Men’s Hoops Uses Balanced Attack to Upend Merrimack in Wild Back and Forth Affair

Sean Fasoyiro (Photo Courtesy of Luke Tracy)
Sean Fasoyiro (Photo Courtesy of Luke Tracy)

This Franklin Pierce University men's basketball recap is presented by Belletetes

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. (December 5, 2018) – Franklin Pierce University men's basketball sophomore guard Sean Fasoyiro (Houston, Texas) recorded the first double-double of his collegiate career as the Ravens snapped a two-game losing skid defeating Northeast-10 Conference opponent Merrimack College 86-83 Wednesday night on Hammel Court. With the win, the Ravens even up their record at 4-4, 2-2 NE10 while the Warriors fall to 5-5, 3-3 NE10.

Fasoyiro only took five shot attempts during the game but took a team-high seven trips to the line making six of his seven free chances. He scored 14 points to go along with a game-high 11 rebounds (three offensive).

Four other Ravens tallied double-digit scoring efforts led by graduate forward Jeremy Arthur (Westbury, N.Y.) who came off the bench and dropped in a team and FPU career-high 18 markers on 7-of-11 (63.6%) shooting. Freshman guard Isaiah Moore (Temple Hills, Md.) knocked down 6-of-10 (60.0%) field goals and 4-of-6 (66.7%) from deep for 16 points. Moore added three steals on the defensive end. Doyin Fadojutimi (Temple Hills, Md.) and Falu Seck (Washington, D.C.) produced 14 and 13 points respectively.

Juvaris Hayes carried the load for Merrimack with a game-best 28 points, however, he turned the ball over during the crucial final 30 seconds of the game.

The Ravens shot their second-highest percentage in a game this season (51.7%) and had their best performance from beyond the arc this year (52.6%). The showdown between these two NE10 programs saw a total of 11 ties and 13 lead changes.

The action picked up late in the second half. With under four minutes to go, Arthur manufactured a three-ball giving the Ravens a 74-71 lead. Mikey Watkins arched a high layup off the glass to push Merrimack ahead 75-74. The Ravens jumped back in front by two as sophomore guard Sam van Oostrum (Sheffield, England) dished a flashy pass to Fasoyiro on the right block and he put up a one-handed layup while being fouled, he completed the hoop and harm putting Pierce back ahead 77-75. Fasoyiro cleaned up his own missed layup and put the ball back in to up the Raven margin to 79-75 with 1:42 to go. Hayes was aggressive on the other end drawing a foul while making the layup for the and1 bringing the deficit back to one, 79-78.  Following a Raven miscue, Hayes then used an eurostep move to draw another and hoop and harm to move Merrimack closer to victory at 81-79 with 53 ticks left on the clock.

The ending to the game was epic and chaotic. The Hayes swiped the ball away from Fadojutimi with 34 seconds left. On the trip down the floor, Hayes lofted a ball towards the paint that was snared out of the air by Arthur. He promptly hurled the rock towards Fadojutimi at midcourt. The ball was tipped then collected by the Raven junior and he bounced a pass to a streaking Seck down the left side for a layup attempt. Seck was fouled while the converted the old-fashioned three-point play leaving 20 seconds on the clock.

FPU still needed one more stop to achieve the victory and got it. With six seconds left, Jaleel Lord received a dribble handoff at the top of the point and fired a wide-open three-pointer that clanked off the rim and into the hands of Fasoyiro who was flagrantly fouled. He made both freebies and the Ravens kept possession and hit two more free throws to ice the game.

In the first half, with the Ravens trailing 6-2, graduate forward Lolami Lola-Charles (Aberdeen, Md.) found the soft spot in the middle of the Warrior zone off a feed from Arthur to bring the score to 6-4. Behind 10-4, good ball movement from freshman guard Brandon Kolek (Cumberland, R.I.) to Fadojutimi led to a catch and shoot trey on the right corner cutting the deficit to one possession 10-7. The junior team captain continued his strong start draining a jumper and driving through the hole for a tough layup making it 12-11 in favor of the Warriors. Hayes answered via a drive of his own and on the next trip down the court, Fasoyiro was fouled attempting a three-pointer. Fasoyiro made all three at the charity stripe to deadlock the score 14-14. The FPU defense forced a miss on the other end and Moore attacked through the right side and kissed a floater high off the glass to give the Ravens a 16-14 advantage, their first lead of the game.

Arthur drained a stepback fallaway jumper on the left wing, and Moore got a kind bounce on a runner combined with an NBA range trifecta at the top of the point, which pushed Pierce ahead 27-22. Merrimack made a comeback to bring their margin to two, 29-27 as Watkins drove into the paint for the and1. He missed the freebie as the Warriors still were still trailing. A couple of possessions later a triangle set had the ball reach the hands of Kolek on the left wing as he rifled home a three to lead 32-27.

Merrimack closed the final 3:09 of the half on a 12-3 scoring run. They notched five straight points to deadlock the score 32-32 until Moore temporarily stopped the Warriors momentum by connecting on a catch and shoot three on the wing. MC went on to score seven points to cap the binge and lead 39-35 at the intermission.

The Ravens took a brief lead totaling five straight markers via an Arthur jumper and a Seck three. Following the Seck trey, Hayes attacked the rack for his third and1 attempt of the game. He missed the freebie as the Ravens were behind by only one, 41-40. Two attacking Raven layups put Pierce ahead 44-41 as Idris Joyner on the next trip down the court tied the game 44-44. Moore gave the Ravens the lead once again this time with the shot clock expiring hitting a trey with a hand in his face five feet behind the line moving the guests in front 47-44.

Moore's strong play continued a couple of possessions later as a loose ball found him waiting on the right wing for yet another three-ball. He came up with a steal on the ensuing Raven possession and threw an outlet pass to a streaking Seck to increase the Raven lead to 52-46. Following a timeout, Moore settled for an additional trey that was missed and cleaned up by Fasoyiro and tipped home with contact for the traditional three-point play, however, he missed the freebie to move the advantage to 54-48.

Merrimack took the lead once again 56-55 when Fadojutimi stuffed Hayes with authority, but the rebound and second-chance bucket was dropped in by Troy McLaughlin. The Warrior lead was short lived when Arthur drained a corner three connection and Fadojutimi slashed hard to the rack to reestablish the Raven two-possession lead. Merrimack crawled back in front as Lord buried a three-pointer with 5:32 left to play and a foul was called under the basket on the Ravens which awarded Joyner two free throws which he split, to lead 67-66. Fadojutimi sank a three to move the Ravens back into the driver's seat 69-67. Hayes eventually knotted the game at 69-69 via a driving bucket.

The Ravens return to the hardwood on Saturday when they take on the College of Saint Rose in a non-conference contest at home in The Fieldhouse with tip-off slated for 3:30 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/).