Ellis Cooper has 16 points and nine rebounds in the win
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (November 23, 2013) – Freshman guard Donte Gittens (Hartford, Conn.) dropped in a game-high tying 19 points to lead five Ravens who scored in double-figures, as the No. 23 nationally ranked Franklin Pierce University men’s basketball team cruised to a 111-80 win over Merrimack on Saturday in North Andover, Mass. The Ravens improved to 6-1 and 1-1 in the Northeast-10, while the Warriors fell to 4-1 and 1-1 in league play.
Franklin Pierce shot a sizzling 63 percent from the field (38-of-60), as Gittens was 7-of-9 from the floor and 2-of-2 from three-point range. He, along with senior forward Ellis Cooper (Northampton, Mass.) dumped in 14 points apiece in the opening 20 minutes, as the Ravens converted on 22 of their 31 attempts in the stanza.
Cooper had 16 points and nine rebounds, while junior forward Ryen Vilmont (Philadelphia, Pa.) pumped in 18. Senior forward Adrianos Vourliotakis Perdikaris (Cholargos, Athens) had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while classmate Curtis Christian (Harlem, N.Y.) came off the bench to drop in a pair of three’s and score 10 points.
While the Ravens were hot, Merrimack was not, when it came to shooting the rock. The Warriors were just 22-of-61 from the floor for the game (36 percent). JT Strickland and Gelvis Solano each had 19 points to pace Merrimack, while Kevin Regan followed with 10.
Franklin Pierce set the tone for the day very early by scoring 16 of the game’s first 20 points just a little more than three minutes in. Gittens threw in five points to highlight the run, while Cooper and Andre Blackwood (Paterson, N.J.) added four apiece to aid it.
The Ravens stretched their lead out to 18 at 40-22 with 8:49 to go in the half on the strength of three’s from Christian and Georgious Papapetrou (Athens, Greece), and a layup from Cooper on three-consecutive possessions.
Cooper added five-straight points only minutes later to put the Ravens up 54-33, as they sailed into halftime with a 57-41 advantage.
Franklin Pierce didn’t let up in the second half, as Gittens scored five points in a 90-second stretch to push the lead out to 28 at 76-48 with 15:09 remaining.
Franklin Pierce led by as much as 35 on multiple occasions late in cruising on for the victory, which avenged Wednesday’s tough setback at Saint Michael’s.
The Ravens return to action Tuesday night when they play host to Stonehill at 7:30 p.m. in The Fieldhouse in Rindge.
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(.)