RINDGE, N.H. (December 31, 2016) – Trailing by eight points at the end of the first half, the Franklin Pierce University men's basketball team rallied for a 86-78 win against non-conference opponent Long Island University – Post on New Year's Eve in the Fieldhouse. With the win, the Crimson and Grey improve to 8-5 on the year and the loss drops the Pioneers to 4-9.
Franklin Pierce wrapped up their non-conference slate with a 3-3 mark over six games and were winners in two of their last three non-league contests.
Freshman guard Oladoyin Fadojutimi (Temple Hills, Md.) led all reserves with 23 minutes and scored a career-high 18 points, on a 8-of-13 (61.5%) shooting performance. He led the contest with three steals and grabbed one rebound.
Mike McDevitt (Cumberland, Maine) racked up a team-high 21 points, snagged five boards and dished out two helpers. Junior forward Asante Sandiford (Boston, Mass.) recorded his second double-double of the season with 10 points and a contest-high 11 caroms. Jordan Lackey (South Plainfield, N.J.) stuffed the stat sheet by scoring 14 points, grabbing four rebounds, handing out three assists, blocking two shots and coming up with two steals.
Donte Gittens (Hartford, Conn.) chalked up a game-high six dimes to go along with six points, two caroms and a block. Four of Five Raven starters scored in double-figures.
LIU Post outrebounded FPU by a 52-to-35 margin and tallied 24 second chance points compared to the Ravens four. Pioneer senior forward Greg Dotson poured in a game-high 23 points and grabbed a team-best 10 boards in a double-double effort. Jared Hall added 12 markers, seven rebounds, a team-high five assists and a steal.
Lackey opened the scoring by driving the baseline, drawing a blocking foul and converting the free throw to give FPU a 3-0 lead 18 seconds into the game. Senior guard Matt Banton (Brooklyn, N.Y.) gave the Ravens their largest advantage of the first half with a transition trey from the right wing to put the Ravens ahead by six, 8-2.
A 9-3 Pioneer binge tied the contest at 11 all after Dotson buried a pull up three-ball from the high post. Following the Dotson make, The Ravens regained the lead after Sandiford posted up down low and fed the rock to Fadojutimi who drained a shot from deep to put Pierce back in front 14-11.
Led by two straight three-balls by Dotson, LIU-Post took an eight point, 22-14 lead thanks to an 11-0 scoring binge. Five points in a row by the hosts brought the deficit back down to one possession which led to a timeout. After the stoppage, Jared Rivers knocked down a contested corner three to put the Pioneers back ahead by two scores, 25-19 with 8:11 left before intermission.
At the 5:59 mark, both teams swapped three-pointers as Rivers started the long range barrage while McDevitt matched Rivers and Dustin Cole (Standish, Maine) matched Jemal Mosley's three with one of his own to make it a four point game. On the next trip down the floor, Mosley drained another three to bring the LIU Post lead back up to seven.
With 24 seconds left before the half, Banton split a pair of freebies to make the score 45-37 at the halfway point.
The Pioneers had their three-point shot working in the first half as they converted 10-of-18 (55.6%) of their three-point attempts. The second stanza was another story as the Ravens defensive unit locked down the Pioneer three-point shooters and held them to only a 1-of-6 (16.7%) shooting performance.
Fadojutimi went to work in the second half as he tallied 13 of his 18 points in the second stanza. As a team, FPU outscored the guests 49-33 in the final period.
Jared Hall gave his squad their largest lead of the contest, 49-39 after he threw in a layup. On the next Raven offensive trip, Sandiford knocked down a long range shot from the wing off a feed by Gittens to make it a seven point game.
The Pioneers brought the lead back up to eight before Fadojutimi corralled a missed jumper by McDevitt and poured in a layup for the second chance points. Fadojutimi kept on working during the next Raven trip down the floor, he cut from the left wing and scooped a lay-in off the glass and into the net which cut the deficit to four.
A 14-4 Raven run that was capped off by Cole splitting free throws put them ahead by five with 6:45 left in the contest. The Pioneers outscored the Ravens 7-2 over the next minute to knot the score at 66 all. Gittens notched two freebies to put his squad back in front by two before Lackey came up huge on the next Pioneer possession as he blocked Kyle Doucette twice at the rim which led to a Fadojutimi corner three conversion.
After a Mosley mid-range jumper, the Ravens scored four straight as Fadojutimi got his hand into the passing lane, corralled the ball and threw down a one handed fast break slam to put FPU up seven, 77-70 with 3:03 to go.
Following a layup from the guests which made it a two possession game with 80 seconds remaining, Gittens took the shot clock down to nine seconds and then slashed through the lane for the hoop and harm. The senior captain converted the free throw to end the hopes of a Pioneer comeback.
The Ravens return to Northeast-10 Conference play on Wednesday when they travel to Adelphi for a 7:30 p.m. contest.
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).