HARTFORD (CT) – Delaware Valley University senior forward/center Chris Moran notched season highs of 30 points and 19 rebounds, including the 1,000th point of his career, as the Aggies won their school-record 10th game in a row with an 88-74 triumph over Pine Manor College in the opening round of the Trinity College Holiday Invitational.
The win helped DelVal top its previous record of nine consecutive wins sets in 2012-13, a season that ended with the Aggies capturing the conference championships. Wednesday night's win improved the current edition's record to 10-1, the best start to a season in program history. The Aggies will put their win streak to the test in Thursday's championship game when they take on the host Bantams (6-3), who defeated Anna Maria College, 87-58, in the first game of the invitational. Trinity, which reached the NCAA Elite Eight last year, was ranked as high 12th this season by D3hoops.com before recently falling out of the top 25.
Moran is a key reason why DelVal has won 10 straight. He entered the contest just six points away from becoming the 20th player in Aggie men's basketball history to reach the coveted 1,000-point milestone and he took care of that with a basket inside at the 10:10 mark of the first half. By the time the evening was done, Moran had hit 12 of 19 shots from the field (1-for-2 from 3-point land) and was a perfect 5-for-5 at the foul line. Eight of his 19 rebounds came on the offensive end and he also added four assists and one steal.
DelVal found itself down 9-2 to start the contest and it trailed for most of the first half. Both teams shot 50 percent or better from the field in the opening 20 minutes and the stanza ended with Pine Manor (7-4) holding a 42-39 lead.
The Aggies continued their hot shooting in the second half, connecting on 16 of 32 shots from the field. Meanwhile, their defense picked it up and limited the Gators to a 10-for-29 effort (34.5%). It was nip and tuck throughout the first 10 minutes of the half with Pine Manor's Taverick Robertson converting a pair of free throws with 9:47 to go for a 56-56 score, the 10th tie of the contest.
DelVal took the lead for good just 31 seconds later when freshman Alex Matsinye drilled a 3-pointer. The Aggies built the lead to six and were still up four when Erick Rosario's trey pulled the Gators to within one, 71-70, with 4:11 remaining.
It was all DelVal after that as the Aggies outscored Pine Manor, 17-3, the rest of the way. Seniors Barry Brockington and Zach Sly combined for 11 of the 17 points, including the first five after Rosario's hoop. Matsinye, Moran and Tyliek Kimbrough each scored two points in the run that put DelVal in the invitational's championship tilt.
In addition to Moran's big night, Kimbrough finished with 18 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Brockington contributed 13 points while Matsinye and Sly had 10 and nine points respectively.
Pine Manor was led by Rosario's 23 points. Rasheed Bell added 14 points while Curtis Hyman notched a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards.