Eric Jean-Guillaume drops in 17 points in the win
MANCHESTER, N.H. (March 17, 2013) -- The Franklin Pierce University men's basketball team stormed out of the gates by scoring 20 of the game's first 24 points and never looked back in downing New Haven, 80-63, on Sunday night in the 2013 NCAA Division II East Regional Semifinals at the SNHU Fieldhouse in Manchester, N.H.
The top-seeded Ravens improved to 23-8 and advanced to Tuesday's East Regional Championship versus seventh-seeded Bridgeport. Franklin Pierce and Bridgeport will be playing for the regional title and a spot in the Division II Elite Eight which will be held at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky. on March 28 and 30.
Junior forward Ellis Cooper (Northampton, Mass.), who one night earlier topped 1,000 career points with an impressive offensive performance, turned in another spectacular shooting effort as he scored 14 points, including 10 points alone during the opening surge as the Ravens took quick control.
Franklin Pierce connected on 4-of-5 shots to begin the game and Cooper highlighted the opening run with a three-pointer from the right wing and a three-point play on back-to-back possessions.
Sophomore forward Ryen Vilmont (Philadelphia, Pa.) aided the run with a three-pointer and senior guard Eric Jean-Guillaume capped it a three-ball of his own to stake the Ravens to the 20-4 lead eight minutes in. Vilmont and Jean-Guillaume each dropped in 10 points of their own during the opening 20 minutes as they went for 13 and 17, respectively, in the game.
Franklin Pierce shot a blistering 57 percent from the floor (17-of-30) in the first half as the Ravens got several high percentage looks and held a 22-10 edge in points in the paint. The Ravens weren't shy about shooting the three-ball either and converted at an even more impressive 63 percent clip (5-of-8).
While the Ravens were on offensively, the Chargers were not and shot just 39 percent (7-of-18) from the field. New Haven could never recover from the opening body blow dealt by Franklin Pierce.
The Chargers did counter with a quick 7-0 run, to pull within nine, but Franklin Pierce went right back to work with seven-consecutive points of their own, keyed by five-straight points from Vilmont, including a three-point play, to go up 27-11 with 5:53 left in the half.
Franklin Pierce kept the offensive momentum rolling and junior guard Curtis Christian (Harlem, N.Y.) put the Ravens up 38-17 with a little more than two minutes left in the stanza with a deep trey from beyond the left wing.
When their initial shots weren't falling, the Ravens went to work on the offensive boards, collecting multiple rebounds and getting putbacks in taking an 8-0 advantage in second-chance points. Junior forward Adrianos Vourliotakis Perdikaris (Cholargos, Athens) was the other Raven to have a strong shooting half as he scored nine points, including knocking down a jumper at the buzzer to send Franklin Pierce into the locker room with a 44-19 lead.
Vourliotakis continued to play well offensively in the second half. He netted 10 points in the stanza before exiting and finished with 19 points. He also worked tirelessly on the boards and ripped down 12 rebounds to notch a double-double. It marked the second-straight game Vourliotakis scored in double-figures and he is averaging 17.5 points and 10.0 rebounds per game during the NCAA Tournament so far.
The win also marked Franklin Pierce's first victory in the second round of the national tournament. The Ravens improved to 4-2 all-time against current members of the Northeast-10 Conference in NCAA Tournament games.
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 online store at athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store(.)