PHILADELPHIA – The Jefferson Rams denied Felician University four chances to tie or move ahead during the final two minutes of their 67-62 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference men's basketball victory over the visiting Golden Falcons on Saturday afternoon at the Gallagher Center.
Felician was playing for the first time in 13 days and in its first road contest in 4 ½ weeks. Jefferson (11-2, 4-0) is ranked No. 4 in the most recent NCAA Division II East Region media poll.
Golden Falcon senior forward Jeff Lewis (Sicklerville, N.J.) equaled a career high with 22 points and added seven rebounds. Felician received 15 points and a career high-matching 13 rebounds from sophomore forward Jay'von Jackson (Plainfield, N.J.). Senior guard Kylan Guerra (White Plains, N.Y.) went 12 for 12 at the foul line and scored 20 points to lead Jefferson.
The visitors led, 33-31, at halftime, and were still ahead, 39-38, with 15 minutes, six seconds, left in regulation time. But the Rams embarked on an 11-2 run to take their largest lead of the game, an eight-point spread, at the 11:36 mark.
The Golden Falcons quickly flipped the script, moving back on top by after its own 11-2 spurt. With 4:10 left, a steal and transition layup by Lewis knotted the score, 56-56.
On its next possession Jefferson moved head to stay on a second-chance three-point field goal by senior Prince Hickson (Amityville, N.Y.). With the Rams still ahead by three and 2:15 to play, Jackson was fouled on a jumper from distance, but made only the final two free throws.
Felician would continue to chase that single-point margin. The Golden Falcons forced a turnover but were stopped on two shots near the basket. After another stop, Jackson led the break but was called for a charging foul. With the shot clock off, Felician fouled Guerra, who made a pair at the stripe for a 63-60 edge, and the Rams drew another charge at 0:07 to seal the victory.
Josh Bradanese (Billerica, Mass.) totaled 15 points and 12 rebounds and Hickson scored 13 points for Jefferson, who converted 12 Felician turnovers into 22 points. Jaylen Colon (Paterson, N.J.) (4-5 FG) tallied eight points and Rachid Shimou (Piscataway, N.J.) netted seven for the Golden Falcons (4-8, 2-2).
Felician scored the game's first eight points. The sides, however, spent the final 14:40 of the first half within a two-possession margin.
The victory was the 1,107th in the career of Jefferson head coach and Naismith Hall of Famer Herb Magee. That total is good for third all-time in the history of NCAA men's basketball.
Felician makes a short trip to Essex County on Wednesday for a 7:30 p.m. CACC affair against Bloomfield College.