Redshirt-junior Anthony Lee tallied a team-high 16 points, senior Rafiq Marshall and sophomore Max Wagner each contributed 15 points, and senior Ethan Ridgeway added 13 for the Golden Bears (4-1 overall, 1-1 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference) who needed every last one of them in holding off the Rams (4-5) in their home gym.
Leading 67-60 with 2:29 remaining, Jefferson scored the next six points to trail by just one with 1:24 left. A couple of missed field goals by the Golden Bears gave the Rams one last shot with the ball, down by
one and 0:06 on the clock.
KU celebrated a hard-fought team victory, having to play shorthanded.
Playing without starters Dan Cuevas and Moe Williams, head coach Bernie Driscoll needed more players to step up. Marshall and Wagner answered the call.
Growing up in Philadelphia, it was a homecoming for Marshall, who came in averaging 4.3 points per game (ppg) but ended with a season-high 15. He also dished out a season-high five assists in his most minutes of the year (31).
Lacking size down in the post, Wagner and sophomore Josh Townsend each made their first starts of the season.
Wagner made the most of his opportunity and finished with career-highs in points (15), rebounds (12) and minutes (34). He also had three assists and shot 4-of-6 from the free throw line.
Townsend played a career-high 18 minutes of action and ended his night with two points, four rebounds and an assist.
The trio of Wagner, Townsend and Oenis Medina had their hands full slowing down 6’7″ forward Yevgen Sakhniuk, who had a game-high 17 points and played physical in the post all night.
Medina had three points and two rebounds in eight minutes. Freshman Kiyon Hardy got his most minutes (22) of the season, finishing with three points on 1-for-1 shooting from distance.
Lee was the second KU player with a double-double, collecting 12 rebounds to go along with his 16 points, and played all 40 minutes. He also had two blocks which is a season-high.
Ridgeway finished with 13 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Kutztown will play two PSAC games at Keystone Arena this weekend. KU hosts Mercyhurst Saturday, Dec. 2, followed by Gannon on Sunday, Dec. 3. Both games are 3 p.m. tipoffs.