PHILADELPHIA – After being named the CACC Player of the Year earlier in the day, senior Kylan Guerra made perhaps the biggest shot of his career, drilling a long three-pointer at the buzzer to give the #12 Thomas Jefferson University men's basketball team (26-3) a 63-60 CACC quarterfinal win against Felician (13-15) in front of a raucous Gallagher Center crowd on Tuesday night.
The victory sends the top-seeded Rams into the semifinals, where they will take on the South Division's third seed, Wilmington, on Saturday, March 7 at 5 p.m. The semifinals and the final are being played at USciences.
The Golden Falcons, the North Division's fourth seed, tallied the first four points of the contest. Jefferson responded with seven in a row to go in front. The margin did not exceed four for the next several minutes as the teams played tight basketball. A layup at 7:00 got Felician within one (18-17) before the Rams made back-to-back layups for a five-point cushion (22-17). The Golden Falcons then rallied for eight straight points to take a 25-22 lead (3:39). However, Jefferson recovered and closed the period with nine of the last 12 points to go into the locker room up three (31-28).
The Rams began the second half with four points, making it 35-28. Felician followed with a 13-2 run to take the upper hand, 41-37, with 11:03 left. Jefferson came back with five points for a one-point advantage. After the Golden Falcons went ahead by one, Guerra hit a three to make it 45-43 in favor of the Rams. Felician had six consecutive points to claim a 49-45 edge (6:27). Guerra tied the game three times from 4:53 to 3:34 with the last seeing the teams even at 56.
A layup by the Golden Falcons (3:16) made the score 58-56 but senior Prince Hickson got it level once again with a layup (1:37). Each team missed their next shot but Guerra grabbed an offensive board, leading to Hickson giving Jefferson the lead (60-58) with 29 seconds to play. Felician tied it with a layup at the 13 second mark, setting the stage for Guerra to win it with a step-back three, the ball clearing the cylinder as the light came on.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Sophomore Deondre Bourne led the Rams with 19 points and added four rebounds.
- Guerra totaled 15 points, five steals, four assists and three boards.
- Senior DeVaughn Mallory produced 12 points and nine rebounds.
- Senior Josh Bradanese contributed nine points, six boards and three assists with Hickson chipping in eight points and five rebounds.
AS A TEAM
- The Rams shot 44.6% (25-of-56) for the game, including 31.8% (7-of-22) from behind the three-point line, and 60.0% (6-of-10) from the foul line.
- Jefferson committed just seven turnovers.
- Guerra became the 20th Ram to reach 1,600 career points.
- Jefferson won a CACC Tournament game for the ninth consecutive year.
- It was the 1,122nd career win for Herb Magee.