PHILADELPHIA – The Thomas Jefferson University men's basketball team (5-1, 1-0 CACC) opened the CACC slate with a thrilling 81-75 overtime victory over Wilmington (Del.) (0-7, 0-1 CACC) at the Gallagher Center on Tuesday night.
The Wildcats started the game with four three-pointers and never trailed in the first half. They led by as many as eight. The Rams scored 12 of the last 19 points to close the gap to three (31-28) at halftime. Senior DeVaughn Mallory led all scorers in the period with 13 points.
Wilmington continued to hold Jefferson at bay for the first nine minutes of the second. The Rams finally evened the score at 43 on senior Josh Bradanese's free throws with 10:51 on the clock. Bradanese then made a layup at 10:03 for Jefferson's first lead of the night. The teams then battled back-and-forth and the score was deadlocked at 60 with 4:36 to play.
The Wildcats went ahead on a three-pointer (4:01). Sophomore Deondre Bourne made a layup and senior Prince Hickson converted a three-point play for a 65-63 Rams' advantage (1:47). A triple put Wilmington back in front (1:31) and a free throw made it a two-point lead (0:49). Bradanese made one shot at the line and the Wildcats went two-for-two at the stripe to make it 69-66 with 23 seconds remaining. Senior Kylan Guerra drew a foul on a three-point attempt and drilled all three shots to tie the score with five seconds to go and force overtime.
Sophomore Darius Kinnel started the extra session with a three to put Jefferson ahead. A Wilmington bucket (2:56) and a layup by Guerra (2:26) made the score 74-71. A jumper by the Wildcats cut the deficit to one (74-73) with 50 seconds left. Guerra sank a crucial three-point shot at the 21 second mark to increase the lead to four. After a layup, Wilmington missed two three-point attempts and the Rams made four foul shots in the final seconds to seal the win.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Mallory finished with a career-high 31 points on 14-of-21 shooting. He also grabbed 12 rebounds and added four assists, three steals and three blocks.
- Guerra scored seven of his 13 points in overtime. He tallied six assists, five rebounds and one steal.
- Bradanese totaled 12 points, eight boards and three assists.
- Hickson and Bourne each scored 11 points.
AS A TEAM
- The Rams shot 45.5% (30-for-66) from the field, 16.0% (4-for-25) from beyond the arc, and 85.0% (17-for-20) at the foul line.
- Jefferson was 14-for-25 (56.0%) on field goals in the second half.
- Mallory reached 1,000 points for his college career. He previously played two seasons at Delaware State.
- All five starters scored in double figures for the first time since February 13, 2019.
- It is the 1,101st win of Herb Magee's Hall of Fame career.
The Rams welcome Bridgeport to the Gallagher Center on Saturday, December 7 at 2 p.m.