DOYLESTOWN (PA) – Alex Matsinye scored a game-high 24 points, including 15 points in the final eight and a half minutes after leading scorer Tyliek Kimbrough fouled out, to lead Delaware Valley University to a 66-65 victory over visiting Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) Freedom foe Manhattanville College.
The victory improved the defending conference champion Aggies to 9-7 overall and 4-1 in league play. They now sit in a two-way tie atop the MAC Freedom leaderboard with Eastern University after all of tonight’s results. The Valiants fell to 6-10 overall and 2-3 in conference play.
Back-to-back layups by Manhattanville’s Alex Tuci tied the game at 44-44 with 9:16 left in regulation. Forty-four seconds later, Kimbrough was called for a charge and his fifth and final foul of the night. DelVal scored shortly after, but Tuci sank four straight free throws, two on a technical, to put the Valiants on top, 48-46.
DelVal responded with an 11-3 run, sparked by six straight points from Matsinye, to go up 57-51 with 2:54 to play. Matsinye added nine more points down the stretch, including seven from the foul line to give him 23 second-half points. The final free throw gave the Aggies a seven-point lead in the closing seconds before Tuci hit a pair of late 3-pointers, including one from halfcourt at the buzzer, for the 66-65 win.
The first half saw the team play to seven tie scores, the last coming at 21-21 with 4:15 remaining. Matsinye hit a free throw and Kimbrough followed with a layup to put DelVal up three before the Valiants went on a 6-1 run to close out the half and take a 27-25 lead into the break. The Valiants held a 26-15 margin in rebounds in that stanza and shot 10-for-28 (35.7%) from the field compared to 9-for-27 (33.3%) for the Aggies. Kimbrough scored 14 points to lead DelVal into the half.
The Aggies opened up their largest lead of the second half for either team after they put together an 8-3 run thanks to treys from Andre’ Butler and Mike Cianciulli and a layup from Matsinye. That made the score 41-36 with 12:40 to play and set the stage for the Matsinye’s heroics down the stretch.
To go with his 24 points, Matsinye polished off a double-double with 10 rebounds. Kimbrough finished the game with 14 points and Tyrea Williams notched his third straight double-double (fourth in last six games) with 11 points and 11 rebounds to go along with five steals.
Manhattanville was led by Tuci’s 24 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots. JoJo Cobbs had 11 points and two blocks.
The Aggies will travel to FDU-Florham on Saturday to take on the Devils in a MAC Freedom contest beginning at 3 p.m.
Messiah assistant Mark Seidenburg is returning to the Philadephia region to take over Delaware Valley's program. He replaces Casey Stitzel who left the Aggies to become the new head coach at Division II Millersville (Pa.).