Men's Basketball Falls to SCSU 79-77 in Second Round of NCAA Tournament

Men's Basketball Falls to SCSU 79-77 in Second Round of NCAA Tournament

Ellis Cooper with 30 points & 16 rebounds in final collegiate game

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (March 16, 2014) – The Franklin Pierce University men’s basketball team dropped a heart-breaking 79-77 decision in the final :02 to Southern Connecticut State in the second round of the 2014 NCAA Division II Tournament East Regional on Sunday night at the Moore Fieldhouse in New Haven, Conn.

The fourth-seeded Ravens concluded their season with a 21-8 record, while top-seeded and No. 3 nationally ranked Southern Connecticut State improved to 29-2 and advanced to Tuesday’s East Regional Championship versus third-seeded Saint Anselm.

Tylon Smith, who had a team-high 21 points for SCSU, dropped in the game-winning layup with :02 left, as the Owls scored the game’s final six points to complete the come-from-behind victory.

Senior forward Ellis Cooper (Northampton, Mass.), playing in his final collegiate game for Franklin Pierce, logged an incredible double-double of 30 points and 16 rebounds, while moving into the top-10 in program history for career scoring with 1,503 points. He became the 10th player in program history to go over 1,500 career points.

Junior forward Ryen Vilmont (Philadelphia, Pa.) followed with 20 points, including knocking down a three-pointer with 2:25 to go to put the Ravens up 73-71. He hit 1-of-2 free throws moments later to stake Franklin Pierce to a 77-73 edge.

Smith followed by converting a pair of free throws at the other end of the court, and then swiped a steal that resulted in a tip-in from Luke Houston with :43 remaining to knot the score at 77-all.

It looked like the game wouldn’t come down to a last second attempt as the Owls opened up a 61-53 lead with 9:24 remaining after Deshawn Murphy converted a three-point play. However, Vilmont keyed a 10-2 run with seven points as the Ravens tied the game at 63-63 with 7:07 left.

Senior forward Adrianos Vourliotakis Perdikaris (Cholargos, Athens), who had a second-straight double-double with 10 points and 13 rebounds, added a couple points during that stretch to tie things up.

Michael Mallory came off the bench to pump in 17 points for Southern Connecticut, while Murphy followed with 10.

For more information on Franklin Pierce men’s basketball, please visit the team’s page at To follow the program even further, please visit Franklin Pierce Athletics on YouTube (, Twitter ( and Facebook ( Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce men’s basketball apparel can do so on the athletic department’s online store at