PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (March 4, 2018) -- Kaison Randolph sunk two free throws with just :03 left to lock up most-valuable-player honors and lift Jefferson to a thrilling 59-58 win over Dominican College in the 2017-18 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Championship Final on Sunday afternoon at the Gallagher Center in Philadelphia. With the win, the Rams not only locked up the CACC Championship, but also garnered the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division II East Region Tournament next weekend.
Randolph finished with a team-best 17 points, as the Rams improved to 21-13. His free throws in the waning seconds capped a 4-0 run by Jefferson to pull off the come-from-behind win. Yevgen Sakhniuk added two free throws as well during the closing spurt.
Dominican had a chance at the buzzer, but Daraja Rodwell's last-ditch attempt rang off the back of the iron. If it would have dropped, it would have been Rodwell's second buzzer beater of the contest, as he also sunk one from beyond half court in the first half to give the Chargers some momentum heading into the locker room. Rodwell finished with 22 points, as he earned CACC All-Tournament honors.
Jefferson didn't flinch coming out of the locker room at halftime following Rodwell's deep buzzer beater. Instead, the Rams came out firing and built a 45-30 lead with 17:22 left. However, just like it did in Saturday's semifinal win over Goldey-Beacom College, Dominican responded and scored 25 of the game's next 32 points to pull ahead 55-52. Rodwell notched 12 points during the surge, including back-to-back triples with 3:21 remaining to cap the run and put the Chargers on top. Five different players scored during the stretch for Dominican.
Randolph stemmed the tide for Jefferson with a three ball of his own to knot it at 55. Daniel Grant, at the other end, was fouled on a three-point attempt and made all three foul shots to put the Chargers back up by three at 58-55. Grant added 13 points for the game, as he joined Rodwell on the all-tournament team.
Despite Dominican's furious rally late, Sakhniuk and Randolph made their free throws late to pull out the win for Jefferson and clinch the program's first CACC crown since 2015.
Josh Bradanese followed Randolph with 13 points, while Sakhniuk added 11. Both players logged double-doubles, as Sakhniuk posted 11 rebounds and Bradanese posted 10. Sakhniuk also had four blocks.
Jefferson's closing stretch of four free throws to seal the win was part of a 12-for-12 effort from the charity stripe for the game.
2017-18 CACC MEN'S BASKETBALL ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Terrell Spaulding (Felician University)
Corey Taite (Goldey-Beacom College)
Will Gregorits (University of the Sciences)
Daraja Rodwell (Dominican College)
Daniel Grant (Dominican College)
Kaison Randolph (Jefferson)
Alexander Gorton (Jefferson)
Yevgen Sakhniuk (Jefferson)
MVP: Kaison Randolph (Jefferson)
ABOUT THE CACC
The Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference is an NCAA Division II Conference composed of 14 institutions in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. The member institutions are Bloomfield College, Caldwell University, Chestnut Hill College, Concordia (N.Y.) College, Dominican (N.Y.) College, Felician University, Georgian Court University, Goldey-Beacom College, Holy Family University, Jefferson (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University), Nyack College, Post University of Waterbury, University of the Sciences, and Wilmington University.