DALLAS (PA) – Delaware Valley University shot 50 percent from the field and Alex Matsinye dropped a season-high 21 points, en route to an 83-70 road victory over Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Freedom foe Misericordia University.
The win moved the Aggies to 8-7 overall and 3-1 in conference games. The defending MAC Freedom champions now sit in a four-way tie atop the standings with DeSales University, Eastern University and FDU-Florham. The Cougars, who were without leading scorer Jason Kenny and starting center James Hawk for the second straight game, fell to 10-5 overall and 1-3 in MAC Freedom play.
DelVal led for much of the first half and took it largest of the stanza with 6:32 to go as Mike Cianciulli grabbed a rebound and sprung Daniel Paulson for a layup to make it 31-23. However, Misericordia's Jake Szczecina connected on three treys, including back-to-back bombs to cap off a 13-2 run that gave the Cougars a 36-33 lead. Cianciulli hit a layup before the buzzer to make it a one-point game at the half. The first half box score looked almost identical statistically for both teams.
The two squads played to a 44-44 tie after five minutes of the second half. From there, DelVal went on a 10-2 run over a three and half minute span behind six points from Tyrea Williams and four points from Matsinye. The Aggies led by eight points five other times in the half and even increased the advantage to as many as 12 when Cianciulli hit a pair of free throws to make it a 68-56 with 5:36 left in regulation.
That 12-point lead was quickly reduced to four after Griffin Sponaugle and Stone Mcreary hit consecutive 3-pointers and Sponaugle hit a pair from the foul line for a 70-66 score with just over three minutes to play.
DelVal put a halt to the comeback, outscoring Misericordia 13-4 the rest of the way. Williams began the late run with a layup and a dunk while four players combined to sink nine free throws to seal the win.
Matsinye scored 17 of his points in the second half and the sophomore also grabbed nine rebounds in this game. Williams recorded a double-double with 18 points and 12 boards to go with three blocks and two steals. Tyliek Kimbrough dished a game-high four assists to go with 16 points while Cianciulli contributed 13 points. Andre' Butler had eight points and the Aggie bench gave strong minutes with a trio of starters in foul trouble.
The Cougars were led by Sponaugle's 18 points. Szczecina and Noah Rivera each had 12 points and Tony Harding led the team with five rebounds.
DelVal will face Manhattanville College at home in a MAC Freedom contest slated for 8 p.m. on Wednesday, January 18.