PHILADELPHIA - The Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) men's basketball team (6-6) held the Molloy Lions (8-4) to 35.1% shooting in the second half and came from behind for an 86-81 victory at the Gallagher Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Lions dictated the pace in the first half, playing a fast game and going 17-for-30 (56.7%) on field goals. Molloy had its largest lead at 11 (33-22) after a three-pointer by senior Curtis Jenkins at the 7:21 mark. With the score 35-25, the Rams began to narrow the gap, scoring eight straight points to trail by two (35-33). Sophomore Alexander Gorton had six of the eight points. Jefferson was down 46-42 at halftime.
The Rams were able to slow down the Molloy offense in the second half, limiting the Lions to 13-of-37 (35.1%) from the floor. Conversely, the Jefferson offense heated up, making half of its shots in the period (12-for-24). The Rams took their first lead of the contest after tallying the first nine points of the stanza. The squads battled back and forth for much of the period, as there were multiple lead changes over the 20 minutes. With the score even at 70 (5:53), Jefferson went ahead for good with the next six points. The Rams were ahead two (78-76) when junior Kylan Guerra nailed a huge three-pointer with 37 seconds to go. The Lions were forced to foul following the trey and Jefferson clinched the win at the line.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Guerra finished with a career-high 26 points on 7-of-13 shooting. He was 3-for-6 from beyond the arc and 9-of-10 from the foul line. Guerra surpassed his previous high of 25 points (12/18/2016). He also had five rebounds, three steals and three assists.
- Gorton also produced 26 points, his highest output of the season. The sophomore also totaled five boards, one steal and one assist.
- Juniors Prince Hickson and DeVaughn Mallory contributed with 15 and 11 points respectively.
AS A TEAM
- The Rams went 26-for-56 (46.4%) from the floor, 3-for-16 (18.8%) from three-point range and 31-for-39 (79.5%) on free throws.
- Jefferson forced 20 Molloy turnovers and converted them into 24 points.
- It is the second time this season that two Jefferson players have reached 20 points. Guerra (24) and Hickson (20) achieved the feat versus Saint Anselm on November 17.
- Guerra and Gorton are the first Jefferson duo to each record 25-plus points since February 27, 2016 when Peter Alexis (35) and Gemil Holbrook (28) helped the Rams defeat Concordia (N.Y.) in the CACC quarterfinals.
- The victory was the 1,080th of head coach Herb Magee's career.
Jefferson Men's Basketball begins 2019 with a CACC South Division matchup against USciences on Thursday, January 3. Tip-off at the Gallagher Center is set for 8 p.m.