NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (February 21, 2015) – The Franklin Pierce Men's Basketball team had a tough go of it on Saturday afternoon, and as a team shot a total 39.7 percent from the floor, including going 8-31 from behind the three-point arc (25.8%). That led to bad news as the Ravens took their second loss in as many games as they were defeated by the Merrimack College Warriors by a final score of 68-65. In a bright spot for the Ravens, senior Ryen Vilmont (Philadelphia, Pa.) recorded a double-double in his second consecutive game with 15 points and a team-high 10 rebounds.
With the win, the Ravens drop to 14-13 overall (9-11 Northeast-10) while the Warriors improve to 14-11 (9-11 Northeast-10). Both teams are now tied in the Northeast Division standings. Franklin Pierce will now play Bentley on Tuesday night for a chance to make the Northeast-10 playoffs as the fifth and final seed of the tournament. The Ravens still currently stand one game back of the fifth spot.
The Ravens took a slight two lead into the locker room at halftime, 31-29, as they shot well from the floor in the first half (43.3%). The glory would be short lived, as five minutes into the second half, the Ravens would forfeit their lead for good, as Merrimack would lead the rest of the way. Franklin Pierce's shooting would fall off the table, dipping to just under 36 percent from the floor, including 23.5 percent from long range.
Behind Vilmont's double-double was fellow senior Paul Becklens (Boston, Mass.) who scored a team high 16 points. Becklens also set team highs in steals and assists with four apiece. Sophomore Donte Gittens (Hartford, Conn.) added 15 points of his own, as the only other Ravens who finished in double-figures. Vilmont, Becklens, and senior Aboubacar Casse (Dakar, Senegal) each recorded a block apiece as well.
For Merrimack, five players finished in double-figures on the day, led by Gelvis Solano with 19 points and five rebounds. JT Strickland finished behind him with 12 points and seven rebounds, while Kyle Howes finished with a strong 11 points. Both James Kennedy and Troy Hammel finished with 10 points apiece.
Merrimack outshined the Ravens in most facets of the stat sheet, most notably converting 21 points on 16 Franklin Pierce turnovers. The Warriors also dominated the paint, outscoring the Ravens in the key 36-24.
The Ravens take to the floor this Tuesday, February 24, at home in the Fieldhouse to take on Bentley in their season finale. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30, as the Ravens will also honor their three seniors on the squad before the game as well.
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 basketball apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).