#23 Men's Basketball Pulls off 94-85 Second Half Comeback Win over UMass-Lowell

#23 Men's Basketball Pulls off 94-85 Second Half Comeback Win over UMass-Lowell

Ellis Cooper nets 18 points in the win

LOWELL, Mass. (February 23, 2013) – The No. 23 nationally ranked Franklin Pierce University men’s basketball team scored 51 second half points and came from behind to pull out a 94-85 win over UMass-Lowell on Saturday afternoon at the Costello Athletic Center in Lowell, Mass. The Ravens improved to 19-6 overall and 16-5 in the Northeast-10, while the River Hawks dipped to 14-11 and 10-11 in league play.

Senior guard Eric Jean-Guillaume (Stamford, Conn.) keyed the offensive attack as he led four Ravens in double-figures with a career-high 32 points. He was 4-of-5 from three-point range, while also grabbing four rebounds, dishing out three assists and swiping a pair of steals.

Junior forward Ellis Cooper (Northampton, Mass.) followed with 18 points on 7-of-12 shooting, while sophomore Ryen Vilmont (Philadelphia, Pa.) and junior Adrianos Vourliotakis Perdikaris (Cholargos, Athens) added 15 apiece.

Franklin Pierce shot a blistering 52 percent (30-of-58) from the field, and was a strong 91 percent (29-of-32) from the free throw line.

UMass-Lowell was just as impressive shooting as it went for a 57 percent clip (35-of-61), including a 46 percent mark (10-of-22) from three-point range. Three River Hawks scored in double-figures, including Akeem Williams with a team-high 24 points. Antonio Bivins and and Greg DeSantis followed with 18 and 17, respectively.

Franklin Pierce trailed by as many as 19 points in the first half as Lowell came out firing and eventually built a 51-43 lead at halftime.

The Ravens, though, were able to right themselves in the opening stages of the second half as the contest settled into an exciting back-and-forth affair.

Franklin Pierce scored nine-straight points to open the half to take a 52-51 lead, thanks in large part to baskets from Georgios Papapetrou (Athens, Greece), Vourliotakis and Cooper. Jean-Guillaume capped the quick outburst with a deep three-ball.

The game would feature nine lead changes over the next seven minutes as neither side held a lead larger than three points.

Bivins laid in a basket with 6:13 left to stake the River Hawks to a 77-75 lead, but the Ravens would counter with another 9-0 run, highlighted by a Vilmont three, to take an 84-77 advantage with 3:30 to go. Four different Ravens scored during the run, including Cooper, Jean-Guillaume and Vourliotakis.

Lowell countered by scoring five of the next seven points to pull within four at 86-82, but Cooper stemmed the tide with a layup and Jean-Guillaume answered with two foul shots in the final minute to extend the lead back to seven and seal the win for the Ravens.

UMass-Lowell held a narrow 30-29 advantage on the boards, but it was the turnovers that helped and hurt both teams. Franklin Pierce committed just 10 miscues, while forcing the River Hawks into 18 mistakes and scoring 29 points off of those. The foul count also weighed heavily in the favor of Franklin Pierce as the Ravens were whistled for just 12 fouls as compared to 25 calls against Lowell. The Ravens’ 32 free throw attempts came against just nine for the River Hawks.

Lowell was hot in the early going and took a 47-28 lead with 5:40 to go until halftime following a three-pointer from DeSantis.

The Ravens, though, countered and closed out the half on a 15-4 run to help make the second half comeback possible. Cooper netted five points during the run as five different Ravens scored in all.

Franklin Pierce returns to action Tuesday when the Ravens travel to North Andover, Mass. to take on Merrimack at 7:30 p.m. It will mark the regular season finale for both teams. 

For more information on Franklin Pierce men’s basketball, please visit the team’s page at athletics.franklinpierce.edu(.) To follow the programs 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(.)