McCall Produces Double-Double, Ravens Drop Close Conference Contest

Devonte McCall (Photo Courtesy of Luke Tracy)
Devonte McCall (Photo Courtesy of Luke Tracy)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (January 27, 2018) – Franklin Pierce University men's basketball freshman forward Devonte McCall (Amherst, Mass.) recorded his first ever double-double with a career-high 22 points and 11 rebounds as the Ravens fell to Northeast-10 Conference opponent American International College 86-83 Saturday afternoon at the Henry A. Butova Gymnasium. With the win, the Yellow Jackets move to 11-10 overall and 6-7 in league play while the Crimson and Grey drop to 10-9, 5-9 NE10.

McCall played a season-high 23 minutes and his 22 markers were a game-best. He was 10-of-16 (62.5%) from the hardwood and kept the extra possession alive with a contest-high four offensive boards. He also dished out four assists and came up with one steal. Four other players recorded double-digit point totals including Falu Seck (Washington, D.C.), Mike McDevitt (Cumberland, Maine), Doyin Fadojutimi (Temple Hills, Md.) and Jordan Lackey (South Plainfield, N.J.). Fadojutimi stuffed the stat sheet with seven boards, four assists, two blocks and two thefts.

AIC senior guard Kassim Kaba carried his squad with a team-best 17 points while hitting 5-of-7 (71.4%) of his three-point attempts. Freshman forward Robert Durant chipped in 14 points, six rebounds, three helpers and one steal.

The hosts excelled from long range during the contest while the Ravens struggled (48.1%-to-18.2%), however, FPU outrebounded (46-to-40) and outscored their counterparts in the paint (48-to-20).

Both squads swapped three-pointers to begin the duel as Asante Sandiford (Boston, Mass.) found Seck for a trey and Kaba dished the rock off to Jordan Vidal for three. A Sandiford and1 minus the free throw regained the lead to Ravens at 5-3. A Vidal jumper and a Kaba trey gave the hosts their first edge of the game at 8-5 with 17 minutes left in the half. Seck brought the deficit to one, but on the next possession, AIC's three-point attack continued when Tahlib Swan manufactured a long-range connection to increase the score to 11-7.

AIC's Adonis Williams upped his squads' edge to 14-9 via a three-ball, but a McCall lay-in made it a one-possession game at 14-11. Four straight for AIC pushed them ahead 18-1.1 McCall went back to work as Fadojutimi fed the freshman for an easy two and three-pointer which cut the Raven deficit to 19-18. The Yellow Jackets notched a 10-0 scoring binge capped off by another Kaba three-ball, his third of the half to increase the lead to 29-18 with 8:11 left before the break. FPU responded by pouring in eight consecutive markers of their own via a Faodjutimi layup, dunk, McCall's fourth field goal of the half and two Seck freebies to trail by one possession at 29-26.

With 4:50 left until the intermission, Durant made it a two-possession game at 35-30, but a Fadojutimi layup and McDevitt jumper brought the hosts lead to only one point, 35-34. At the 2:02 mark, McCall found McDevitt for a driving two, which gave the Ravens a 41-40 edge. The FPU advantage was short lived because Charles Chung drained a three-point to push the hosts back in front. On the next trip down the court, Lackey tied the contest at 43 all with a lay-in that was the last points of the first half. Lackey also drew a key charge with three seconds left to thwart a potential Yellow Jacket bucket.

Seck led the way for the Ravens in the first half as he scored 12 points on 4-of-8 (50.0%) shooting including a 2-of-3 (66.7%) performance from downtown. McCall played 11 minutes off the bench and dropped 11 points on 5-of-7 (71.4%) shooting to go along with seven boards. AIC made half of their three-pointers in the first half (8-of-16, 50.0%).

AIC immediately broke the deadlock when Williams rifled home a three-pointer. He increased the lead to five by laying in an attempt assisted by Swan. Zekiah Owens continued the early second-half success for the Yellow Jackets with a bucket to lead by seven, 50-43. McCall answered back immediately with two points of his own to cut the deficit to two possessions at 50-45. Ahead by five, Kaba manufactured his fourth deep connection of the afternoon to up the Yellow Jacket edge to 55-47. The hosts opened up their first double-digit lead at 63-51 following another three-pointer this time by Williams. A Durant dunk pushed the score to 65-51, which forced the Ravens to take a full timeout.

After the stoppage, a Lackey layup brought the Raven deficit to 65-53. A few possessions later, David Bradbury (Deep River, Conn.) poked the rock away from Swan and he passed the ball to McCall who pushed home the rock to make the score 69-58 with 10:34 left. McDevitt continued the Raven mini 8-0 run by draining two consecutive jumpers to bring the duel back to single figures at 69-62.

AIC cooled the Raven momentum by using a timeout, which led to a Vidal jumper. McCall continued to dominate the game when he came up with a steal and went the other way for a jam. Following a Swan turnover, McDevitt kept on hitting mid-range jumpers as the Ravens trailed by five, 71-66 with 7:16 left to play. On the next trip down the court, Vidal converted another long-range attempt to increase the AIC lead to 74-66. Trailing by nine, McDevitt buried another jumper at the 6:04 mark to bring the deficit down to seven 75-68. 20 seconds later, Fadojutimi took a trip to the charity stripe and knocked down both attempts to bring the game back to one possession at 75-70.

Two Lackey free throws made the score 77-72, but Kaba kept on stroking from deep to up the advantage to eight, 80-72. Under three minutes remained when Seck drove to the rack and pushed home an attempt while being fouled. His hoop and harm reestablished the five-point Raven deficit at 80-75. An Owens jumper immediately after the Seck and1 added on to the Yellow Jacket lead. Seck had another and1 opportunity after a layup conversion, but he missed the free throw this time as the Birds trailed 82-77.

Down the stretch, the Ravens were 1-for-5 from three-point land when Fadojutimi hit a shot from downtown with two seconds left to trail 85-83. Swan made one of two at the line as AIC hung on for the three point victory.

The Ravens return home to the Fieldhouse on Wednesday, January 31st for a duel with no. 6 regionally-ranked Saint Anselm College with tip-off slated for 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).