ALFRED, N.Y. (February 23, 2019) – Jordan Fragale capped off an incredible 12-point comeback in the final six-and-a-half minutes in Saturday's ACAA Semifinals game versus Pine Manor with a go-ahead jumper with 8.3 seconds remaining. The second-seed Broncos held off the three-seed Gators in the closing moments for the 76-75 victory to advance to the ACAA Finals against host and fourth seed Alfred State on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
The win also gave Delhi its 11th win in its last 13 contests to stand at 16-10 on the season. The Pioneers defeated top-seed Thomas More by a 68-64 score earlier Saturday in their semifinals contest. Sunday's championship matchup will serve as the rubber match for SUNY Delhi and Alfred State this season, with both splitting home victories in the regular season series. The Broncos won the first meeting, 77-68, on Jan. 30, and then the Pioneers won a last-minute thriller, 74-73, just two weeks ago on Feb. 9.
Delhi led, 37-32, at halftime, but PMC took over for most of the second half, holding a 67-55 lead with 6:25 to play in the game. The Broncos began their final charge modestly, with Payton Dean making two straight trips to the free throw line, making 3-of-4. Following a Gators turnover that led to a Justin Daoud 3-pointer, Dean then connected on a layup, followed by two free throws, to get to within four of PMC at 69-65 with 4:06 to go. The Gators would make two free throws to go back up by six, but Norman Wilson's ensuing three kept the Broncos in the hunt, behind, 71-68, with 3:31 remaining.
Pine Manor got back out by five thanks to a pair of layups at 75-70 with 1:41 to play, which served as their final points of the game. Dean once again made it to the free throw line, sinking two more free throws to turn in an 11-for-15 day from the charity stripe, that made the score 75-72. With less than 20 seconds to go and Delhi in the double bonus, Jordan Fragale made a pair of free throws that cut the Gators' lead down to 75-74. On the ensuing inbounds, the Broncos successfully executed a trap play, granting the team a jump ball possession with 14.3 seconds to go. Fragale put Delhi out in front when he drove in to the paint and connected on the jumper for the one-point lead with 8.3 second left. Following a timeout, Pine Manor had time for one more play. But their last-ditch run down the length of the court was met with rejection by Dean, who stood in the way of Gator Rasheed Bell's drive underneath the basket as time expired.
Dean made 17 of his 19 total points in the second half, while logging ten rebounds for his 11th double-double on the year. Fragale went a perfect 6-for-6 from the charity stripe as he made 14 points, five rebounds and seven assists. Wilson hit on a pair of 3-pointers to finish with ten points and six rebounds, while Carlos Ithier drilled three triples for nine points. Daoud's late 3-pointer that sparked the Broncos' comeback served as his only three on the day, as he totaled seven points with five rebounds and four assists. William Knight had seven points, while Saquan Goland six points with four rebounds and four blocks.
Both teams finished at 33.8 percent shooting, with the Broncos making 23-of-68 and Pine Manor connecting on 25-of-74. Delhi made 7-of-30 threes and 23-of-33 free throws, compared to PMC's 6-of-20 and 19-of-27, respectively. The Gators held a 58-50 edge in rebounds, as well as a 34-28 lead in points in the paint and 35-17 in bench points. The Broncos were shooting just around 30 percent for the game prior to their comeback run in the last 6:30.