PHILADELPHIA – Led by 21-point efforts from Kaison Randolph (Trenton, N.J./Pennington Prep) and Kylan Guerra (White Plains, N.Y./Archbishop Stepinac), the Philadelphia University men's basketball team picked up an 81-77 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) victory over rival Holy Family Thursday night in the Gallagher Center.
Guerra—who shot 6-of-12 from the field—turned in his third straight 20+-point effort, fourth in the last six games. He added five rebounds, three assists, and three steals. Randolph—who notched his sixth 20+-point game of the season—grabbed nine rebounds and added a season-high four steals.
Jordan DeCicco (Kingston, N.Y./Kingston) also had a strong night for the Rams (11-6, 6-2 CACC) as he racked up 20 points, five rebounds, five assists, and one steal. Josh Bradanese (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) recorded eight points and a game- and career-high 11 rebounds in a reserve role.
Philadelphia took control of a back-and-forth contest, that featured 13 ties and 12 lead changes, with a late 6-0 burst to open up a 79-73 lead—the Rams' largest of the night—with 1:16 left on a Randolph put-back of his own missed layup. Guerra snapped the 73-all deadlock with a 3-pointer, the final of his four successful attempts, at the 2:45 mark and extended the margin to four with a made free throw 20 seconds later.
Holy Family (7-10, 5-3 CACC) managed to close the gap to two points (79-77) when Randy Bell came up with a steal and drove in for a fast-break layup with 46 seconds on the clock. Bell was fouled on the play, but missed his free throw to keep the Philadelphia lead at two.
After a Ram turnover gave the Tigers the ball back with 30 seconds left, Bell—the Tigers' leading scorer with a game-high 27 points—opted to go for the win, but his 3-point attempt with 3 seconds left fell short of the rim and the rebound fell to Guerra. Guerra got fouled immediately and calmly made his two free throw attempts to seal the victory.
The Rams trailed by nine (44-35) at the 2:04 mark of the opening half after Bell connected from behind the arc to cap a 7-2 spurt. Philadelphia scored the final seven points of the half to cut its deficit to 44-42 at the break.
Dyllon Hudson-Emory also scored in double figures for the Tigers with 17 points to go along with seven rebounds.
Philadelphia shot 38.8 percent (26-of-67) from the field, including 33.3 percent (12-of-36) from three. The Rams tied a season high by making 17 free throws. Holy Family shot 46.2 percent (30-of-65) overall, but just 25.9 percent (7-of-27) from behind the arc.
The Rams head to Nyack for a CACC contest with the Warriors on Saturday, Jan. 14 at 3 p.m.