RINDGE, N.H. (February 20, 2018) – Three players scored in double figures including senior Asante Sandiford (Boston, Mass.) as the Franklin Pierce University men's basketball team wrapped up their 2017-18 season with a 97-82 defeat by Northeast-10 Conference opponent Bentley University Tuesday evening at the Fieldhouse. With the victory, the Falcons end their campaign at 15-11, 12-9 NE10 while the Ravens conclude the year at 14-12, 9-12 NE10.
Seniors Taji Owens (Middletown, Conn.), Sandiford, Dustin Cole (Standish, Maine), Jordan Lackey (South Plainfield, N.J.) and Mike McDevitt (Cumberland, Maine) were honored in a pregame ceremony for their contributions to the basketball program, athletic department and the Franklin Pierce University community. Four of the five seniors earned the start on this special occasion, McDevitt was inactive due to injury.
Sandiford led all Ravens with 17 points and a career-high six assists to go along with four boards, three steals and one block in his final collegiate game. In his only career start, Cole poured in a season-best 13 markers on 5-of-7 (71.4%) shooting and a 3-of-5 (60.0%) performance from downtown. Owens, who also started in his first ever contest, dropped five points, grabbed three caroms and matched Sandiford with a game-best three thefts. Lackey poured in six points.
Guards Falu Seck (Washington, D.C.) and Sean Fasoyiro (Houston, Texas) recorded strong performances as Seck manufactured 11 points, five helpers, and four boards while Fasoyiro tallied six points and a team-high six rebounds.
For Bentley, junior guard Ryan Richmond recorded a season-high 39 points on 14-of-22 (63.6%) shooting and a 6-of-8 (75.0%) showing from beyond the arc. The Falcons started off the showdown draining 14 of their first 15 shot attempts (93.3%). The Ravens won the post scoring battle (44-to-20) but lost the edge on the boards (39-to-29).
The Ravens sank their first shot attempt of the game when Owens drilled a catch and shoot trey from the right wing off a Seck feed. On the ensuing defensive possession, Sandiford poked the rock away from Chris Hudson and went coast-to-coast for the contested two to give the Ravens their largest lead at 5-2. The teams traded points and possessions before a 24-8 Bentley binge capped off by back-to-back Seth Stankiewicz three-balls upped the advantage to a first half high 17 points, 45-28. A Cole three-pointer at the 3:31 mark brought the deficit down to 13, 52-39, but the Falcons grew the lead back to 17 via a trio of Zach Gilpin charity stripe connections to end the half ahead 57-40.
A Hudson freebie with 16:04 left to play gave the guests their biggest lead, 65-42. However, the Ravens began to chip away at the deficit dropping the margin below 20 on a Doyin Fadojutimi (Temple Hills, Md.) lay-in halfway through the stanza. Seven straight points by FPU, which included a Seck and1 that kissed off the glass and fell through the net, brought the score to 78-67 with 9:13 to go. A wide open Fadojutimi catch and shoot trey from the right corner made it a 10 point game until Lackey, on the next Raven possession cleaned up a missed long-range attempt and put the second chance up and in to drop the deficit to single figures, 80-72 with 7:36 remaining. Bentley reestablished a comfortable lead with a 12-2 run of their own to hang on for the victory.
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/)