ST. DAVIDS (PA) – Delaware Valley University remained the lone undefeated team in early Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Freedom play as the visiting Aggies held on an 81-79, overtime triumph at Eastern University.
The win was the fifth overall for DelVal as the squad upped its mark to 5-1 overall and a perfect 2-0 in league action. The conference schedules consists of two games in the first semester and 12 in the second semester and the Aggies will sit alone atop the standings until at least January 13 when league play resumes. Six teams are currently 1-1, including Eastern (4-3, 1-1) while one is at 0-2.
DelVal appeared on its way to a regulation win after the Eagles missed two free throws with four seconds left. However, the Aggies could not control the rebound off the second miss and Eastern's Anthony Fernandez scooped off the loose ball in front of his bench and called timeout with two ticks to go. On the inbounds pass, Shaquan Turk caught the pass on the right sideline and his turnaround jumper bounced on the rim a few times before dropping in to send the game to overtime.
DelVal regrouped and hit the first basket of the extra session as Chris Moran drained a 3-pointer just 19 seconds in. The Eagles tied it up, but Tyliek Kimbrough had four straight points on a layup and two free throws to give the Aggies an 80-76 lead with 2:16 remaining.
Eastern scored three from the foul line over the next 76 seconds to make it a one-point contest. After an Aggie miss, DelVal's Andre' Butler took a charge with 24 seconds left to get the ball back to his team. However, the Aggies turned the ball over themselves and Eastern had a final chance. James Austin got a wide-open look at a 3-pointer, but he missed. Malcolm Garrison had a putback attempt that was short and DelVal's Zach Sly finally grabbed the rebounds and was fouled with six-tenths of a second left. He hit one free throw for the 81-79 final.
The Eagles scored the first eight points of the game and led throughout most of the first half, including by as many as 10. DelVal chipped away and went ahead on the scoreboard for the first time with 1:59 left in the stanza on a Kimbrough layup. Eastern retook the lead but a Barry Brockington shot from downtown gave the Aggies a 33-31 lead at the break.
DelVal fell behind by four early in the second half, but took a couple of four-point leads of its own. The Eagles rallied and led by three, 68-65, with 2:53. Kimbrough hit a free throw on one possession and a trey on another for a 69-68 Aggie advantage with 1:42 to go. James answered with a three of his own, but back came DelVal and Moran's putback with 37 ticks left on the clock tied the game at 71-71. Sly then got a steal and went end-to-end for a layup and a two-point lead with 13.6 seconds to go. That set the stage for Turk's game-tying shot at the end of regulation, but DelVal's recovery in overtime.
Kimbrough, a junior transfer, finished with 26 points, eight rebounds and four assists while playing all 45 minutes. Moran continued the strong start to his senior season with 20 points and eight boards. Sly, a fellow senior, had 14 points while Butler, a freshman, came off the bench to add nine points and four rebounds.
Turk led Eastern with 17 points while James and two others had 12 points apiece.
DelVal will have four straight non-conference games at home, starting with a battle against Widener University on Wednesday, December 9.