MANCHESTER, N.H. (February 17, 2018) – The Franklin Pierce University men's basketball team dropped a 96-66 decision to Northeast-10 Conference opponent Southern New Hampshire University Saturday afternoon at the SNHU Fieldhouse. With the victory, the Penmen improve to 14-11, 10-10 NE10 while the Ravens fall to 14-11, 9-11 NE10.
Franklin Pierce led by three, 47-44 at the intermission before SNHU amassed a 40-7 second-half surge to open up a game-high 30 point lead in which they drained 16 of their first 21 shot attempts (76.1%) while the Ravens struggled to find their shot (2-of-14, 14.3%) during the binge. The loss ended the Crimson and Grey's chance at a NE10 Championship berth.
Chris Walters led all scorers with a game-high 27 points on a 9-of-14 (64.2%) shooting performance to go along with nine boards, four blocks, three assists and one steal. Teammate Eammon Joyce was 7-of-10 (70.0%) shooting the rock for 19 markers. For the Ravens, Doyin Fadojutimi (Temple Hills, Md.) amassed 22 points while draining 5-of-8 (62.5%) from deep. Mike McDevitt (Cumberland, Maine) dumped in 16 points while snagging five boards.
Joyce drew first blood for the Penmen with a runner in the lane. Fadojutimi gave the Ravens their first lead when he buried a right-wing catch and shoot three-pointer. Walters upped the lead to 6-3 for the hosts by pushing in a strong take from the right side. Following a McDevitt jumper, Fadojutimi came up with a loose ball and threw a pass to a wide-open Jordan Lackey (South Plainfield, N.J.) in the left corner for a set a pop trey. The Ravens led 8-6 after the Lackey long-range conversion. Walters split one of two at the line then on the next trip down the court, Lackey came off a screen and drained a three-ball from the top of the point to up the edge to 11-7. The teams traded beyond the arc conversions as Walters hit a step-back attempt and Fadojutimi deposited a wide-open left corner three-pointer to reestablish the four-point Raven lead 14-10.
After a media timeout, Fadojutimi continued to stroke it from long range hitting his third three-pointer in as many attempts to increase the Raven edge to 17-10. Lackey slashed from the left side to the right of the post for a layup off the glass to cap off the run of eight straight Raven markers and more importantly give the Ravens a 19-10 advantage.
Walters hot start carried over following another stoppage as he collected his own missed layup, put the second chance board up for two and then on the next possession drained a spot up trey from the right wing. Sam van Oostrum (Sheffield, England) lofted a high arcing pass from the right wing to Lackey who finished with a jumping lay-in at the rack. After that impressive play, Ryogo Sumino manufactured a catch and shoot three-ball to bring down the deficit to one possession at 21-18. Fadojutimi and Sumino swapped transition buckets and Amanie Craddock (Spring Valley, N.Y.) cleaned up an Asante Sandiford (Boston, Mass.) missed long-range attempt to grow the FPU edge back to two possessions 28-23 with 7:58 left before the break.
Both teams traded blows back and forth as SNHU brought the deficit down to two multiple times. Falu Seck (Washington, D.C.) was fouled shooting a three-pointer and he made two of three at the stripe to make it 34-31. Following a Daquaise Andrews second-chance bucket. McDevitt connected on two long-range shots from the top of the key to increase the Ravens lead to 40-33. A Dimitri Floras jumper and a Joyce wide-open left corner three brought the game to 40-38. McDevitt kept on draining buckets as he posted up his defender on the left block scooped an attempt off the window and sank a mid-range jumper as the Ravens continued to tack on to their lead at 44-38. Walters capped the first half scoring as the Ravens stood in front 47-44 through the games midway point.
SNHU started the second stanza with six straight points to take the lead at 49-47 following an Andrews hard take through traffic. The Ravens stopped play with a 30-second timeout, but Andrews kept the SNHU run going with another driving layup. Fadojutimi temporarily halted the binge with a twisting up and under lay-in, but Joyce knocked down a wide-open corner three to push the score to 54-49 with 17:32 to go.
A Sean Fasoyiro (Houston, Texas) freebie brought the Raven deficit to four, 54-50, but the Penmen 19-5 run increased the score to a game-best 11, 61-50 via a Joyce bucket after an inbounds play. Two Sandiford free throws brought the contest back to single figures until Sumino hit a wide-open three and made a shot from the left elbow to up the score to 66-52 in favor of the Penmen. SNHU kept tacking on points as a Walters hoop and harm pushed the hosts ahead by 20, 72-52 with 12:14 left to play. The Penmen kept adding points as they lead by as many as 30 points.
The Ravens wrap up their 2017-18 season on Tuesday with a NE10 Senior Night contest versus Bentley University 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). You can also follow the men's basketball team on Twitter (https://twitter.com/FPURavensMBB) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/fpuravensmbb/)