NORTH EASTON, Mass. (February 4, 2017) – Senior guard Matt Banton (Brooklyn, N.Y.) scored a career-high 38 points as the Franklin Pierce men's basketball team needed extra time to beat Northeast-10 Conference opponent Stonehill College 102-97 Saturday afternoon on Paula Sullivan Court. With the win, the Ravens even their record at 11-11 and 8-8 NE10 and the setback sends the Skyhawks to 12-10, 7-9 NE10.
This afternoon versus Stonehill was the second game of the men's team Coaches vs. Cancer 3-Point Challenge. FPU converted 6-of-17 (35.3%) from long range meaning $39.00 has been donated to the American Cancer Society. Since the challenge began on Wednesday, the Crimson and Grey have gone 15-of-48 (31.3%) from deep and have amassed a total of $70.50 to the ACS. To make a pledge for the Coaches vs. Cancer 3-Point Challenge please click here.
Banton's personal best 38 points came on a 14-of-21 (66.7%) shooting afternoon and he drained 5-of-8 (62.5%) from beyond the arc. He also snagged seven rebounds, handed out two assists, came up with one steal and blocked one shot.
Senior Marvilio Berroa (Bronx, N.Y.) came up huge down the stretch for the Ravens as five of his seven points were scored in the overtime period. He finished the game with seven points, four rebounds and one assist in 18 minutes of play.
Banton and Berroa were the only Ravens to score in overtime as Banton scored eight of the Ravens 13 points and Berroa tallied the other five.
Joining Banton in double figures was Jordan Lackey (South Plainfield, N.J.) who racked up 16 points, five rebounds and three assists. Asante Sandiford (Boston, Mass.) chipped in 14 points and six rebounds. Team captain Donte Gittens (Hartford, Conn.) stuffed the stat sheet with seven points, nine rebounds and a game-high seven helpers. Mike McDevitt (Cumberland, Maine) grabbed a team-best 10 boards.
Leading Stonehill was Ryan Logan who recorded a double-double with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Daniel Largey tallied 23 points and Isaiah Bess chalked up 13 points, eight rebounds and three steals.
As a team, the Ravens scored 62 of their 102 points in the low post compared to the hosts 52. FPU also held the advantage in fast break points (12-to-4), but the Skyhawks came up with 14 steals to the Ravens four.
With the shot clock winding down, Gittens connected with McDevitt for a two handed baseline jam for the opening points of the contest. The team swapped buckets including two wing threes by Banton and Best which made the score seven all in the early going. Banton regained the lead to the Ravens as he stole the ball and drove from 3/4 court to the hoop for two. Banton continued his hot start as he notched a trey from the left wing from Dustin Cole (Standish, Maine) to push the Ravens lead to 14-9.
Brandon Twitty answered with a three of his own and then Oladoyin Fadojutimi (Temple Hills, Md.) made a trip to the line via a hoop and harm to put Pierce back ahead by five 17-12. Largey tied up the contest for Stonehill as he scored five in a row thanks to an and1 and a steal and lay-in.
Cole and Falu Seck (Washington, D.C.) brought Pierce's advantage back to five as Cole drained a floater in the paint and Seck manufactured a three-point play as the Ravens led 22-17. Four straight by the hosts made it a one point game. The teams continued to swap points over the next few possessions until Twitty knocked down a jumper from the left elbow in transition to push Stonehill ahead by one, 29-28.
Following a Raven timeout, the point swapping continued as each teams lead stayed at one point until Logan connected on a layup to put Stonehill up by three, 39-36. In transition, Lackey poured in a layup to bring the Pierce deficit to one. Logan answered with a jumper and Michael Boen drained two shots from the charity stripe to increase the Skyhawks advantage to five.
Banton kept up his strong half of play as created a three-point play which made the score 43-41 in favor of Stonehill. Gittens tied up the score as he tipped in a missed layup by McDevitt. Boen eventually gave his team back the lead as he notched a layup and the hosts took a 30 second timeout with 3:15 left on the clock. Three consecutive freebies by Stonehill increased their lead to five, 50-45 with 2:06 to go.
