Ellis Cooper's Buzzer Beater Lifts #22 Men's Basketball to 69-68 Win over New Haven

Ellis Cooper's Buzzer Beater Lifts #22 Men's Basketball to 69-68 Win over New Haven

Adrianos Vourliotakis Perdikaris logs double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds

WEST HAVEN, Conn. (January 18, 2014) – Senior forward Ellis Cooper (Northampton, Mass.) laid in the game-winning basket at the buzzer Saturday to lift the No. 22 nationally ranked Franklin Pierce University men’s basketball team to a thrilling 69-68 win over New Haven at Charger Gymnasium in West Haven, Conn.

The Ravens won for the second time in a row and improved to 13-2 overall and 8-2 in the Northeast-10, while New Haven fell to 11-5 and 6-4 in league play.

Cooper’s game-winner was part of his game-high tying 22 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the floor, and capped a frantic final 1:13 of the game that saw five lead changes.

Cooper’s layup came via a coast-to-coast dash the length of the court with :03.6 left on the clock. He was able to beat the buzzer with a quick release that found nothing but the bottom of the net. It marked the second time New Haven lost a game this year at the buzzer.

The winner came following a Franklin Pierce timeout, which the Ravens were forced to call when Justin Exum put the Chargers up by one with a mid-range jumper at the other end of the court. Exum thought he had knocked down the winner just moments after junior forward Ryen Vilmont (Philadelphia, Pa.) converted a pair of free throws to give the Ravens a 67-66 edge.

Sophomore guard Tyler Iacuone (Mahopac, N.Y.) got the wild, final 73 seconds started with his fourth three of the game, as he netted a key 12 points in a reserve role for Franklin Pierce.

Senior forward Adrianos Vourliotakis Perdikaris (Cholargos, Athens) was Franklin Pierce’s other double-figure scorer, as he logged a double-double of 15 points and 10 rebounds.

The last-second finish was a fitting end to a game that saw the final stats for both sides nearly identical in almost every category. Both teams shot around 45 percent from the floor, each collected 36 rebounds, turned it over just six times, and only went to the foul line around  10-12 times.

Cooper had seven rebounds to go with his game-high point total, while Vilmont had nine points and nine boards for the game.

Jeffery Adkins equaled Cooper with 22 points for New Haven. His layup in the waning seconds of the first half gave the Chargers a double-digit advantage at 39-28. He hit back-to-back layups early in the second half to key a 10-2 run by UNH, as the Chargers worked their way out to a 50-42 lead with 14:48 left in the game.

Franklin Pierce didn’t flinch and slowly crept its way back into it thanks to a layup and dunk back-to-back by Cooper. Vourliotakis hit a pair of free throws and a layup on consecutive possessions moments later to pull the Ravens to within two. However, the Ravens could not knot the score or take the lead until 1:13 left when Iacuone rained in the go-ahead three.

Exum finished with 11 points, while Eric Anderson was New Haven’s other double-digit scorer as he added 16.

Franklin Pierce returns to action Wednesday when the Ravens travel to take on Pace at 7:30 p.m.

For more information on Franklin Pierce men’s basketball, please visit the team’s page at http://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 http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store(.)