RINDGE, N.H. (November 21, 2017) – Franklin Pierce University men's basketball senior forward Asante Sandiford (Boston, Mass.) notched his second double-double of the season with 24 points and 11 rebounds as the Ravens recorded their first Northeast-10 Conference victory of the season, an 87-73 decision versus Saint Michael's College Tuesday evening at The Fieldhouse. With the win, the Ravens better their mark to 3-2, 1-2 NE10 while the Purple Knights remain winless at 0-5, 0-3 NE10.
Sandiford's 24 points established a new career-high bettering his previous mark of 19 set at Assumption College on February 21, 2017. He drained 8-of-10 (80.0%) of his shot attempts and was an unconscious 6-of-6 (100.0%) from long range on the night. 18 of his 24 points came in the second half. Starting guard Falu Seck (Washington, D.C.) also notched a double-double with 11 points and a personal-best 10 assists to go along with five boards.
Team captain Mike McDevitt (Cumberland, Maine) tallied 20 points, eight rebounds, and one block while connecting on 6-of-7 (85.7%) of his field goal attempts. McDevitt is only one point shy of becoming the 34th member of the program's 1,000-point club.
Jordan Lackey (South Plainfield, N.J.) chipped in 15 points, six rebounds, two helpers and one steal as he was one of the four Raven starters in double-figures. Teammate Amanie Craddock (Spring Valley, N.Y.) gave the Ravens some big minutes off the bench as he scored eight points on 3-of-4 (75.0%) shooting in 25 minutes of play.
The Purple Knights were led by the duo of Levi Holmes III and Derek Cheatom who recorded 29 and 25 markers respectively. The pair totaled 54 of the teams 73 points. Holmes added four rebounds, three assists, two steals and shot 11-of-12 (91.6%) from the charity stripe.
This is the second time this season that the Ravens shot above 50.0% in a game. FPU drained 29-of-54 (53.7%) of their attempts including 12-of-23 (52.2%) from beyond the arc. Pierce showed good ball movement with 18 assists on those 29 field goal conversions. FPU shot better than their opponent and owned them in the post scoring 32 points in the paint compared to 16 by Saint Michael's.
Saint Michael's started the game off hot making their first three shot attempts while the Ravens began cold missing their opening five shots as the Purple Knights led 6-0 four minutes into the game. Sandiford commenced a 12-0 run by FPU as he buried a three from the right wing off a Lackey feed. McDevitt, Craddock, and Seck all made layups that led to Sandiford capping the binge with a driving and1 as the Ravens led 12-6.
Holmes III and Cheatom accounted for SMC next eight points as Cheatom's trey cut the Purple Knight deficit to one, 15-14 with 12:10 to go before the intermission. Five straight from the Ravens reestablished a two-possession lead when Seck found McDevitt for a catch and shoot three. Following two Holmes III freebies, the Ravens built their lead to a first-half high of 12 points on the strength of a 9-2 mini-run which was capped off by a McDevitt post up two from the low right block that had the hosts ahead 35-21 with 4:12 left. Seven in a row by Saint Michael's once again cut the score to two possessions at 35-30 with 90 seconds remaining. With a few ticks left on the clock, Seck stole the rock away from Purple Knights senior guard Colin Richey and put up a runner from behind the three-point line before the buzzer sounded. The shot was off, but Seck was fouled in the act of shooting and was awarded three shots. The sophomore guard made two of three at the line as the Ravens led by eight, 40-32 at the halfway point.
Franklin Pierce avoided a slow start to the second half by notching eight straight points to open the frame. Seck found McDevitt down low for an easy two then Sandiford and Seck assisted on each other's three-pointers to give the Ravens a 16 point, 48-32 lead. Over the next few possessions, the Purple Knights outscored the Ravens 10-3 to cut their lead to single figures as Jordan Guzman split a pair of freebies from the charity stripe. A Cheatom free-throw brought the Raven edge down to eight with 11:42 to play. A 17-6 Raven run which extended the FPU advantage to a game-high 19 points following a Lackey free throw put them in the driver's seat at 72-53 with 7:39 remaining. A 9-0 binge by the guests once again cut into the Raven lead at 72-62. Sandiford promptly closed the game out for FPU by converting three of the next four Raven shot attempts with two coming from deep as the lead increased to 16 with 1:26 left. Franklin Pierce eventually won by 14.
The Crimson and Grey have Thanksgiving break off and will return to the hardwood next Wednesday, November 29th when they travel to Bentley University for a huge early season NE10 showdown at 7:30 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 men's basketball apparel can do so at the Department of Athletics' online store (http://athletics.franklinpierce.edu/store).