Andre Blackwood nets 12 points off the bench for the Ravens
MANCHESTER, N.H. (February 13, 2013) -- The Franklin Pierce University men's basketball team overcame an 11-point second half deficit to pull out a 61-57 win over Southern New Hampshire on Wednesday night at the SNHU Fieldhouse in Manchester. The Ravens won their fifth straight to improve to 17-5 overall and 14-4 in the Northeast-10, while the Penmen dipped to 13-9 and 9-9 in league play.
Sophomore forward Ryen Vilmont (Philadelphia, Pa.) keyed Franklin Pierce's output with a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds, while junior frontcourt-mate Ellis Cooper (Northampton, Mass.) poured in a team-best 14 points.
Junior guard Andre Blackwood (Paterson, N.J.) came off the bench to go 5-of-7 from the floor and net 12 points, while senior guard Eric Jean-Guillaume (Stamford, Conn.) added 10 points.
Those four were part of a balanced Franklin Pierce offensive attack, which saw eight Ravens score and the team shoot 47 percent (23-of-49) from the field.
That balanced attack enabled the Ravens to shake off an 11-point deficit early in the second half and outscore SNHU, 28-13, over the final 14:09 of the game to pull off the four-point win.
Franklin Pierce's prospects at a win did not look pleasant following a 6-0 spurt by the Penmen to open up a 44-33 lead with 14:23 remaining in the game. That mini run early in the second half came after SNHU held command for most of the first half in taking a 29-23 lead into halftime.
Junior forward Matt Barboza (East Providence, R.I.) settled things down for the Ravens with a layup at the other end of the court and both Blackwood and Cooper responded on each of Franklin Pierce's next two possessions with a three-pointer and three-point play, respectively.
Senior forward Ant Lessane (Brooklyn, N.Y.) brought the Ravens to within a point with a layup moments later and Vilmont put them up, 45-44, with a driving layup at the 10:47 mark. Junior forward Georgios Papapetrou (Athens, Greece) capped the rally with a deep three-ball from the top of the key.
Southern New Hampshire, however, refused to fold and reeled off the next five points, including a layup from Elijah Bonsignore, to take a 49-48 lead with 7:42 to go.
The teams began trading baskets over the next several possessions before the Ravens were finally able to create a little bit of space at 56-53 with a layup from Cooper. SNHU was forced to foul to save time on the clock, but the Ravens were more than up to the challenge of making their free throws to seal the win. Both Jean-Guillaume and Vilmont made a pair of foul shots in the closing seconds to extend Franklin Pierce's winning streak.
Aleksandar Dobrovic led SNHU with 13 points, while Mike Stys and Rodney Sanders followed with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
All but six of SNHU's points came from its starters as the reserves could not provide much of a spark offensively. Franklin Pierce's reserves netted 19, thanks in large part to the hot shooting of Blackwood.
The opening minutes of the game were tightly contested with four ties and five lead changes. Blackwood's jumper at the 11:25 mark knotted the score at 12-all, however, Southern New Hampshire began to take control of the half by reeling off seven-consecutive points over a five-minute span to build a 19-12 lead. Stys capped the surge with a trey and the Penmen continued to hold their advantage the remainder of the half and took the six-point edge into the intermission.
Franklin Pierce returns to action Saturday when the Ravens play host to Saint Anselm at 3:30 p.m. in The Fieldhouse in Rindge.
For more information on Franklin Pierce men's basketball, please visit the team's page at athletics.franklinpierce.edu(.) To follow the program even further, please visit Franklin Pierce Athletics on YouTube (www.youtube.com/FranklinPierceSports), Twitter (www.twitter.com/FPUathletics) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce men's basketball apparel can do so on the athletic department's new online store at athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store(.)