Men's Basketball Shakes Off Pesky St. Mike's Effort in 69-60 Triumph

Men's Basketball Shakes Off Pesky St. Mike's Effort in 69-60 Triumph

Ryen Vilmont adds 13 points and 9 rebounds

COLCHESTER, Vt. (February 9, 2013) -- The Franklin Pierce University men's basketball team raced out to a double-digit lead, but had to hold off a late Saint Michael's rally for a 69-60 triumph at the Ross Sports Center in Colchester, Vt. The Ravens improved to 16-5 overall and 13-4 in the Northeast-10, while the Purple Knights dipped to 6-15 and 3-14 in league play.

Three Ravens scored in double-figures to lead a balanced scoring attack, including a game high-tying 15 points from senior guard Eric Jean-Guillaume (Stamford, Conn.) and junior forward Ellis Cooper (Northampton, Mass.). Sophomore forward Ryen Vilmont (Philadelphia, Pa.) followed with 13 points and nine rebounds.

Corey Crawford II paced the St. Mike's offensive attack with 15 points. His three-point play with just 1:29 remaining pulled the Purple Knights to within five at 65-60 and capped an 18-6 run after Franklin Pierce had built a 59-42 lead. Crawford II led the surge with eight points overall and knocked down a three-pointer to kick-start the rally. Greg Grippo added six points during the run and Mike Thompson netted four of his own.

Saint Michael's tried to inch closer over the final 89 seconds, but Vilmont had other ideas and came up with two huge defensive rebounds to limit the Purple Knights to one-and-done scenarios over their next two possessions. Vilmont's defensive boards stood up when both he and Jean-Guillaume knocked down a pair of free throws in the closing seconds to nail down the win.

St. Mike's dug itself too deep of a hole to climb out of as it committed 19 turnovers, which the Ravens scored 21 points off of to open up the large lead midway through the second half.
Franklin Pierce coupled those points with 44 more in the paint, which offset a nine-percent shooting clip from three-point range (2-of-22) and a 37-32 rebounding deficit.

The Ravens used a 10-2 run midway through the first half to break open a tight game and build a 24-14 lead, thanks in part to back-to-back baskets from Cooper. Jean-Guillaume netted five points, including a three-point play late in the half, to help stake the Ravens to a 33-24 lead at halftime.

Franklin Pierce continued to add to its lead in the opening minutes of the second half as junior guard Georgios Papapetrou (Athens, Greece) netted seven-consecutive points to give the Ravens a 40-28 advantage.

The Ravens' largest lead of the game was at 18 points with 9:25 to go as Ant Lessane (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored four-consecutive points on a tip-in and layup off a St. Mike's turnover to make it 57-39.

Jean-Guillaume converted a pair of free throws moments later to give the Ravens the 59-42 lead before Saint Michael's mounted its late rally.

Franklin Pierce returns to action Wednesday when the Ravens travel to Manchester to take on Southern New Hampshire at 7:30 p.m. The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but was moved back a day due to the winter storm that was creating havoc in the New England region during the weekend

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 Franklin Pierce men's basketball apparel can do so on the athletic department's online store at