PHILADELPHIA (November 12, 2016) – The Franklin Pierce University men's basketball team started off their 2016-17 season with a bang on Saturday afternoon with a 19 point, 93-74 victory over non-conference opponent Chestnut Hill College at the Gallagher Center in Philly. The Ravens win, their fourth season opening victory in the past five seasons, move them to 1-0 and the Griffins drop to 0-1 with the setback.
Junior forward Mike McDevitt (Cumberland, Maine) led the way for the Crimson and Grey with a team-high 14 points on 6-of-9 (66.7%) shooting from the floor. He also snagged seven boards, blocked three shots and handed out two helpers. In 19 minutes of play, team captain Donte Gittens (Hartford, Conn.) was a perfect 4-of-4 from the hardwood while dishing out four assists and grabbing three rebounds. Junior forward Asante Sandiford (Boston, Mass.) came down with a game-high 11 rebounds, while scoring nine points
As a team, FPU shot 57.6% (34-of-59) from the court which was the second highest team shooting percentage in the last calendar year. They also out rebounded their counterparts by 15 rebounds (46-to-31) and came up with five more blocks (6-to-1).
The Crimson and Grey started out fast with a 7-2 run fueled by a Matt Banton (Brooklyn, N.Y.) three-ball and Gittens ended the scoring with a layup from the paint. The Griffins took their only lead of the contest about six minutes into the game after JJ Butler stole the rock from Banton and went coast-to-coast for a driving layup which put Chestnut Hill up 8-7.
After the Butler lay-in the Ravens took control of the half with a game changing 15-2 scoring binge as nine of the 15 points come from shots beyond the arc by McDevitt, Dustin Cole (Standish, Maine) and Falu Seck (Washington, D.C.). After the three-pointer barrage, the Ravens held a 12 point 22-10 lead with 9:52 left before the break.
Butler split a pair of freebies and Bryant Quill knocked down a three pointer to cut the Raven lead back to single figures, but eight straight markers from FPU put them up 16, 30-14 and forced Chestnut Hill to think over strategy with a timeout.
The stoppage worked in the Griffins favor as they used a 6-2 mini run to bring the deficit back down to 12. However, the Ravens closed the half out strong by building the lead to 19, 46-27 at the intermission.
FPU used a 9-3 run in the beginning of the new half to go up 25 points after a Banton jumper. Their lead grew to a game-high 26 when Marvilio Berroa (Bronx, N.Y.) converted a three ball to put the Ravens up 61-35 with 15:55 left. Chestnut Hill eventually brought the game back down to 20 points, but it was too much of a hole to dig out of.
The Ravens return to the hardwood tomorrow when they wrap up their trip to the City of Brotherly Love against host Philadelphia University at 1:00 p.m.
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).