PHILADELPHIA – The Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) men's basketball team (10-7, 5-1 CACC) dropped its first conference matchup of the season to USciences (9-5, 5-1 CACC) on Saturday afternoon from the road at Bobby Morgan Arena by a final of 64-54.
The road loss puts Jefferson and USciences at 5-1 in league play to sit tied atop the conference's south standings.
Senior Yevgen Sakhniuk led the Rams with 16 points on 6-of-10 shooting and nine rebounds while adding three blocks.
Freshman Alexander Gorton notched 12 points behind 5-of-10 shooting including 2-of-4 from deep.
Senior Kaison Randolph scored 10 points with five rebounds and four assists.
Sophomore Josh Bradanese accounted for nine points and five rebounds.
As a team, Jefferson connected on 21-of-55 shots from the field (38.2%) including 6-of-19 from three-point range (31.6%). The Rams hit 6-of-10 at the free-throw line compared to the Devils' 16-of-17 which became a difference in the game.
Jefferson shot 50.0% from the field in the opening half (13-of-26) and were led by Sakhniuk's 12 (5-of-6) and Gorton's 10 (4-of-5) as the duo each only missed one shot. USciences struggled in the first half, shooting 28.6% from the floor with just eight baskets, four of which were three-pointers. Jefferson owned a 33-22 edge at the break.
The Rams' lead evaporated in the second half as USciences' Will Gregortis scored 15 of his game-high 17 points in the second half including 7-of-7 from the charity strike.
The Devils benefited from 17 bench points and 14-of-15 free-throw shooting in the final 20 minutes.
USciences started the half on a 14-7 stretch which got them within four at 40-36.
Jefferson held the advantage, still with a seven-point lead with under nine minutes to play, 45-38. From there, the Devils went on a 12-0 run over the next four minutes to take a five-point edge, 50-45.
A pair of free throws from Sakhniuk with 4:27 left got the Rams within three, 50-47, but that was the closest they would get as USciences closed out the 64-54 win.
Jefferson Basketball returns to the Gallagher Center for the first time in 2018 on Wednesday, Jan. 10 when the Rams welcome Nyack. The women play at 6 p.m. followed by the men at 8 p.m. Jefferson will be unveiling new uniforms at the affair.