Men's Basketball Wins Second Straight with 78-65 Triumph over Saint Rose

Men's Basketball Wins Second Straight with 78-65 Triumph over Saint Rose

Eric Jean-Guillaume has strong all-around game with 18 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists and 6 steals

ALBANY, N.Y. (February 2, 2013) -- The Franklin Pierce University men's basketball team won its second-straight game on Saturday afternoon as the Ravens defeated Saint Rose, 78-65, at Nolan Gymnasium in Albany, N.Y. Franklin Pierce improved to 14-5 overall and 11-4 in the Northeast-10, while the Golden Knights dipped to 10-9 and 7-8 in league play.

Sophomore forward Ryen Vilmont (Philadelphia, Pa.) led the Franklin Pierce offensive attack as he dropped in a career-high 25 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field, including knocking down five three-pointers. It marked the second-straight game he led the Ravens in scoring. Vilmont wasn't done there as he also had six rebounds, two blocks, one assist and a steal.

Senior guard Eric Jean-Guillaume (Stamford, Conn.) also had a strong game with 18 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and six steals. Junior forward Ellis Cooper (Northampton, Mass.) provided solid play as well for the Ravens as he netted nine points and ripped down a game-high 10 rebounds.

The Ravens shot a strong 52 percent (28-of-54) from the field, including an impressive 9-of-20 (45%) from three-point range. 

Saint Rose was solid offensively as well as the Golden Knights shot 46 percent (26-of-56) from the floor. A trio of Golden Knights scored in double-figures including Tyler Sayre's team-high 18 points. Dominykas Milka followed with 17 points and Chris Dorgler came off the bench to contribute 11.

Franklin Pierce's lead hovered around the 8-to-10 point range for most of the second half, but the Ravens found themselves in a battle inside the final five minutes thanks to four quick points from Saint Rose to trim the lead to 66-63. Sayre hit a jumper and Kareem Thomas converted two foul shots to give the Golden Knights hope.

But Franklin Pierce's big three came up big for the Ravens in the clutch and dashed any hopes of a Saint Rose comeback. Vilmont answered with a three-pointer at the other end of the court, while Jean-Guillaume and Cooper laid in baskets on back-to-back possessions to open up a 10-point lead with 2:06 left. Cooper's layup was the result of his tireless work on the defensive end all day as he blocked a Milka jumper to create the offensive opportunity at the other end of the court.

Jean-Guillaume laid in another basket moments later and Vilmont knocked down a pair of free throws in the closing seconds to cap Franklin Pierce's impressive surge to close out the game and pick up the win.

Saint Rose proved to a pesky team all day as Franklin Pierce couldn't shake loose of the Golden Knights until that final run.

The Ravens got out of the gates strong by scoring 24 of the first 36 points 10 minutes into the contest. Vilmont and Jean-Guillaume each pumped in six points during the surge, including the latter scoring three-straight baskets for the Ravens on a pair of layups and a jumper. Six different Ravens scored during the run.

The Golden Knights didn't fold and scored 16 of the next 18 points, including a string of 10 straight, to take a 28-26 lead with 4:10 left until halftime. Sayre sparked the rally with eight points, while Milka aided it with four. Dorgler's layup at the 4:10 mark staked Saint Rose to the two-point advantage.

It was Franklin Pierce's turn to respond and it did by going on a 9-0 run over a 90-second span to open up a 35-28 lead. Junior guard Scotty Tavares-Taylor (Roxbury, Mass.) opened it with a three-ball and Vilmont capped it with four-consecutive points on a layup and two free throws. The Ravens eventually took a 37-32 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Ravens pushed their lead out to 15 points early in the second half at 49-34 when Vilmont and junior guard Georgios Papapetrou (Athens, Greece) dropped in back-to-back triples. Franklin Pierce continued to hold a comfortable lead until Saint Rose's last gasp late.

Franklin Pierce returns to action Wednesday when the Ravens play host to Stonehill 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 athletics.franklinpierce.edu(.) To follow the program even further, please visit Franklin Pierce Athletics on YouTube (www.youtube.com/FranklinPierceSports), Twitter (www.twitter.com/FPUathletics) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce men's basketball apparel can do so on the athletic department's online store at athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store(.)