#8 Men's Basketball Pulls Away in Second Half for 85-73 Win over #17 Stonehill

#8 Men's Basketball Pulls Away in Second Half for 85-73 Win over #17 Stonehill

Ryen Vilmont drops in 15 points in the win

EASTON, Mass. (November 20, 2012) – The No. 8 nationally ranked Franklin Pierce University men’s basketball team used a second half run to pull away from No. 17 Stonehill on Tuesday night and pick up a satisfying 85-73 win at Merkert Gymnasium in Easton, Mass. The Ravens ran their record to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the Northeast-10, while the Skyhawks dipped to 2-1 and 1-1 in league play.

Four Ravens scored in double-figures, led by senior guard Eric Jean-Guillaume (Stamford, Conn.), who dropped in a game-high 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting (50 percent) from the field. He also handed out three assists, while also collecting two rebounds and two steals.

Sophomore forward Ryen Vilmont (Philadelphia, Pa.) pumped in 15 points, while junior frontcourt-mate Ellis Cooper (Northampton, Mass.) narrowly missed a double-double as he had 14 points and nine boards. Junior center Adrianos Vourliotakis Perdikaris (Cholargos, Athens) notched 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting, while also collecting four boards.

The Ravens shot a strong 53 percent (30-of-57) from the field, including going a solid 20-of-23 (87 percent) from the foul line. The rebounding total was even at 33-all, but Franklin Pierce was able to force the Skyhawks into 19 turnovers 

Four Stonehill players logged double-figures in scoring, including Jack Cole’s team-high 17 points.

Franklin Pierce led the entire game except for a 13-second span in the opening minutes of the contest. However, the Ravens could not shake the Skyhawks as Stonehill kept it within five-to-six points for a large portion of the contest.

Stonehill pulled to within six at 57-51 with 12:13 to go as Adam Fazzini dropped in a three-pointer. But that triple failed to unnerve the Ravens as they slowly began to shake off Stonehill and build a more comfortable margin.

Franklin Pierce responded by scoring 12 of the next 16 points, kick-started by a Georgios Papapetrou (Athens, Greece) three-pointer, to take a 69-55 advantage with 8:15 remaining. The run was also aided by back-to-back layups from Cooper and capped with a three-point play on a driving layup and free throw from junior guard Andre Blackwood (Paterson, N.J.).

The teams traded baskets over the next several possessions before the Ravens pushed their lead out to 15 at 75-60 with 4:43 left as Perdikaris laid in a bucket. Stonehill tried to rally and trimmed the deficit to eight on multiple occasions in the closing minutes, but every time the Skyhawks tried to make a run the Ravens had an answer. Vilmont made four-straight free throws late to seal the win, which came against the defending NCAA Division II East Region champions.

The win was Franklin Pierce’s third-straight over Stonehill dating back to last season.

Perdikaris was an offensive catalyst early for the Ravens as he scored five of the team’s first nine points a little more than three minutes into the game to give Franklin Pierce a 9-5 edge.

Jean-Guillaume got going offensively late in the first half as he converted four-consecutive free throws to give the Ravens a little breathing room at halftime with a 38-33 lead. He kept up the strong offensive play in the opening minutes of the second half by scoring Franklin Pierce’s first seven points to extend its lead to 45-39. Among those seven points for Jean-Guillaume were a deep triple and a pair of driving layups.

Stonehill didn’t fold and hung close until the Ravens went on their final run late to pull away for the victory.

Brian Hamor added 15 points for the Skyhawks, while Mitch Amelio and Raheem May-Thompson followed with 14 and 12 points, respectively, to round out the double-figure scorers for Stonehill.

Senior guard Ant Lessane (Brooklyn, N.Y.) came off the bench and had a productive night for the Ravens, as he went 3-of-4 shooting for eight points, while also collecting four boards in only 16 minutes of action.

Franklin Pierce returns to action next Wednesday when the Ravens play host to in-state rival Southern New Hampshire 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(.)