Ravens Close Gap In Second Half, SNHU Hangs On For Narrow Win

Doyin Fadojutimi (Photo Courtesy of Matthew Cerullo)
Doyin Fadojutimi (Photo Courtesy of Matthew Cerullo)

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

MANCHESTER, N.H. (December 15, 2018) – Trailing by 16 with just under 10 minutes to play, the Franklin Pierce University men's basketball teams' ferocious press brought their deficit to three points, but Northeast-10 Conference opponent Southern New Hampshire University hung on for an 82-75 victory in the second game of a matinee doubleheader Saturday at the Stan Spirou Field House. With the win, the Penmen move to 6-5, 3-4 NE10 while the Ravens even up their record at 5-5 and drop to 2-3 NE10. 

Raven junior team captain Doyin Fadojutimi (Temple Hills, Md.) scored a game-best 24 points to go along with five boards, three steals, and two assists. The 20+ point showing was his third of the season. He took 25 shots on the afternoon, 10 more than the next closest Raven, junior guard Falu Seck (Washington, D.C.) who dumped in 13 points and handed out a team-high four assists. Graduate teammate Jeremy Arthur (Westbury, N.Y.) tacked on 12 points, all from beyond the arc (4-of-8, 50%).

For the Penmen, junior forward Eamonn Joyce scored a SNHU-high 16 points on efficient 6-of-9 (66.7%) shooting. Senior guard Daquaise Andrews played 38 minutes and nearly recorded a triple-double with 14 points, nine caroms and a game-best eight helpers. Senior forward Remo Simankevicius was the difference maker off the pine for SNHU shooting a perfect 6-for-6 from the hardwood resulting in 13 markers.

The hosts shot 59.6% (34-of-57) in the contest compared to 36.0% (27-of-75) for the Ravens. The Penmen had their shots working in the second half going 17-of-25 (68.0%). FPU struggled with their three-point stroke hitting only eight of their 35 long-range attempts (22.9%). The Ravens forced their counterparts into 23 turnovers scoring 25 points off those miscues.

Fadojutimi scored the first points of the game via a baseline take off a graduate forward Lolami Lola-Charles (Aberdeen, Md.) theft. Both teams swapped points as an Isaiah Moore (Temple Hills, Md.) driving take layup that was banked in tied the score 6-6 just four minutes into the showdown. Andrews, Joyce and Shawn Montague gave the Penmen the biggest lead in the contest to this point 13-6 on the strength of seven straight markers. Andrews galloped through the right side of the paint for two, Joyce followed a missed Andrews trey, put the second chance bucket in while being fouled. Joyce made the freebie and after the Ravens third turnover of the half, Montague slammed home a one handed jam to cap the spurt. Arthur answered on the next trip down the court for the Ravens connecting on a right wing trifecta to bring it back to a two-possession game, 13-9.

Lola-Charles kept the Ravens close midway through the first half with two-second chance scoring opportunities cleaning up two Moore missed field goals on the left and right lower blocks. Charlie Russo and Arthur swapped treys to bring the Raven deficit to five, 21-16 with 10:54 left until the intermission. Fadojutimi stroked a three-ball on the right wing cutting the margin to three, 23-20 at the 10-minute mark.

Andrews regained the two-possession lead for the hosts with a driving and1 from the top of the point. Andrews converted the free throw attempt to improve the Penmen margin to seven, 29-22. Fadojutimi ended a four minute Raven scoreless stretch by converting a funky underhand layup in the trees down low pulling the Ravens within seven 33-26. On the next trip down the court for the Penmen, a second chance three-ball off good perimeter ball movement to Mikey Buscetto opened up the games' first double-digit lead 36-26 with 3:10 left before the intermission. SNHU built their largest lead of the half off a press break when Joyce drained a wide-open three-pointer from the left corner to head into the break in front 41-29.

The Ravens and the Penmen engaged in point trading over the beginning of the second half. Three-pointers off the shot of senior guard David Bradbury Jr. (Deep River, Conn.) and Arthur brought the Ravens deficit to seven twice. Montague anticipated a pass and got a steal and went uncontested down the court for the one handed jam to increase the Penmen lead to 12, 61-49 with 11:20 to go. A Russo catch and shoot three-ball from the left corner was part of a 12-3 run to expand the Penmen advantage to 16, 66-50 with 9:43 to play. The Ravens kept pressing, got three steals off the pressure and went on a 14-4 scoring binge to make it an six point game 70-64 following a Seck to Fadojutimi inbounds alley-oop layup. Fadojutimi scored eight of his squads 14 points during the run.

Fadojutimi was fouled while connecting on a three-pointer on the right wing by Russo who fouled out with 3:28 left. Fadojutimi went to the charity stripe, but missed the free throw for the potential four-point play. The Ravens trailed the Penmen 72-67 with 3:29 to go.

Another Fadojutimi take to the rack dropped the margin to three, 74-71 at the 2:24 mark. Andrews responded by rifling home a three-pointer with the shot clock winding down. The Ravens missed two shots on the other end of the court, which led to a Carlos Andrade lay-in that proved to be the dagger.

The Ravens return home on Tuesday for a conference showdown against Assumption College 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/).