#15 Men's Basketball Rallies for Wild 73-68 Win over UMass-Lowell

#15 Men's Basketball Rallies for Wild 73-68 Win over UMass-Lowell

Georgios Papapetrou goes for double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds

RINDGE, N.H. (December 8, 2012) – Junior guard Georgios Papapetrou (Athens, Greece) logged a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds to help lead the No. 15 nationally ranked Franklin Pierce University men’s basketball team to a wild 73-68 win over UMass-Lowell on Saturday night at The Fieldhouse in Rindge. The Ravens ran their record to 7-1 overall and 5-1 in the Northeast-10, while the River Hawks dipped to 6-2 and 4-2 in league play.

Papapetrou, who was 5-of-7 from the field, including 3-of-5 from three-point range, was one of four Ravens to score in double-figures. Sophomore forward Ryen Vilmont (Philadelphia, Pa.) pumped in a team-high 18 points, while junior frontcourt-mate Ellis Cooper (Northampton, Mass.) added 15 points and seven boards. Junior center Adrianos Vourliotakis Perdikaris (Cholargos, Athens) chipped in with 13 points, five rebounds and five assists.

Akeem Williams netted a game-high 24 points to pace Lowell’s offensive attack, while Antonio Bivins and Matt Welch followed with 14 and 11 points, respectively.

Two of Bivins’ points came on a thunderous dunk with 8:38 remaining in the game to stake the River Hawks to a 57-51 lead. The dunk capped a 14-2 run by Lowell over a six-minute span, which gave it all the momentum as it worked towards the upset victory.

Franklin Pierce, though, countered and scored eight-straight points, keyed by back-to-back layups from Papapetrou and Cooper, to take a 59-57 lead with 4:40 remaining.

Williams dropped in back-to-back baskets for Lowell over its next two possessions as the River Hawks regained the lead. But Cooper converted a layup at the other end and senior guard Eric Jean-Guillaume (Stamford, Conn.) laid in two of his own as the Ravens went back on top 65-61 with 3:32 to go.

The game continued to go back and forth. Papapetrou and Williams each exchanged three’s over the waning seconds and the Ravens held a slim 70-68 lead with :23 remaining.

The Ravens stepped it up defensively on Lowell’s final possession, forcing the River Hawks into a bad shot attempt, which found nothing. Lowell was forced to foul and Papapetrou and Cooper each hit free throws in the final seconds to seal the five-point win for Franklin Pierce.

The Ravens improved to 3-0 this season when facing a team receiving recognition in the NABC national top-25 poll, as UMass-Lowell came into the game receiving honorable-mention votes in the latest rankings.

Franklin Pierce shot 42 percent from the floor (22-of-53), while limiting the River Hawks to just 38 percent shooting (27-of-71). The Ravens also held a 43-35 advantage on the boards

The first half was just as intense as the closing minutes of the game as the lead changed hands four times in the initial five minutes. The River Hawks scored seven-straight points near the midway point of the half and built a 20-12 lead. Kennedy Chukwuocha capped the surge with a deep three-pointer.

The Ravens rallied with eight-consecutive points to tie the game at 20, highlighted by a three from Vilmont and four-straight points from Cooper. Franklin Pierce didn’t stop there and went on to score 14 of the next 20 points to open up a 34-26 lead with 3:07 remaining until halftime. Vourliotakis aided the run with six points, while Vilmont and Papapetrou each dropped in a three-pointer.

Franklin Pierce eventually took a 35-32 lead into the locker room at halftime and both teams exchanged the lead multiple times in the opening minutes of the second half before the wild finish.

Franklin Pierce returns to action in early January when the Ravens compete in the Dominican Holiday Tournament in New York on Jan. 2-3.

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 men’s basketball apparel can do so on the athletic department’s online store at athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store(.)