MANCHESTER, N.H. (November 22, 2016) – Franklin Pierce University men's basketball senior guard Matt Banton (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored a career-high 27 points on a 5-of-11 (45.5%) shooting performance from three-point land as the Ravens dropped a Northeast-10 Conference contest to Southern New Hampshire University 84-79 on Tuesday night at the SNHU Fieldhouse. With the win, the Penmen remain undefeated at 3-0, 2-0 NE-10 and the setback drops the Crimson and Grey to 2-3, 1-2 NE-10.
Banton's previous career-best of 24 points was set on December 5, 2015 at Assumption. He matched his 24 point effort that afternoon with another 24 point performance at home versus Saint Anselm on February 3, 2016.
Asante Sandiford (Boston, Mass.) scored 14 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Mike McDevitt (Cumberland, Maine) added 13 points and a team-high nine boards. Even though he struggled shooting the rock, team captain Donte Gittens (Hartford, Conn.) found other ways to contribute, snagging six rebounds, blocking a game-high four shots, handing out two assists and coming up with two thefts.
All five Penmen starters scored in double figures and they were led by Chris Walters' 18 points and game-high 11 rebounds.
The game was a back and forth affair that saw a total of 19 ties and 11 lead changes.
After the score was knotted up 43 all at the intermission, the contest really picked up intensity in the late stages of the second half. Trailing by two, FPU embarked on a 12-3 scoring run using a Banton three-ball and old fashioned three-point play to take a game-high seven point, 70-63 advantage with 8:06 to go.
A Devin Gilligan lay-in momentarily stopped the run, which led to a 9-0 SNHU binge and regained the lead for the Penmen, 72-70. FPU would tie the contest three more times, but couldn't get a defensive stop to take the lead. Jerome Harris made a layup to give the Penmen a two point, 81-79 lead with 1:45 remaining.
The Ravens had a chance to tie the game once again with 33 ticks on the clock, but McDevitt's layup attempt was blocked by Walters at the basket. The Crimson and Grey had to foul and SNHU knocked down both freebies to make a two score game with 25 seconds left.
Following a missed three from Banton, the Ravens got another chance to come within one thanks to an offensive rebound. After a 30 second timeout, Banton attempted another three-ball, but missed once again and the ball was gobbled up by Sandiford who couldn't convert a layup. The rock was corralled by the hosts and one free throw iced the game.
The Ravens remain on the road on Sunday when they travel to non-conference opponent Felician at 3:00 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 men's basketball apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).