DOYLESTOWN (PA) – Nick Sullivan scored a season-high 25 points while Chris Moran added 19 points and 19 rebounds as Delaware Valley College held off an Eastern University comeback attempt and defeated the Eagles, 78-74, in a Freedom Conference game.
The win was the fifth in the last six games for the Aggies as they improved to 5-3 overall and 2-0 in league action. They are tied with Wilkes University atop the standings as conference action does not resume until January 14.
Delaware Valley shot 70.4 percent from the field in the second half and exactly 50 percent for the game. Its defense held Eastern to 31.9 percent shooting and the squad outrebounded the Eagles, 54-35. However, Eastern had the ball in the final minute down just three because it forced the Aggies into 25 turnovers and connected on 21 of 31 foul shots compared to a 6-for-15 effort by Delaware Valley from the charity stripe.
The Aggies led by as many as 16 in the game and were still up 11, 71-60, after Zach Sly hit a driving layup with 4:07 to go. The Eagles fought back and scored 11 of the next 14 points, including a trio of 3-pointers, to make it a 74-71 game with 46 seconds left.
Delaware Valley missed a layup and Eastern came down with a chance to tie the game with another trey. Malcolm Garrison missed a 3-point attempt as did Jonathan Tolber after an Eagle offensive rebound. Garrison grabbed that board and was fouled with 17 seconds left. He hit one of two opportunities to make it 74-72.
Sullivan was fouled three seconds later and he went to the line for a 1-in-1 situation. The senior calmly swished both free throws to up Delaware Valley's lead to four. Sly then stole the ball from behind and Sullivan was fouled again, this time with six ticks to go. He drained two more free throws before a buzzer-beating putback by the Eagles made it a 78-74 final.
The Aggies trailed by four in the first five minutes of the contest before a 16-3 run gave them a 19-9 lead. Sullivan hit three treys during that spurt. They never trailed the rest of the way and took a 33-24 lead into the intermission.
In the second half, Delaware Valley bumped the advantage up to 16 on three occasions, the last coming after Chris Moran scored inside to make it 64-48 with 7:47 remaining. The Eagles made it a six-point ballgame before the Aggies scored five straight for an 11-point lead. Eastern made things interesting at the end, but Delaware Valley held on for the win.
Sullivan was 8-for-11 from the field, including a 5-for-8 showing from beyond the arc. He also grabbed six defensive rebounds on the afternoon. Moran was 9-for-19 from the field with 14 of his 19 rebounds coming on the defensive end. He also had four assists and three blocked shots. Barry Brockington came off the bench to drain 13 points on 6-for-8 shooting.
Austin Carroll paced Eastern with 16 points while Austin James had 15, including three 3-pointers. Garrison and Tarek Hamzeh finished with 11 points apiece in the loss.