Donte Gittens with 17 points
MANCHESTER, N.H. (February 15, 2014) – Senior forward Ellis Cooper (Northampton, Mass.) pumped in 20 points, but a slow start by the Franklin Pierce University men’s basketball team could not be overcome despite a furious second-half rally in a tough 90-85 setback at Saint Anselm on Saturday in Stoutenburgh Gym in Manchester, N.H.
Franklin Pierce dipped to 18-5 overall with the loss and 13-5 in the Northeast-10, while the Hawks improved to 16-6 and 14-4 in the league, while also taking over sole possession of first place in the Northeast Division with the win.
Cooper was one of four Ravens to log double-figures in scoring, as Ryen Vilmont (Philadelphia, Pa.) followed with 19 points, Donte Gittens (Hartford, Conn.) had 17, and Adrianos Vourliotakis Perdikaris (Cholargos, Athens) added a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Three Saint Anselm players logged at least 20 points, including Dino Mallios with a game-high 24. Roy Mabrey netted 21 points, while Mike McCahey followed with 20.
Saint Anselm was on fire from beyond the arc in the first half, connecting on 57 percent of its attempts (8-of-14), including a 3-of-4 clip from Mallios, who had 16 points in the opening 20 minutes. His back-to-back triples near the midway point of the first half capped a 12-0 run by the Hawks as they opened up a 16-5 lead. Mallios’ third three ball of the half with 3:45 left pushed the lead out to 16 at 39-23.
The Ravens could not match Saint Anselm’s torrid shooting pace, and hurt their chances even further by going just 3-of-9 from the foul line in the first half. They finished 13-of-25 at the charity stripe for the game.
Franklin Pierce tried to hang around in the second half and made things interesting by scoring the first nine points to trim the deficit to 49-41.
Saint Anselm, though, settled things down and started knocking down shots from the outside once again to stem the tide. However, the Ravens kept coming and eventually mounted a 12-3 run midway through the half to get to within two at 69-67. Gittens netted five-straight points to highlight the surge, while Cooper added four. Paul Becklens (Boston, Mass.) hit a driving layup to cap the rally to get the game to within one possession.
The Hawks once again stemmed the flow by scoring eight of the next 10 points to make it 77-69, but saw their deficit wilt away to 79-75 following a nice transition basket from Cooper with 3:50 to go.
However, Saint Anselm would not let its lead slip away late and hung on for the win.
Franklin Pierce returns to action Wednesday when the Ravens travel to Easton, Mass. to take on Stonehill 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(.)