PHILADELPHIA – The Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) men's basketball team (21-13) defeated Dominican (21-10) by a final of 59-58 from the Gallagher Center on Sunday evening to win the 2018 CACC Championship Tournament.
The win gives Jefferson the CACC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Senior Kaison Randolph, who hit two game-winning free throws, was named to the CACC All-Tournament Team as well as the Tournament MVP. Senior Yevgen Sakhniuk and freshman Alexander Gorton were also named to the tournament team.
It comes as the Rams' first conference tournament championship since the 2014-15 season. The squad last made the NCAA Tournament in 2015-16.
Randolph scored 17 points in the victory with four rebounds and two assists.
Sophomore Josh Bradanese finished with a double-double behind 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Sakhniuk also recorded an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double with four blocks.
Jefferson was up eight at halftime, 34-26. The men took their largest lead of the game with 17:22 to play, 45-30.
But a 13-0 run for Dominican over the next six minutes brought them back within two of Jefferson, 45-43.
The Chargers tied it up with just under four minutes to play, 52-52. A three gave Dominican the lead before Randolph matched it with 2:58 remaining.
Dominican converted three free throws to go up 58-55 with 1:36 on the clock.
Sakhniuk was then fouled with 22 seconds and pulled the Rams within one with his pair from the line, 58-57.
A quick Jefferson foul sent Dominican to the line with the Rams down one. But the Chargers' Daniel Grant missed both to give Jefferson the ball back and a chance to win.
Randolph was fouled driving through the lane with 3.1 seconds on the clock. He made both free throws to put Jefferson back up one, 59-58.
Dominican took a running three from 30-plus feet out that hit the rim but did not go down as Jefferson walked away with the conference championship.
In total, Jefferson shot 40.0% from the floor (20-of-50), 28.0% from deep (7-of-25) and 12-of-12 from the line (12-of-12).
The NCAA Division II Men's Basketball Committee will announce the 64-team field for the 2018 NCAA DII Men's Basketball Championship at 10:30 p.m. tonight, Sunday, March 4 on NCAA.com.