LAKEWOOD, N.J. – The Thomas Jefferson University men's basketball team (8-2, 2-0 CACC) was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field in the last four minutes to surge past Georgian Court (4-5, 2-1 CACC), 74-71 on Thursday night.
The teams went back-and-forth in the opening five minutes with six ties and neither squad leading by more than a basket. With the score even at 15, the Rams pulled ahead with a 12-2 run that ended at the 11:54 mark. However, the Lions countered with 12 straight points for a 29-27 advantage (9:06). The teams traded buckets yet again with the Rams tying it at 40 just before halftime.
The second period started tight once more with neither team leading by more than a basket over the first 6:30 of the frame. GCU built a six-point advantage (55-49) with 13:09 on the clock. Trailing 57-51, Jefferson scored seven straight points to go in front with 9:04 to go. After the Lions reclaimed the lead, junior Kareem Matthew drilled a three to tie it at 61 with 7:47 remaining.
Georgian Court took the upper hand with a free throw (5:36) but sophomore Ja'Zere Noel countered with a jumper (5:13) for a 63-62 Rams' lead. After a Lions' foul shot evened the score (3:37), sophomore Deondre Bourne's layup put Jefferson back ahead with 3:12 to play. After a free throw, senior DeVaughn Mallory's jump shot (2:34) increased the margin to three (67-64).
A Georgian Court layup cut the deficit to one but senior Kylan Guerra hit from downtown to make it a four-point game (70-66) with 1:42 to go. Mallory sank a jumper after a pair of Lions' foul shots to bring the score to 72-68 (0:47). GCU was able to close the gap to one (72-71) with eight seconds remaining but Mallory converted two free throws and the Lions' three-pointer at the buzzer was off target.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Mallory totaled a game-high 26 points on 11-of-18 shooting. He added eight rebounds and three blocks.
- Guerra registered 21 points, five rebounds and three assists. He shot 7-for-12 on the night including 3-for-5 from three-point range.
- Senior Josh Bradanese produced 10 points and nine boards.
- Senior Prince Hickson contributed with seven points and five rebounds.
AS A TEAM
- The Rams shot 52.6% (30-for-57) from the floor, 33.3% (5-for-15) on three-pointers and 50.0% (9-for-18) at the line.
- Jefferson had a narrow 31-30 edge in rebounds.
- The Rams committed just seven turnovers.
- Jefferson improved to 13-0 all-time versus Georgian Court.
- It is the sixth time this season that the Rams have shot over 50.0%. They are 6-0 in those games.
- It was the fourth time this year that Jefferson had a single-digit turnover total and it has not lost in those contests.
- Mallory reached 700 points and 400 rebounds as a Ram.
The Rams head to Holy Family on Saturday, December 21 at 2 p.m.