PHILADELPHIA – The Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) men's basketball team plays Merrimack and American International this Saturday and Sunday in an East Region Conference Challenge hosted by Holy Family University. The Rams face Merrimack on Saturday, Nov. 11 at 2 p.m. followed by American International on Sunday, Nov. 12 at noon.
LAST TIME OUT
Jefferson opened the 2017-18 season by going 2-1 at the Disney DII Tip-Off Classic in southern California last weekend. Following that, the Rams played Temple for the first time since 1976 in a charity exhibition to raise funds for hurricane relief. Jefferson went up early in the opening minutes and closed the gap late, falling to the Owls, 70-60 from the Liacouras Center on Thursday night. Freshman Alexander Gorton finished with a team high 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting including 2-of-2 from three. He leads the team in scoring, averaging 20.0 points per game thus far. Sophomore Kylan Guerra and senior Kaison Randolph are averaging 16.3 and 15.3 points per game, respectively.
LOOKING AT NO.18 MERRIMACK
Merrimack begins the season ranked No. 18 in both the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Preseason Poll and the national D2SIDA Media Poll. The No. 18 ranking in the coaches poll marks the highest for the program since the 1990-91 campaign. Merrimack returns eight student-athletes overall, including all five starters from the program's two NCAA Tournament games a season ago.
LOOKING AT AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL
American International went 11-17 a season ago including a 5-15 conference mark. The team graduated five seniors from 2016-17 but bring in five new players in 2017-18.
Following the East Region Challenge at Holy Family, Jefferson Men's Basketball travels to St. Thomas Aquinas on Wednesday, Nov. 15 for a 7:30 p.m. start before the squad's home opener on Saturday, Nov. 18 against Bentley at noon from the Gallagher Center.