PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. (January 10, 2018) – Franklin Pierce University men's basketball junior guards Amanie Craddock (Spring Valley, N.Y.) and David Bradbury (Deep River, Conn.) set career-highs with 12 points apiece as the Ravens recorded their most efficient shooting game of the season in an 86-79 victory against Northeast-10 Conference opponent Pace University Wednesday night at the Goldstein Fitness Center. With the win, the Ravens fifth victory over their last six games improves their record to 8-6 overall and 3-6 in league play while the Setters stumble to 5-12, 1-8 NE10.
Franklin Pierce drained 57.9% (33-of-57) of their field goal attempts, which established a new season-high. They shot 48.0% (12-of-25) from deep and continued to emphasize rim protection with nine total blocks. Currently, the Birds lead the NE10 in blocks per game (4.6.).
Craddock was 4-of-6 (66.7%) from the hardwood and a perfect 2-of-2 (100.0%) from beyond the arc in 18 minutes of play. Bradbury tallied a personal-best in minutes played (22) while he was 4-of-7 (57.1%) shooting and 3-of-5 (60.0%) from long range. In 17 minutes of play, freshman Devonte McCall (Amherst, Mass.) racked up nine points and six boards to go along with one block. The Ravens bench unit outproduced Pace's by a 35-to-19 margin.
Three Raven starters scored in double-figures as the regulars were carried by senior forward Asante Sandiford (Boston, Mass.) who led all players with a game-best 20 points and 10 rebounds en route to his fifth double-double of the season. Sandiford did most of his damage via the three-pointer as he converted five makes on seven attempts (71.4%). Classmate and team captain Mike McDevitt (Cumberland, Maine) stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, six rebounds, four assists and four blocks. Falu Seck (Washington, D.C.) added 10 points and a game-best eight assists as well.
Four players for Pace racked up double-digit point totals as freshman guard Austin Gillbertson's 19 points led the Setters.
The first points of the contest were scored a minute and a half into the game when Brandon Jacobs drained two free throws from the line. Immediately after the freebies, McDevitt found Seck for a layup to open the scoring for the Ravens. Both squads traded buckets until Pierce embarked on an 8-0 mini-spurt using two three-balls by McDevitt, McCall, and a Craddock lay-in as they pushed ahead 14-8. Pace eventually knotted up the score, but Craddock drained a three to reestablish the lead for FPU at 17-14. The hosts reeled off seven straight markers to move ahead 21-17 before McDevitt dished off the rock to Sandiford for three as FPU trailed 21-20.
The teams traded blows over the final seven minutes of the half as a Peyton Wejnert layup upped the Setters edge to 34-30. Three balls started to fly when Bradbury connected on a long-range attempt, Greg Poleon matched Bradbury's trey with one of his own, but the junior guard got the last laugh by hitting his second consecutive three-pointer to close out the stanza at 37-36.
The teams swapped markers to begin the second half then Craddock knocked down another three-ball to move the Ravens ahead 43-40. Pace pushed back in the lead at 46-43 by notching six consecutive points. A McDevitt jumper assisted by Seck and a McCall slam moved the needle back to FPU's side at 47-46 with 14:48 remaining.
Trailing by three, McDevitt followed a blocked layup by Greg Poleon and put the miss into the hoop for a second chance bucket. Bradbury then came up big on the boards as well when he followed a missed mid-range jumper and kicked the ball out to Sandiford for three to move the Ravens back ahead 52-50. Bradbury continued his strong offensive showing when he dropped another long-range attempt to cap off a stretch of eight straight points for the guests that made it a two-possession game at 55-50.
Two free throws by Pace made the score 55-52, but a Kevin Young (West Hempstead, N.Y.) basket and another Sandiford three capped off the 13-2 Raven run as they led 60-52 with 11:08 to left in the contest. Pace chipped away at the deficit to trail only by one, 64-63 following two free throws by Gilbertson. Seck then dished out his seventh assist of the game to Sandiford who buried another three-ball as the Ravens lead climbed to four 67-63.
A Bradbury reverse layup off a designed inbounds play upped the Raven edge to 72-65. On the next trip down the floor for the hosts, Wejnert made a trip to the line via an and1 to cut into their deficit at 72-68. McDevitt responded to the three-point play by floating in a baseline attempt to increase the lead to 74-68. At the 4:52 mark, Jacobs poured in a transition three from the right wing to decrease the deficit to 74-71. McDevitt posted up his defender down on the left block and used a shimmy shake lay-in that advanced the score to 76-71, but Pace hit a jumper with 3:21 left to bring it back to a three-point game.
Seck and Doyin Fadojutimi (Temple Hills, Md.) pushed Pierce ahead by seven, 80-73 by making two straight layups. Wejnert and Bradbury split their free throws as the contest remained a seven-point game. With 1:33 to go, Gilbertson sank a trey to make it a two-possession duel at 81-77. Franklin Pierce made three-of-four free throws down the stretch and Craddock iced the game via layup.
The Ravens head back to the friendly confines of The Fieldhouse for their next three games. They welcome NE10 opponent the College of Saint Rose to campus for a 3:30 p.m. tip-off Saturday.
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).