WALTHAM, Mass. (December 9, 2015) – Sophomore Asante Sandiford (Boston, Mass.) put up a career-high 13 points on 5-for-7 shooting from the floor on Wednesday evening, while junior Donte Gittens (Hartford, Conn.) notched a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. However, their play could not stop the top force in the Northeast-10 Conference, as the Franklin Pierce University Ravens Men's Basketball team was defeated by the Bentley University Falcons by a final score of 92-77 at the Dana Center.
With the loss, the Ravens fall to 4-3 overall (3-2 Northeast-10) while Bentley improves to 7-2 overall (5-0 Northeast-10) and maintain their perfect in-conference record.
Franklin Pierce never were able to grab a lead in the game, trailing right off the bat. A three-pointer by Ferguson Duke 27 seconds into the game gave the Falcons the first points of the game, and would not trail the remaining 39:33.
However, the Ravens hung in throughout the first half, not going down by double-digits until the 10:30 mark, when Brandon Wheeler knocked down a layup, giving Bentley a 27-17 lead. But that lead would not sway the crimson and gray, as the continued to battle through the half.
Down 11 points at the 3:46 mark after a layup by Gittens the Ravens made some moves to trim the lead. Junior Matt Banton (Brooklyn, N.Y.) knocked down a three-pointer after Gittens' bucket to bring the lead down to eight points, 38-30. Alex Furness would respond to Banton's trio with one for Bentley with 1:35 to play in the first half. Banton then came back with yet another connection from distance to cut Bentley's lead back to eight at the half, 41-33.
Out of the locker room at the half, the momentum belonged to the Ravens as they went on an 8-2 run 1:30 to get things going. A jumper by sophomore Mike McDevitt (Cumberland, Maine) would get responded to by a jumper by Furness on the other side of the floor to begin the half. But then back-to-back three-pointers from senior Tyler Iacuone (Mahopac, N.Y.) and Sandiford brought the Ravens within two points, 43-41, the smallest lead the Falcons would hold on the evening.
Keegan Hyland would take control for the Falcons after that, scoring four points over the next two minutes to aid a Bentley lead back to seven points. Bentley would also ride the hot hand of Tyler McFarland back to a double-digit lead that would only grow larger as time went on.
Bentley would get as big as a 19 point lead at the 5:22 mark remaining in the game, 84-65, before shutting the door over the final five minutes to take the victory, 92-77.
Sandiford backed up his 13 points with three assists, two steals, and two rebounds, while Gittens added a team-leading seven assists to his double-double line. Iacuone also added 13 points on the night with three assists, while Banton topped all Franklin Pierce scorers with 14 points on 5-for-11 shooting from the floor.
For Bentley, McFarland owned the floor with 28 points, going 12-for-19 from the floor, mostly in the paint. Furness also added 20 points and seven rebounds, while Hyland collected himself a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
The Falcons topped the Ravens in shooting from the floor, as the Falcons topped a 50 percent clip at 53.1 percent from the floor, including 42.9 percent from behind the arc. Despite only shooting 44.9 percent, the Ravens did shoot better from distance, draining three-pointers at a 48.0 percent line.
The Ravens return to the floor when they return to Rindge this Saturday, December 12 when they host Merrimack at the Fieldhouse. Game time is set for 3:30 p.m.
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).