WALTHAM, Mass. (February 28, 2016) – A team-high 18 points from sophomore center Mike McDevitt (Cumberland, Maine) and 13 more for senior guard Tyler Iacuone (Mahopac, N.Y.) were not enough for the Franklin Pierce University men's basketball team on Sunday afternoon, in the quarterfinal round of the Northeast-10 Conference Championship. A 17-4 run surrounding halftime proved to be the difference, as Bentley pulled away in the second half for an 86-71 win at Dana Center.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce, the Northeast Division's fifth seed, finishes the season at 16-12. Bentley, the top seed in the Northeast Division, improves to 19-7 and advances to host Stonehill in the semifinal round on Wednesday.
Bentley jumped out to an 11-5 lead out of the gate over the game's first four minutes. Junior guard Ferguson Duke had five points in the run with a three-pointer and layup, while sophomore guard Brandon Wheeler chipped in a pair of layups as well. Franklin Pierce responded with a 12-2 run over the next four minutes to surge to a 17-13 lead, the Ravens' largest advantage of the day. Iacuone led the way with six points on the run, on a pair of field goals and two free throws.
The teams traded baskets for much of the next nine minutes and, after a layup by junior guard Matt Banton (Brooklyn, N.Y.) with 3:33 left in the half, Franklin Pierce trailed 31-30. Bentley took over from there, closing the first half of a 10-3 run and taking a 41-33 on a buzzer-beater put-back by Duke heading into the intermission. The Falcons would extend the run to 17-4 by scoring seven of the second half's first eight points as well. Graduate student guard Keegan Hyland capped the run with a three-pointer at the 17:56 mark to push the lead to 48-34.
Franklin Pierce would not close the gap to single digits again over the remainder of the afternoon, and trailed by as many as 19 points (82-63) with 1:52 to play. Ultimately, Bentley would go on to win by 15 points, 86-71.
McDevitt (18 points) and Iacuone (13) were the only two Ravens in double digits, though junior guard Donte Gittens (Hartford, Conn.) added nine and Banton scored eight off the bench. Gittens collected a team-high nine rebounds and also dished out three assists and blocked a shot along the way.
For Bentley, senior forward Tyler McFarland scored a game-high 22 points to lead three Falcons in double digits, as he was joined by Wheeler (19) and Hyland (17). McFarland added 10 rebounds to complete his double-double, and also had five assists and three steals as well.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce men's basketball apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).