CALDWELL, N.J. - The No. 13/23 Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) women's basketball team (28-2) made history on Saturday night, defeating Goldey-Beacom (14-16), 80-56 to advance to its second straight CACC Championship Game.
With the victory, the Rams set a new program record for wins in a single season, surpassing the 1992-93 squad (27-2). Jefferson is the second seed in the South Division and will battle archrival USciences, the top seed, for the conference title on Sunday, March 10 at 2:30 p.m. at Caldwell University. The Rams will look to avenge last year's 64-56 loss to the Devils in the championship contest. The winner receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Jefferson is ranked 13th in this week's WBCA Coaches Poll and 23rd in the D2SIDA Media Poll. USciences is fourth in both national rankings. The teams split during the regular season with each team winning at home.
The teams played tight basketball over the opening seven minutes with the Rams leading, 19-14 with 3:44 on the clock. Jefferson went on a 9-0 run that extended into the second quarter to increase the lead to 14. The Rams continued to hold a double-digit cushion throughout the period and were ahead 37-24 at the 3:44 mark. They tallied nine points in a row to make it 46-24 and had a 46-29 advantage at halftime.
Jefferson scored nine of the first 11 points in the third to push the margin to 24. The Lightning could not get the deficit below 20 in the frame and trailed 67-41 heading into the fourth. The Rams opened the final quarter with a 7-2 rally to go ahead by 31, their largest lead of the contest, before finishing off the final eight minutes.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Senior Beverly Kum totaled 18 points, eight rebounds, one assist and one steal. She shot 8-for-11 from the floor.
- Sophomore Caitlyn Cunningham scored 18 points while junior Alynna Williams tallied 17.
- Senior Jessica Kaminski produced 16 points on 6-of-8 shooting, five assists, three rebounds and three steals.
- Senior Erin Maher pulled down 11 boards and added six steals, five assists, four points and two blocks.
AS A TEAM
- The Rams shot 47.7% (31-of-65) from the field, 38.1% (8-of-21) from beyond the arc and 76.9% (10-of-13) at the line.
- Jefferson outrebounded GBC, 41-38 and scored 20 second chance points off of 15 offensive boards.
- The Rams forced 20 turnovers and converted them into 21 points.
- It is the 15th time this year that Jefferson has grabbed at least 15 offensive rebounds in a game.
- Sunday will mark the sixth trip to the CACC Championship Game for the Rams. They are 2-3 in the title game.
- The victory was head coach Tom Shirley's 776th of his career and the 627th at the helm of the Rams.