WATERBURY, Conn. – Senior Kylan Guerra made the winning layup from just outside the paint with 0.7 seconds to spare in overtime to give the #10/13 Thomas Jefferson University men's basketball team (20-2, 13-0 CACC) a 58-57 victory at Post (16-7, 10-4 CACC) in a battle of the two first-place teams in the conference on Saturday.
The Rams started strong, posting nine of the first 11 points in the contest. The Eagles cut the deficit to two (12-10) but Jefferson followed with a 7-2 stretch to lead 19-12 (9:17). The teams played even basketball for the remainder of the half with the Rams in front 28-22 at the break.
In the second, senior Josh Bradanese and sophomore Deondre Bourne hit back-to-back threes, giving Jefferson a 10-point advantage (36-26) with 15:29 on the clock. It was the largest margin of the day. With the score 38-28, Post rallied for 11 of the next 13 points to close the gap to one (40-39) with 10:10 remaining. The Rams clung to a four-point lead (51-47) with 4:01 to go. Both teams came up empty on the next several possessions before the Eagles made a layup (1:35) to get within two. They made the tying jumper with 47 seconds left. Both squads had the opportunity to go ahead but came up short.
In the extra session, Post came up with the first basket but Bradanese responded with a triple to put Jefferson ahead 54-53 (4:00). Both teams had a layup and the score was 56-55 with 2:48 to play. The Eagles took the lead with a jumper at the 1:06 mark. The Rams missed a three and were forced to foul with 27 seconds remaining when Post grabbed the rebound. However, the Eagles missed the front end of the one-and-one and senior DeVaughn Mallory came up with the board. Holding for the final shot, Guerra drove to the left side and let a shot go with his left hand just before the baseline and it found its way in off the glass. Bradanese intercepted Post's inbounds pass and Jefferson pulled out the win.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Bourne totaled a game-high 24 points with six three-pointers.
- Bradanese tallied 10 points and six rebounds.
- Mallory posted nine points and 11 boards.
- Senior Prince Hickson finished with eight points and seven rebounds while Guerra recorded seven points, six assists, five boards and three steals.
AS A TEAM
- The Rams shot 32.4% (23-for-71) from the floor, 37.5% (9-for-24) from three and 60.0% (3-for-5) from the foul line.
- Jefferson held Post to just 1-for-12 (8.3%) on three-pointers.
- The Rams forced 22 turnovers.
- It was the Rams' fourth overtime game this year and they are 3-1 in those contests.
- It was Jefferson's lowest field goal percentage of the season and its lowest in a victory since March 8, 2014 versus Holy Family (30.6).
- It was head coach Herb Magee's 1,116th career victory.
- The Rams clinched a home game for the CACC quarterfinals on March 3.
The Rams visit Wilmington (Del.) on Wednesday, February 12 at 8 p.m.