NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) men's basketball team (2-0) defeated the Merrimack Warriors (1-1) by a final of 72-68 from Hammel Court in North Andover, Mass. to finish up an East Region Conference Challenge weekend with two wins to begin the campaign.
Jefferson overcame, at one point, a 17-point deficit at 20-3 to cut it down to six at halftime before winning, 72-68, on Sunday afternoon.
Trailing 28-32 after the first, the Rams shot just 39.3% from the floor for 11-of-28 shooting. Junior Josh Bradanese led the Rams with nine points in the first half as the starting five of Bradanese, freshman Deondre Bourne, junior Kylan Guerra, junior Prince Hickson and junior DeVaughn Mallory played all 20 minutes each.
The Warriors shot 55.6% (15-of-27) including 7-of-13 from three-point range in the opening period.
Coach Magee, in his 52nd campaign at the helm of the program, reached his 1,076th career win on Sunday by sticking with the same unit for the entire second half.
The men battled back to go 14-of-29 from the field and 4-of-8 from deep while holding Merrimack to 44% shooting for the final 20 minutes.
Jefferson evened the score with 11:29 remaining in the affair after Guerra hit a three pointer. Merrimack got back within two with under 30 seconds to play but the Rams held on.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Bourne, in his second career game, led Jefferson with 19 points on the day behind 6-of-13 shooting, three three-pointers and 4-of-4 from the line. The freshman also had three boards, two steals and an assist.
- Hickson finished with 14 points in the win as he went 8-of-12 from the free-throw line. The junior also recorded seven rebounds with one assist.
- Mallory recorded 14 points on the day behind 7-of-15 shooting. He picked up a double-double as he added 13 boards, two assists, a steal and a block.
- Bradanese scored 13 points with seven rebounds, a team-high four assists, a game-high three blocks and one steal.
- Guerra dropped 12 points in the effort with four rebounds, a game-high three steals and two assists.
AS A TEAM
- Jefferson shot 43.9% from the floor (25-of-57), 41.2% from deep (7-of-17) and 65.2% from the charity strike (15-of-23).
- Jefferson outrebounded Merrimack, 42-25.
- Though the Rams (16) committed more turnovers than Merrimack (15), Jefferson outscored the Warriors in points off turnovers, 20-12.
- With a 17-5 offensive rebound margin in favor of Jefferson, the Rams scored 17 second-chance points to the Warriors' seven.
Jefferson Men's Basketball returns to action next Saturday, Nov. 17 for the Rams' home opener against Saint Anselm from the Gallagher Center at 1 p.m.