PHILADELPHIA – The Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) men's basketball team (19-6, 14-2 CACC) takes on the first-place team in the CACC North Division, Bloomfield (16-9, 14-2 CACC), in a road matchup on Saturday at 3 p.m.
This is the 21st meeting between Jefferson and Bloomfield since 2005. The Rams lead the series, 13-7 but the Bears won last year's matchup, 86-85 in overtime, at the Gallagher Center.
LAST TIME OUT
The men clinched the top seed in the South Division for the CACC Tournament with a 68-64 victory at Georgian Court (4-21, 3-13 CACC) on Tuesday night. It was the Rams' 14th win in a row.
Early in the first, Jefferson held a 5-2 lead. The Lions went on a 12-1 run to take a 14-6 advantage. GCU maintained the upper hand for the majority of the half thereafter. However, with 3:15 on the clock, the Rams began an 11-2 rally to regain the lead, 35-30. They would go into the break with a 37-32 cushion.
Georgian Court scored the first seven points of the second half to go ahead, 39-37. There were three lead changes following the surge and the teams stayed close with Jefferson leading until the 4:21 mark when it was tied at 56. The Rams then scored seven of the next eight points to go up by six with 43 seconds remaining. The Lions were able to close the gap to two (64-62) but Jefferson went 4-for-4 at the line to clinch the victory.
Junior Josh Bradanese finished with a game-high 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting, six rebounds, four blocks and three assists. Freshman Deondre Bourne tallied 16 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Junior DeVaughn Mallory notched his 12th double-double with 12 points and 11 boards. Junior Kylan Guerra produced 11 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three steals.
CACC WEEKLY AWARDS
Bourne was chosen the CACC Rookie of the Week for the second week in a row on Monday. He averaged 29.0 points over two contests. He scored 25 points on 7-of-14 shooting and added four rebounds, four assists and two blocks against Goldey-Beacom. The freshman followed up with a season-high 33 points at Concordia, shooting 9-for-16 from the field, including 7-for-9 from beyond the arc. Bourne also had seven rebounds and two assists. In addition, Mallory was a member of the weekly honor roll.
LOOKING AT BLOOMFIELD
The Bears have won seven in a row and are averaging 96.7 points per game over the win streak. Bloomfield ranks sixth in Division II in rebounds per game (43.2), 18th in three-point field goal defense (31.5%) and 33rd in scoring offense. Seniors Keith Washington (19.9) and Kavione Green (19.1), sophomore Rich Chapman (14.3) and junior Dontay Julius (11.0) are all averaging double figures. Green is grabbing 10.8 rebounds per contest, which is 10th in the nation. Washington leads the CACC with 75 three-pointers.
THE PLAYOFF PICTURE
The Rams have clinched the top seed in the South Division. Goldey-Beacom, Holy Family, Wilmington (Del.) and USciences continue to fight for positioning while Georgian Court and Chestnut Hill have been eliminated. Bloomfield holds the top spot in the North with Dominican (N.Y.), Caldwell and Felician following behind. All four have secured playoff berths with Concordia (N.Y.), Post and Nyack having been eliminated.
Jefferson hosts Chestnut Hill in its final home game of the regular season on Wednesday, February 27 at 8 p.m. The Rams topped the Griffins, 85-68 on the road on January 8. Jefferson won its home game against Chestnut Hill, 66-61 last year.