Curtis Christian comes off the bench to throw in 12 points for the Ravens
COLCHESTER, Vt. (November 15, 2013) – Five Ravens scored in double-figures, including a team-high 18 points from senior forward Ellis Cooper (Northampton, Mass.), to lead the Franklin Pierce University men’s basketball team to a 102-82 win over LIU Post on Friday night at the Ross Sports Center in Colchester, Vt. The Ravens improved to 4-0, while the Pioneers dipped to 1-2.
Cooper’s team-high was followed by junior forward Ryen Vilmont’s (Philadelphia, Pa.) 17 points. However, it was Vilmont who sparked the Ravens in the first half with four three-pointers to give them a halftime lead after the squad started cold shooting the ball from the floor by missing six of its first seven shots.
Vilmont sandwiched a pair of three’s around a three-ball from senior guard Andre Blackwood (Paterson, N.J.) to give the Ravens an early 11-6 lead.
LIU Post rallied with the next eight points to go back on top, but another triple from Vilmont with 12:04 left in the half staked Franklin Pierce to a 17-14 lead, and was the beginning of a 12-2 surge over the ensuing four minutes to push the Ravens’ advantage out to 13 points. Vilmont added another triple during run, which saw five different Ravens score during it.
Franklin Pierce got balanced scoring up and down the lineup throughout the entire evening, as 12 of the 14 Ravens that played scored at least a point. It marked the second-straight contest 12 Ravens scored, while it also marked the second time in the last three games the Ravens topped the century mark.
While Franklin Pierce got balanced scoring throughout the evening, LIU Post must have thought it was the Ellis Cooper Show in the opening stages of the second half, as the Pioneers had no answers for the rugged post player who blew the game open with an impressive offensive display.
Cooper scored all 18 of his points in the second half, including 16 during one stretch to ignite a 26-7 run by the Ravens to blow open the game with a commanding 67-38 advantage. He had two stretches in the run where he scored seven and nine-straight points, respectively. Cooper showed tremendous offensive touch by knocking down a three-pointer, dropping in multiple jumpers, powering his way to the hoop for several layups, and going a perfect 3-for-3 from the free throw line.
If his scoring wasn’t enough, Cooper made his mark in other facets during the bust-open surge, as he ripped down four rebounds and swiped a pair of steals.
LIU Post had no response, and the Ravens continued their steady shooting in the second half to keep the Pioneers at bay.
Franklin Pierce’s other double-figure scorers included 12 points off the pine from senior guard Curtis Christian (Harlem, N.Y.), and 11 points apiece from Blackwood and freshman guard Donte Gittens (Hartford, Conn.).
Christian shot 50 percent from the floor, while Blackwood drained all three of his three-point attempts. Blackwood had a strong all-around game as well by adding seven rebounds and four assists. Gittens was 5-of-7 from the floor with three rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal.
LIU Post had five players notch double-figures in scoring, including a game-high tying 18 points from Tyuan Williams on 8-of-11 shooting.
Both teams shot well from the floor, as the Ravens connected at a 46 percent clip (36-of-78), while LIU Post shot 45 percent (31-of-69). The big discrepancy came from beyond the arc, as Franklin Pierce connected on 13-of-26 attempts (50%), while the Pioneers shot a cold 25 percent (5-of-20).
Franklin Pierce returns to action Saturday when the Ravens take on Molloy at 4 p.m. during the second day of the Saint Michael’s Tip-Off Tournament.
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(.)