PHILADELPHIA - It required extra time but the Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) men's basketball team (14-6, 9-2 CACC) downed Wilmington (Del.) (9-10, 6-4 CACC), 97-94 in overtime to earn a season series split with the Wildcats on Wednesday night at the Gallagher Center. The victory also increased the Rams' win streak to nine games.
Junior Kylan Guerra became the 56th player in Rams' history to reach 1,000 career points. He hit the milestone with his bucket at the 7:28 mark of the first half.
There were eight ties and five lead changes in the contest. The Rams jumped out to a 7-2 lead but the Wildcats came back to go ahead 10-9. The score was tied at 25 at the 8:59 mark then Jefferson scored 11 of the next 12 points to go up by 10 (36-26). The Rams held onto the lead and the score was 41-38 at halftime.
Jefferson held the lead for the majority of the second half but Wilmington stayed close. The Rams had a 77-68 advantage with 5:30 to go but the Wildcats recorded five points to cut the deficit to four. Wilmington trailed by six with 1:54 left but closed the gap to one on a free throw and two buckets. Freshman Deondre Bourne sank a pair of foul shots to increase the margin to three (85-82) but freshman Jordan Harding drilled a three with nine seconds on the clock to force overtime.
In the extra session, both teams started with a three-pointer and the score was even at 88. Junior Prince Hickson made a layup and the Rams led by two. An offensive foul gave the ball back to Jefferson and Bourne added two free throws to make it a four-point game (92-88). After a trey by Wilmington, Bourne hit a jumper and junior Josh Bradanese added a foul shot to make the score 95-91 with 42 ticks remaining. Junior Jermaine Head nailed a shot from downtown and the Wildcats trailed by one (95-94). Wilmington had possession with 20 seconds to go but an offensive foul gave the ball back to the Rams. Bourne broke free and slammed home a breakaway dunk for the final points. Two potential game-tying threes by the Wildcats were off the mark in the closing seconds.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Junior DeVaughn Mallory ended with a career-high 28 points on 9-of-17 shooting and 15 rebounds. It was his ninth double-double of the year and his seventh in the last eight games. Mallory added three blocks and three assists.
- Bourne posted 23 points, four assists, three rebounds, one steal and one block. He was 7-of-13 from the floor.
- Hickson tallied a career-high 21 points, nine boards and four assists. He shot 8-for-12 from the field.
- Guerra finished with 14 points, five assists, three rebounds and one steal.
AS A TEAM
- The Rams shot 47.2% (34-of-72) on field goals, 29.2% (7-of-24) on three-pointers and 81.5% (22-of-27) at the foul line.
- Jefferson controlled the glass by a 41-38 tally.
- It was the Rams' second overtime game of the season. Jefferson dropped a 79-75 decision to then No. 4 Saint Anselm on November 17.
- It is Jefferson's longest win streak since the Rams won nine in a row from Jan. 18-Feb. 15, 2014.
- The victory was the 1,088th of head coach Herb Magee's career.
The Rams visit USciences on Tuesday, February 5 at 7:30 p.m. Jefferson topped the Devils, 58-48 at home on January 3. USciences won its home meeting with the Rams last year, 64-54.