PHILADELPHIA – The 12th-ranked Thomas Jefferson University men's basketball team (27-4) dropped a 75-63 decision to Dominican (25-6) in the CACC Championship Game on Sunday at USciences.
The Rams will see where they fall in the NCAA Tournament picture when the bracket is announced via a live selection show on NCAA.com on Sunday night at 10:30 p.m. It was the second straight conference title for the Chargers.
Jefferson held a 5-4 lead early on before Dominican took control with a 7-0 run. Trailing 20-13 at the 9:53 mark, the Rams put together seven points to tie the score at 20 (7:33). The teams went back and forth with the advantage for the next several minutes, the margin never exceeding three. Jefferson was in front 30-27 when the Chargers scored a layup (1:19) and made a jumper (0:47) to lead 31-30 at the half. Both teams connected on over 56% of their shots in the frame.
In the second, sophomore Deondre Bourne hit a three to even the score at 35 (17:48). Senior Kylan Guerra drilled a triple at the 14:47 mark, giving the Rams a 40-39 advantage. However, Dominican responded with an 11-0 surge to take the upper hand, 50-40, with 11:20 on the clock. Jefferson had nine of the next 13 to close the gap to five (54-49) with 6:55 to go. Guerra had a layup (4:09) to make the score 57-53. The Chargers pulled away with nine consecutive points, increasing the margin to 13 (66-53) with 1:47 to play, and the Rams could only get within nine down the stretch.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Guerra recorded a game-high 21 points on 8-of-16 shooting.
- Bourne totaled 16 points. He was 6-of-12, including 3-of-6 from beyond the arc.
- Senior DeVaughn Mallory tallied 10 points, seven boards and one block.
- Senior Prince Hickson notched nine points, four assists, three steals and three blocks.
- Senior Josh Bradanese contributed seven points, six rebounds and two blocks.
AS A TEAM
- The Rams shot 50.0% (24-of-48) for the game, 50.0% (5-of-10) from three, and 66.7% (10-of-15) from the stripe.
Guerra, Mallory and Bradanese were chosen to the All-Tournament Team. It was the second career selection for Guerra and Bradanese.
- It was Jefferson's eighth title game appearance and first since 2018.
- The Rams are poised to make their 37th NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2018.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
"I think they out-toughed us. They got really physical with us and we didn't match that. We also missed shots. The shooting percentages won't say it but we missed shots that we usually make. We had a very poor second half. That's a good basketball team we played. Really good. When they are determined to play, they're tough to beat. They're tough guys. They have four seniors like we do and they're very difficult guys to guard."
- Head coach Herb Magee on the differences between the regular-season win against the Chargers and today's game.