PHILADELPHIA – The Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) men's basketball team (14-6, 9-2 CACC) looks for the season sweep of crosstown rival USciences (7-14, 4-8 CACC) and to push its win streak into double digits when the Rams visit the Devils on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
This is the 32nd meeting between Jefferson and USciences since 2005. The Rams have a 21-10 advantage in the series. Jefferson topped the Devils, 58-48 at home on January 3. USciences won its home game last year against the Rams, 64-54. Jefferson is 7-6 when visiting the Devils.
LAST TIME OUT
It required extra time but the men 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.
Junior DeVaughn Mallory ended with a career-high 28 points on 9-of-17 shooting and 15 rebounds. He 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.
CACC WEEKLY AWARDS
Mallory was named the CACC Player of the Week on Monday afternoon for his performance against Wilmington. The junior posted a career-high 28 points on 9-of-17 shooting and 15 rebounds against the Wildcats. It was his ninth double-double of the year and his seventh in the last eight games. Mallory added three blocks and three assists. He ranks second in the conference in rebounding (9.3 rpg), fourth in field goal percentage (55.1%) and ninth in scoring (17.1 ppg). In addition, Bourne was chosen to the conference's weekly honor roll.
LOOKING AT USCIENCES
The Devils are looking to bounce back from a 70-62 loss at Dominican (N.Y.) on Saturday. USciences has struggled to defend the long ball, ranking last in the CACC in three-pointers allowed (195) and three-point field goal percentage defense (38.5%). The team is also forcing a conference-low 12.4 turnovers per contest. Sophomore Paddy Casey and senior Brendan Crawford are producing 12.9 and 12.7 ppg respectively. Senior Tanner Kerr is also in double figures with an 11.0 average. Kerr is the top rebounder with 8.4 per game. Casey and freshman Sean Simon have each hit 37 three-pointers.
Jefferson is back at the Gallagher Center on Saturday, February 9 to take on Dominican (N.Y.) at 4 p.m. The Rams and Chargers are currently at the top of their respective divisions in the CACC. The contest will include Senior Day and Mental Health Awareness Game festivities. In 2017-18, Jefferson defeated Dominican, 89-77 during the regular season and 59-58 in the CACC Championship Game.