RINDGE, N.H. (February 13th, 2016) -- Sophomore center Mike McDevitt's (Cumberland, Maine) 18 points combined with junior guard Matt Banton's (Brooklyn, N.Y.) 16 points helped make the Franklin Pierce University men's basketball team victorious over Bentley University, who was the leader in the Northeast Division of the Northeast-10 conference. On Saturday afternoon, the Ravens got an early lead to help post the 92-82 win over the Falcons in the Fieldhouse.
With the win, Franklin Pierce advances to 13-8 (10-6 Northeast-10), while Bentley falls to 17-6 (14-4 Northeast-10).
McDevitt made a jump shot to allow the Ravens to start with a two-point lead. After an early foul committed by Bentley junior guard Matt Barr sent senior guard Jacob Jacquo (New Britain, Conn.) to the line, Franklin Pierce took a 4-0 lead. Barr was able to recover by making a jumper to cut the deficit to only two, however the Ravens answered the shot by going on a 16-5 run. With the score now 20-7, Franklin Pierce was able to create a 13 point lead. McDevitt led the way with five points on the run.
The Falcons were able to close the gap to nine after a pair of layups were made by sophomore guard Brandon Wheeler and junior guard Keegan Hyland. The crimson and grey fought back, going on a 10-0 run over the Falcons to make the score 30-11. After going scoreless for almost four minutes, senior guard Alex Furness made a pair of free throws to make the score 30-13. Banton and fellow junior guard Donte Gittens (Hartford, Conn.) each scored layups to increase the lead to 34-13.
Bentley fought hard over the rest of the half to lower the deficit, especially Hyland, who made a three-point jumper with 6:10 left in the half. Moments later, however, he would foul Gittens, who proceeded to make one of his two free throws to make the score 35-16. The two teams proceeded to swap baskets through the rest of the half, to end the half with the Ravens leading, 45-27.
Furness would start the second half strong for Bentley, making a three point jumper to cut the lead to 15 points. Teammate and senior forward Tyler McFarland would follow, making a layup to again close the gap. McDevitt answered the layup with one of his own to increase the lead to 47-32. The Falcons would answer the layup by going on an 11-0 run, with Hyland draining two three-pointers and Furness making one of his own.
Junior forward Jordan Lackey (South Plainfield, N.J.) would make a layup to end the scoreless streak for the Ravens to make the score 49-43. Hyland would answer the layup with one of his own to close the gap to four points. Lackey made a three-point jumper for the Ravens to help increase their lead back to seven points, but Hyland would cut the lead down to only three points after making a jumper and a layup.
With the score now 54-51, the Ravens went on a 15-7 run after sophomore forward Asante Sandiford's (Boston, Mass.) hit two three-point jump shots, to go with a layup and an assist. With 8:44 remaining in the game, the Ravens still had an 11-point lead over the division-leading Falcons. The lead would be cut back down to five points after a pair of threes, one by Hyland and the other by McFarland. A layup by Banton would help increase the lead back up to seven, however five straight points made by the Falcons cut the score to 71-69 and forced a Franklin Pierce timeout.
After the timeout, the crimson and grey would go on a 10-2 run, with the help of McDevitt scoring seven, and senior guard Tyler Iacuone (Mahopac, N.Y.) making a three-point jumper. With Franklin Pierce leading 81-71, Bentley called a timeout. After the timeout, the Ravens went on an 8-4 run over the Falcons to make the score 89-75. With 34 seconds left, McFarland made a layup to cut the deficit to 12 points. After the Ravens inbounded the ball, Wheeler committed two fouls within the course of 10 seconds. Franklin Pierce went 3-for-4 on those free-throw shots to push the lead to 92-79 and put the game on ice. Hyland would make a final effort for the Falcons, as he scored one more layup, as well as a free throw for his team, but it was not enough. At the final buzzer, Franklin Pierce would walk away with a 92-82 victory.
Franklin Pierce had five players with double-digit points on the day. McDevitt had 18, Banton with 16, Iacuone and Jacquo with 12 points each, and Sandiford with 11.
Hyland finished with a game-high 32 points, leading the way for the Falcons. McFarland finished with a strong 22 points, to go with seven rebounds and four assists, while Furness finished with 10 points and eight rebounds.
Franklin Pierce will return to the court Wednesday, February 17th to face Southern New Hampshire University on the road. Tip off will be at 7:30 p.m. in Manchester, N.H.
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).