Gittens halted the Ravens scoring drought of three minutes when he drilled two free throws from the stripe to make it a one possession game with 33 ticks left. Following a miss by Twitty, Gittens collected the ball and raced down the court hoping to make a last second shot, but his three-point attempt was off the mark as the Skyhawks led by three, 50-47 at the break.
The back and forth action of the first half carried into the second stanza as no team lead by more than one until Banton dumped in a jumper from the left elbow at the 16:42 mark to put Pierce up by two, 57-55.
A few possessions later, a Largey and1 regained the lead to the home side at 58-57. Following the hoop and harm, Gittens dished the rock from the right wing to a wide open Sandiford underneath for an easy two that moved the Crimson and Grey back ahead. Largey looked to gain some momentum for Stonehill with a corner three, but his shot was off the mark and the Ravens responded as Sandiford again scored a layup down low to push the Raven lead to three, 61-58.
Stonehill recaptured the advantage with a 7-0 mini-run as Logan hit a jumper, KJ Lee came up with a steal off a press which led to an and1 and Will Moreton made a finger roll layup as Stonehill led 67-63.
The Ravens took a timeout and scored nine straight points as Banton hit two threes from the left and right wing and a Gittens trey from the parking lot was sandwiched in between the Banton long range connections which put Pierce up 72-67. The nine consecutive markers were part of an 11-1 Raven run that saw the guests climb back ahead 74-68 with 8:31 left.
The Skyhawks outscored the Ravens 10-6 over the next three minutes of play until a Banton layup which made the score 80-77 with 5:44 remaining in the game. After a FPU timeout Largey made one of two at the line to make the score 80-78. With only a two point lead, FPU used a Banton jumper, a Berroa reverse layup, a Sandiford second chance hoop and another Banton jumper to increase their slim lead to eight, 88-80 with 1:13 to go.
On the next trip down the floor for the hosts, Logan created a layup off a second chance opportunity to bring the deficit back down to six, 88-82.
Stonehill was forced to foul twice as Banton and Gittens both missed their one and one chances at the line. After the missed free throws, Largey hit a three from the corner to make the score 88-85. Gittens was then fouled again with 29 ticks left and his one and one free throw clanked back iron, bounced around and rimmed out.
The Skyhawks brought the ball up the court quickly as Logan somehow converted a one handed fall-away layup from the paint to make the score 88-87. Banton was fouled, split his free throws and Lee tied up the contest using a driving two. The Ravens inbounded the ball and then lost possession due to a traveling violation. With a chance for the game winner, Lee lost possession for Stonehill which led to a Gittens half court heave as time expired which almost banked in off the backboard as the game headed to OT at 89-89.
In the extra frame Berroa put the Ravens back in front by driving though the paint and putting up a layup while he was fouled. The senior converted the free throw to push FPU up 92-91. On the next trip down the court, Logan made a layup to make it a one point game 92-91. Banton responded by draining a three from the left wing off a cross-court pass by Gittens.
Logan made it a two point game as he banked in a layup off the glass, but missed the free throw for the three point play. The scoring margin stayed at two until Banton converted two free throws to raise FPU's lead to four. Logan again cut the Skyhawks deficit to two, as he buried a jumper after a Lee offensive rebound. Banton and Logan missed two three's each as the latter's would have put Stonehill ahead by one.
Banton didn't miss his next shot though as he held the rock on the left wing, put the ball on the floor, dribbled in a few steps and sank the mid-range jumper with 30 seconds left as the Ravens led 99-95. Stonehill had two chances for a three as Largey's long range attempt was off the mark and Logan followed with a missed three. Stonehill was forced to foul as the Ravens made 3-of-4 (75.0%) of their freebies in crunch time which iced the game.
The Ravens return to The Fieldhouse on Wednesday when they welcome NE10 opponent Saint Michael's to campus for a 7:30 p.m. tip-off.
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).