RUTHERFORD, N.J. – The Felician University men's basketball team has qualified for the 2019 Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) Championship tournament as the No. 4 seed from the North Division.
Felician (14-12, 12-7) reaches the CACC playoffs for the second consecutive season following a five-year absence. Tonight, the Golden Falcons will travel to Philadelphia, Pa., to take on the South Division No. 1 seed Jefferson Rams in first-round postseason action at the Gallagher Center on the Jefferson campus. Tipoff time is 5:30 p.m.
More information about the 2019 CACC Men's Basketball Championship tournament is available at http://www.caccathletics.org/sports/mbkb/2018-19/releases/32Bracket.
Felician is making its 13th CACC tournament appearance and is seeking its second championship. The Golden Falcons captured the title in 2009-10, but have not won a playoff game since. This season, they rank second in the 14-team CACC in scoring offense and 12th in scoring defense and are 5-8 in true road games.
Junior guard Zamir Wright (Newark, N.J./University HS) was a first-team all-CACC selection. He averages 19.0 points and 3.3 assists and has made 71 three-point field goals. Redshirt freshman guard Aziz Parker (Westhampton, N.J./Medford Tech) and true freshman swingman Jay'von Jackson (Plainfield, N.J./St. Mary-Elizabeth) score 11.5 and 11.4 points per game, respectively. Meanwhile, senior center Rahsaan Williams (Brooklyn, N.Y./Chelsea CTE), averages 10.3 points and 9.0 rebounds and tops the CACC with 2.31 blocked shots per contest.
"Coach Lewis and the staff have prepared us in the best way they can for (tonight)," said Wright, the team's lone captain (full video below right). "I feel like we're playing our best ball of the season. Our chemistry is at its peak, and we have talent from the starters all the way to the bench. As players, the ball is now in our court."
Jefferson (21-7, 16-3) (formerly Philadelphia University) has won five CACC titles, including last year's, under Naismith Hall of Fame coach Herb Magee. This season, the Rams are 12-2 at home. Junior forward DeVaughn Mallory (Smyrna, Del./Polytech) is a first-team all-league choice, averaging 17.0 points (10th) and 10.0 rebounds (2nd) while shooting 54.1 percent from the floor (9th) Junior guard Kylan Guerra (White Plains, N.Y./Archbishop Stepinac) scores 14.8 points with 5.9 assists per game (2nd) and was voted to the All-CACC second team.
"No matter how many points are scored, a big key for us is to keep their field-goal percentage down, said Felician fourth-year head coach Ivan Lewis (full video below left). "Jefferson traditionally likes to play a rotation of about six men. We're going to try to be the opposite of them. We want to play fast and possibly wear them down and get them in foul trouble."
Jefferson won the 2018-19 regular-season meeting between the schools, 87-71, on Jan. 5 in Rutherford, N.J. The Rams lead the all-time series, 14-5. Jefferson and Golden Falcons have split two prior meetings in the CACC Tournament. They have not faced each other since Felician's semifinal win at Caldwell University in 2010.
Directions to the Gallagher Center are available at http://jeffersonrams.com/facilities/index. Ticket prices for tonight's game are $8 for adults and $4 for children, students (with ID) and senior citizens (cash only). Children age three years and under will be admitted free.
Jefferson will also offer Live Stats at http://jeffersonrams.com/sports/mbkb/2018-19/boxscores/20190305_wxp4.xml and a live webstream at https://caccnetwork.com/?bfplayvid=114492.
Caldwell will host the semifinals and finals of the CACC Championship tournament at the George R. Newman Center in Caldwell, N.J. Tonight's winner will take on the Dominican (N.Y.) College-Holy Family University first-round winner on Saturday at either noon or 2 p.m.
The 2019 CACC Championship Game is slated for Sunday, March 10, at noon on the Caldwell campus.