wildcats (7-5, 2-1 CACC) in a conference matchup on Tuesday afternoon from the Gallagher Center by a final of 84-81 OT.
It came as the fifth-straight victory and the first overtime game for the Rams on the season.
Sophomore Josh Bradanese finished with 27 points off the bench to lead the team behind 9-of-18 shooting including 7-of-11 from three-point range.
Senior Kaison Randolph and freshman Alexander Gorton each finished with 20 points on the day. Randolph went 6-of-12 from the field and 6-of-9 from the free-throw line while Gorton went 8-of-15 shooting with four-made three-pointers.
After the Rams started the contest on a 9-0 run, the two teams found themselves tied 11-all. Jefferson went back up by four with 13:29 to play before Wilmington took the lead for the first time at 17-16 with 12:27 remaining.
Jefferson and Wilmington were tied again at 21-21, 23-23 and 28-28 before an 8-0 stretch gave the Wildcats a 36-28 lead with 3:21 left. Jefferson got four points back after a Randolph free throw and a Gorton three-pointer to get within six with under a minute remaining in the half. Randolph cleaned up a missed three in the finals seconds to get the putback to bring the deficit down to four at the break, 38-34.
Jefferson took the lead for the first time in the second half with 12:06 on the clock when Bradanese hit one of his seven three-pointers on the day. It was the first advantage for the Rams since 6:18 left in the first half.
Jefferson and Wilmington exchanged baskets and the lead before tying up again at 64-64 with 5:47 left. Following Jefferson's four-point lead with 5:28 to play, no team was up by more than three for the final five minutes of play.
Tied at 74-74 with under a minute, Bradanese missed a shot with 18 seconds on the clock, giving Wilmington the ball back. With three fouls to give, the Rams worked the clock down to four seconds as Wilmington's Danny Walsh missed an off-balanced three, sending the game into overtime.
Bradanese hit two threes in the overtime period to give Jefferson the lead twice. A dunk by senior Yevgen Sakhniuk with 1:22 left put the Rams up by five, 82-77.
The Wildcats clawed back within one after Paul Medlin made a jump shot with 19 seconds left, 82-81. Randolph then hit a pair of free throws to take it back up to three. Wilmington missed a game-tying shot with 8 seconds on the clock but got another chance after Jefferson missed the front end of a one-and-one.
Wilmington's final attempt to tie came up short as the Rams walked away with the matinee victory, 84-81.
Jefferson takes a holiday break before its next game on Saturday, Dec. 30. In a doubleheader from the Gallagher Center, the women will host Goldey-Beacom at 1 p.m. followed by the men at 3 p.m.