RINDGE, N.H. (January 17, 2018) – Franklin Pierce University men's basketball senior forward Asante Sandiford (Boston, Mass.) recorded his sixth double-double of the season by notching a career-high 28 points to go along with a game-best 11 rebounds as the Ravens upended Northeast-10 Conference opponent Southern Connecticut State University 89-81 Wednesday evening at The Fieldhouse. With the win, the Ravens glide to 9-7, 4-7 NE10 while the Owls fall to 7-8, 4-7 NE10.
The 28 point showing was Sandiford's third 20+ point game of the season as he bested his previous personal-high of 24 markers set on November 21st versus Saint Michael's. The senior was 9-of-14 (64.2%) from the hardwood, 3-of-6 (50.0%) from deep and a perfect 7-of-7 (100.0%) from the charity stripe. In the second half, he scored 16 points and snagged 10 rebounds. Doyin Fadojutimi (Temple Hills, Md.), Falu Seck (Washington, D.C.) and Mike McDevitt (Cumberland, Maine) all joined Sandiford in double-figures while shooting above 50.0% in the contest. Seck had an impressive game as he constantly attacked the basket and spun home tough acrobatic layups around the rim. On the defensive side, McDevitt chipped in four steals and two blocks as well.
For the Owls, freshman guard Ulyen Coleman dropped a game-high 27 points to lead his squad while teammate Jerry Luckett Jr. and Isaiah McLeod produced 20 and 18 markers respectively.
After a slow first half, the Ravens really turned on their shooting in the second stanza as they drained 17-of-27 (63.0%) of their field goal attempts which included a 6-of-11 (54.5%) clip from beyond the arc and an 11-of-13 (84.6%) showing from the free throw line. FPU was in control for the majority of the game as they led for 35 of the 40 minutes.
Franklin Pierce started the contest with six straight points as Seck spun through traffic for a one-handed floater to give the Ravens an early 6-0 edge. A 13-4 scoring run by the guests gave them their first lead of the duel at 13-10. Trailing by three, the Ravens used good perimeter ball movement as Sam van Oostrum (Sheffield, England) dished the rock to an open Amanie Craddock (Spring Valley, N.Y.) who rifled home a three-pointer a few feet behind the line on the right wing to tie the score at 13 all.
Back to back Coleman lay-ins pushed the guest lead to a game-high four points at 17-14, but a 14-4 Raven run which started with a McDevitt catch and shoot trey from the right wing and ended with eight consecutive points by Sandiford via a three-ball, hoop and harm and driving layup moved Pierce ahead 27-21.
Luckett Jr. responded with three straight markers of his own all from the line to make it a one-possession game, 27-24 with 7:49 left before the break. However, the Ravens went on another mini-binge to lead by 10, 36-26. The Owls added five consecutive points to bring their deficit back to three, but Seck ended the half with a coast-to-coast lay-in as Pierce led 38-33 at the intermission.
The Ravens would never relinquish the advantage in the second stanza, but McLeod pulled up from the top of the point just a few seconds in for a three-ball to cut the Raven lead to two. On the next possession, Sandiford answered right back with a trey of his own to re-establish a five-point edge. Ahead by only one, McDevitt sank a three-pointer from the right wing while being fouled. The senior captain took a trip to the line and completed the rare four-point play to advance the advantage back to five. At the 16:30 mark, Coleman poured in a three-pointer to cut into the Raven edge at 47-46. Up by only a point, FPU used a Fadojutimi baseline drive and1 which was part of a 15-6 run to give the hosts their first double-digit lead of the contest at 62-52 with 12:53 to play.
Southern Connecticut quickly erased that deficit when Luckett Jr. used a reverse layup to make it a three-point, 66-63 contest. Once again, the Ravens took control of the game on the strength of a 14-3 run which upped the score to 80-66 with 3:56 to go. Coleman kept his squad in the game with a stretch of eight straight points that included some pull up transition three-pointers to bring the score to 83-79 with one minute to go. Raven senior forward Jordan Lackey (South Plainfield, N.J.) who only attempted four shots in the game, iced the duel with an isolation take to the rack to seal the game for the Ravens.
The Ravens conclude their three-game homestand on Saturday when they welcome NE10 opponent Adelphi University to campus for a 3:30 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).