Ravens collect 19 offensive rebounds
Photo credit: Minnesota Athletics/Brace Hemmelgarn
Gittens finished with five assists and five steals on Thursday night at Minnesota.
MINNEAPOLIS (November 20, 2014) – In its second game against Division I, power-conference opposition this week, the Franklin Pierce University men's basketball team ran into the University of Minnesota, last season's National Invitation Tournament champion, in the NIT Season Tip-Off on Thursday night. Junior guard Tyler Iacuone (Mahopac, N.Y.) had 11 points and freshman center Mike McDevitt (Cumberland, Maine) added 10 more, but the Ravens were dealt a 109-57 loss at Williams Arena. Junior guard Carlos Morris led four Golden Gophers in double digits with 16 points.
With the loss, Franklin Pierce falls to 2-2 (0-0 Northeast-10), while Minnesota improves to 2-1 (0-0 Big Ten).
Franklin Pierce won the opening tip at Williams Arena but, in the first instance of a problem which would plague the team all night, turned the ball over on its opening possession, leading to a bucket at the other end for Minnesota senior forward Maurice Walker. On the night, Minnesota would force 24 Franklin Pierce turnovers, which led to 35 points for the Golden Gophers.
In contrast to its game at St. John's on Monday night, Franklin Pierce was ice cold -- much like the weather outside -- out of the gate on Thursday night in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. At the second media timeout, which came 8:43 into the opening stanza, the Ravens had hit on just three of their first 14 shots (21.4%) and were in a 31-7 hole, from which they would never escape. Walker had eight of Minnesota's first 31 points, while Morris had his first seven points of the night in the run.
After the early struggles, the first half played even the rest of the way, with each team scoring 24 points over the final 11:17, as Minnesota took a 55-31 lead into the locker room. McDevitt led the Ravens in the first half with eight points. He was one of four Franklin Pierce players with more than five points at halftime, as senior forward Ryen Vilmont (Philadelphia, Pa.) added seven points, sophomore guard Donte Gittens (Hartford, Conn.) contributed six points and five rebounds, and Iacuone added six points on 2-of-3 from three-point range.
For Minnesota at the half, senior guard Andre Hollins led the way with 11 points and seven rebounds, including a 3-for-3 performance from behind the arc. Morris led all players in scoring at the intermission with 12 points, while Walker chipped in eight points and six rebounds, including four at the offensive end.
Minnesota broke the game wide open with a run early in the second half. Leading 64-36, senior center Elliott Eliason put in a layup to push the lead to 30 points with 17:22 remaining. The points were the first two of 16 straight for the Golden Gophers over the next 5:01, as they pushed the lead to 44 with 12:21 to play. Minnesota would later score 13 straight points over 1:57, including three straight three-pointers to reach the century mark, to stretch the lead as high as 53 (102-49) en route to the 52-point victory.
Despite a size disadvantage highlighted by the 6-foot-10, 255-pound Walker, Franklin Pierce was able to find some success on the offensive glass on Thursday night, as it was able to track down 19 offensive rebounds, which led to 19 second-chance points for the Ravens. Franklin Pierce held Minnesota to 18 offensive rebounds, but was ultimately outrebounded, 46-37, as the Golden Gophers hauled in 28 defensive rebounds.
Iacuone finished as Franklin Pierce's leading scorer with 11 points on 4-for-8 from the field, which included 3-for-4 from three-point range, and he added four rebounds and three assists along the way. McDevitt joined Iacuone in double digits with 10 points on 3-for-5 from the field, including 1-for-2 from long range and 3-for-3 from the free-throw line. Gittens filled out the stat sheet across the board on Thursday night, as he finished with six points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals, though he was charged with seven turnovers as well.
For Minnesota, Morris' 16 points on 5-for-9 from the floor led the way, and he chipped in three assists and four steals along the way as well. Freshman guard Nate Mason added 15 points on 6-for-12 from the floor, including 3-for-3 from behind the arc, while dishing out five assists. Hollins contributed 14 points on a perfect 4-for-4 from long distance and narrowly missed a double-double by collecting eight rebounds. Junior forward Joey King made it four Golden Gophers in double digits by chipping in 11 points on 5-for-7 from the field.
The Ravens return to the court on Sunday, Nov. 23, when they return home to open the Northeast-10 Conference portion of their schedule against Merrimack. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. at the Fieldhouse in Rindge.
For more information on Franklin Pierce Athletics, please visit the official website of Franklin Pierce Athletics (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu). Also be sure to follow the Ravens through the Department of Athletics' official Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/FranklinPierceRavens), its YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/franklinpiercesports) and its Twitter feed (http://twitter.com/FPUathletics). Fans wishing to purchase Franklin Pierce men's basketball apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).