Men's Basketball Lets Double-Digit Lead Slip Away in 65-62 Setback to Pace

Men's Basketball Lets Double-Digit Lead Slip Away in 65-62 Setback to Pace

Eric Jean-Guillaume drops in game-high 19 points

RINDGE, N.H. (January 26, 2013) – The Franklin Pierce University men’s basketball team could not close out Pace on Saturday as the Ravens let a large double-digit second half lead slip away in a 65-62 setback to the Setters at The Fieldhouse in Rindge. Franklin Pierce fell to 12-5 overall and 9-4 in league play, while the Setters improved to 9-8 and 6-7 in league play.

Senior guard Eric Jean-Guillaume (Stamford, Conn.) pumped in a game-high 19 points, while junior forward Ellis Cooper (Northampton, Mass.) followed with 15.

The Ravens raced out to a 13-point halftime lead on the strength of a 52 percent shooting clip in the first half. However, the second half proved a much different story as Franklin Pierce converted on just 39 percent of its attempts and let a 16-point lead slip through their fingers.

Jonathan Merceus tossed in a game-high tying 19 points, including 15 in the second half as Pace overcame a 30-percent shooting performance in the first half with an outstanding 55 percent clip (17-of-31) in the second 20 minutes.

Keon Williams and Denzel Primus-Devonish each netted 14 points, while Kai Smith chipped in 11. Smith had nine of his points in the second half, while Williams and Primus-Devonish followed with eight and seven, respectively.

Franklin Pierce closed out the first half strong by scoring 16 of the last 19 points, including six points from freshman forward Kalusha Ndoumbe Ngollo (Paris, France), to build a 37-24 lead at halftime. Jean-Guillaume rained in a three-pointer seconds into the second half and Franklin Pierce found itself holding a comfortable 40-24 advantage.

However, the game changed hands from that point on and it was practically all Pace. The Setters scored 12 of the next 18 points, including three-consecutive baskets from Merceus to pull within 10 at 46-36 with 14:52 left.

Franklin Pierce countered with a mini-surge and eventually went up 57-42 with 9:36 to go following a layup from Adrianos Vourliotakis Perdikaris (Cholargos, Athens). But the Setters responded and scored 14-straight points, keyed by five points from Primus-Devonish and four from Merceus, to get within one.

Merceus knotted the score at 60-60 with 2:22 remaining with a driving layup and put the Setters up by one with a free throw on their next possession.

After two more free throws for Pace made it 63-60, Jean-Guillaume dropped in a jumper at the other end. Another pair of free throws for the Setters made it a three-point advantage and Jean-Guillaume tried to try it at the buzzer, but his attempt came up short as Pace pulled off the upset win. 

Pace held a 26-10 advantage in points in the paint in the second half and also forced the Ravens into eight turnovers, which the Setters scored 15 points off of. Pace did a good job of taking care of the basketball and committed just two turnovers.

Franklin Pierce returns to action Tuesday night when the Ravens play host to American International at 7:30 p.m. in The Fieldhouse in Rindge.

For more information on Franklin Pierce men’s basketball, please visit the team’s page at To follow the program even further, please visit Franklin Pierce Athletics on YouTube (, Twitter ( and Facebook ( Fans wishing to purchase men’s basketball apparel can do so on the athletic department’s online store at