Ellis Cooper with 13 points in the setback
RINDGE, N.H. (March 2, 2014) – Connor Mahoney tossed in a career-high 22 points to lead third-seeded Le Moyne to a 73-59 upset win over the second-seeded Franklin Pierce University men’s basketball team on Sunday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Northeast-10 Conference Championship at The Fieldhouse in Rindge.
The Dolphins improved to 17-10, and advanced to the conference’s semifinals on Wednesday, while the Ravens lost for the second game in a row in falling to 20-7. Franklin Pierce will now await word on its NCAA Tournament fate, as the selections for the national event will be announced next weekend.
Mahoney was one of four Dolphins to net double-figures, as he was joined by Jim Janson (18 points), Nate Gause (13 points), and Nate Champion (10 points).
Le Moyne shot an impressive 51 percent from the field, and built a double-digit lead in the first half, as it was never really threatened in the second half.
Junior forward Ryen Vilmont (Philadelphia, Pa.) had a team-best 17 points for the Ravens, while senior frontcourt mate Ellis Cooper (Northampton, Mass.) followed with 13. Franklin Pierce struggled shooting all afternoon, going at a 36-percent clip, including a tough 28 percent from three-point range.
The Dolphins shot 59 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes in building a 41-29 lead at the break. Le Moyne’s high shooting percentage was aided by several looks down low around the basket, as 26 of those 41 points came within the paint.
Cooper’s basket with 8:06 to go in the frame knotted the score at 21-all, but Le Moyne countered by scoring 16 of the next 19 points to open up a 37-24 advantage. Mahoney had 10 of the Dolphins’ 16 points during the stretch, including knocking down a pair of triples.
Cooper tried once again to lead a Franklin Pierce charge early in the second half, and his free throw pulled the Ravens to within eight at 49-41. Le Moyne, once again, had an answer and scored the next nine points to open up a 58-41 advantage. Janson kick-started the run with a layup, and capped it with a pair of free throws, while Mahoney rained in another three to aid it.
The Ravens were not able to get within single digits the rest of the way.
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(.)