Men’s Basketball: DelVal Ends Reg. Season With Overtime Win, Heads to Playoffs
Feb 23, 2009
James Jones scored 26 points while Jason Goldheimer hit key 3-pointers at the end of regulation and in overtime as Delaware Valley College notched a winning record in the regular season for the first time in 22 years with an 83-76 triumph over Freedom Conference foe Misericordia University.
The win improved the Aggies to 13-12 overall and 8-8 in conference play, their first winning record in the regular season since the 1986-87 squad went 15-10. It also marked a 10-game improvement from last year as rookie head coach Casey Stitzel took over a program that went 3-22 overall and 0-14 in the Freedom in 2006-07.
Delaware Valley will now prepare for its first conference playoff game in 40 years as the fifth-seeded Aggies will travel to No. 4 Wilkes University on Monday, February 23 (7:00 p.m.) for the opening round of the Freedom Conference tournament. The winner of that game will head to top-seeded DeSales University for the semifinals on Wednesday, February 25 (8:00 p.m.) with the Freedom Conference Championship Game slated for Saturday, February 28 (time TBA) at the highest seed remaining. The conference champion earns an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III playoffs.
Jones was just 8-for-17 from the field, but he was perfect 10-for-10 from the foul line including four in the final minute of overtime to seal the contest. The 26 points upped his season total to 508, making the sophomore transfer just the second player in Aggie history to go over the 500-point plateau. Jones also grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds and dished out five assists in 44 minutes of action.
Delaware Valley grabbed a 35-32 halftime lead and went ahead by as many as eight in the second stanza. The Aggies still held a 55-48 lead with 10 minutes remaining when the Cougars (11-14, 5-11) went on a 13-3 spurt to take a 61-56 advantage with 6:18 left on the clock. Dom Del Prete scored five of his team’s points in the run.
Misericordia was still ahead by six, 72-66, after Vinny Baumunk had a layup with 1:34 remaining. Delaware Valley’s Jon Evans drained a trey to cut its deficit in half with 1:26 remaining. The Cougars missed a bomb on their next possession and Jones came down and had a layup blocked. Goldheimer grabbed the rebound and the Aggies regrouped. Goldheimer got the ball back beyond the arc and the sophomore drilled a shot to tie the game with 37 ticks left.
Delaware Valley’s Tom Signore drew a charge on Misericordia’s next possession and Delaware Valley had a chance to win the game with 12 seconds left. However, a long trey attempt by Jones was short and the game went into overtime.
The Courgars won the tap and scored 25 seconds in on an inside shot by Baumunk. However, Goldheimer drilled a 3-pointer with 4:14 remaining and followed with another bomb with 2:01 to go to give the Aggies a 78-74 lead. Signore upped the lead to five with one free throw, but a layup by Del Prete made it a three-point game with 54 seconds left. Jones then went 4-for-4 from the foul line in the final 24 seconds to seal the win.
Goldheimer finished with five treys and 17 points off the bench while Evans came off the bench to add eight points. Jason Seipt, the lone Aggie senior playing in his final home game, finished with eight points, 12 assists and three steals. The 12 helpers added to his school-record total of 426 for his career.
Baumunk notched 23 points to pace Misericordia. Del Prete came off the bench to add 17 points while Robbie Johnson finished with 14 points and four assists.