RINDGE, N.H. (January 4, 2009) - Franklin Pierce University, ranked 23rd in the most recent USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Division II poll, roared out to a 21-point halftime lead and never looked back in picking up an 89-60 victory over Wilmington (Del.) University in a non-conference women's basketball match up at The Fieldhouse this afternoon.
Junior All-American and Great Britain international Johannah Leedham (Ellesmere Port, England/Cheshire Academy (Conn.)) led Franklin Pierce with 26 points as she made 10-of-13 shots from the field, including 2-for-4 from three-point range, and converted all four free-throw attempts in just 22 minutes of play. The reigning State Farm/WBCA Division II Player of the Year also added a team-high matching four rebounds, two assists, two steals and a blocked shot.
The Ravens also got a season-high 18 points from junior Kirsten Doldoorian (Brimfield, Mass./Oxford) on 6-of-9 shooting from the field, hitting both three-point attempts and all four free-throws in 16 minutes off the bench. Senior Vanessa Power (Mildura, Australia) added eight points (all first half), canning 2-of-3 three's, while sophomore Cynthia Gaudet (Coventry, R.I./LaSalle Academy) chipped in seven points and seven assists.
Junior Amelia Simmons (Wilmington, Del./Concord) led Wilmington with 21 points as she hit 9-of-18 shots from the field, to go with a game-high seven rebounds (six offensive), two assists and two steals. Senior Jillian Bennett (Maple Shade, N.J./Holy Cross) rounded out the Wildcats in double-figures with 16 points, four rebounds and two blocked shots.
Franklin Pierce shot a season-high 64.6-percent (31-for-48) from the field, including 66.7% (18-27) in the first half, and was also a blazing 9-for-14 (64.3%) from three-point range, hitting 7-of-11 (63.6%) three's in the first half. Wilmington finished shooting 39.3% (22-for-56) from the floor, including 25% (3-12) from beyond the arc. The Ravens posted a 33-22 rebounding advantage and notched assists on 25 of their 31 field goals.
Franklin Pierce scored the first five points of the game, all from Leedham, but Wilmington rallied to force the game's only tie (5-5) 1:16 into the contest with a three-pointer and lay-up from Bennett. The Ravens led by a point (10-9) after a Bennett basket at the 15:54-mark, when they reeled off a 21-4 burst over the next five minutes to gain an 18-point lead (31-13) after a lay-up from sophomore Ashley Robinson (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Nova) with 11:19 left in the half.
Franklin Pierce's lead grew to as much as 25 (46-21), following a lay-up from junior Rachel Kimball (Rotterdam, N.Y./Monohasen), with 3:29 to go, before settling for a 21-point (46-25) halftime advantage. Franklin Pierce's bench did the bulk of the work in the opening frame, outscoring Wilmington reserves by a 29-4 margin. The Wildcats got inside 20 points on two occasions in the second 20-minutes, but never seriously threatened, with the Ravens final margin of victory (29 points) its largest lead of the day.
Franklin Pierce (7-4, 4-3 NE-10) returns to Northeast-10 play on Tuesday when it visits Saint Michael's College at 5:30 p.m. The Ravens are back at the Fieldhouse on Thursday to host Pace University at 5:30 p.m. Wilmington (6-6, 2-2 CACC) travels to Goldey-Beacom College on Tuesday at 6 p.m.