DOYLESTOWN (PA) –Tyrea Williams had seven, highlight-reel dunks, en route to a career-high 28-point performance as Delaware Valley University remained tied for first place in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Freedom with an 87-75 home triumph over Misericordia University.
The defending conference champions, under rookie head coach Mark Seidenburg, improved to 13-8 overall and 8-2 in league action. The Aggies are deadlocked with Eastern University atop the standings and they each have a three-game on the final MAC Freedom tournament spot with just four games remaining. Misericordia is tied for the fourth and final berth as the Cougars dropped to 14-7 and 5-5.
DelVal never trailed on Saturday as it began the game with a 13-0 run and held Misericordia to 0-for-15 shooting from the field in the first seven minutes. Williams scored inside for the opening bucket and added an alley-oop jam following an Andre' Butler bucket. After a free throw and then a layup from Alex Matsinye, Williams brought the house down as the 6-foot-7 center had back-to-back monster jams in transition.
The Cougars settled in and cut the Aggie lead to five, 30-25, after Tony Harding drilled a 3-pointer with 4:07 left in the half. DelVal got its advantage back up to 10 before a basket by Misericordia's Jason Kenny with less than a minute to go made it a 39-31 contest at halftime. Williams finished the stanza with 18 points while Kenny had 11 for the Cougars.
After a Misericordia basket to start the second half, Butler drained a 3-pointer and it was followed by another alley-oop dunk from Williams. He later had back-to-back jams for a 54-39 Aggie lead with 14 minutes remaining.
DelVal was still up 14 when the Cougars made a 12-4 run, including six from Noah Rivera to pull to within six, 62-56, with 9:14 left on the clock. The Aggies answered with six straight, but Misericordia hung around and an Alec Rodway layup with 2:03 to go made it a 79-73 game. However, DelVal made eight of its 10 free throws down the stretch for the victory.
All but one of DelVal's 87 points came from its starters and the Aggies were strong from the foul line, hitting 28 of their 36 attempts compared to a 10-for-18 showing by Misericordia.
Williams, who fouled out with 6:22 remaining, played 30 total minutes and was 12-for-18 from the field and a perfect 4-for-4 from the foul line. He also added nine rebounds, four assists and four blocked shots. Butler finished with 17 points and eight boards. Tyliek Kimbrough added 15 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals. Matsinye had 15 points and eight boards while Mike Cianciulli scored 11 points.
Kenny led the Cougars with 26 points while also adding five assists and three steals. Harding added 13 points while Rivera came off the bench to contribute 10 points and seven rebounds in 17 minutes of action.
DelVal resumes MAC Freedom play on Wednesday, February 8 (8 p.m.) when it travels to Manhattanville College.