Franklin Pierce Shoots Past Stonehill, 82-79

Junior Brian Hamor scored 19 of his game-high 21 points in the second half and added seven assists and five rebounds. (PHOTO BY Br. Charles McBride)

Cooper leads five Ravens in double figures with 18 points

EASTON, Mass. (January 31, 2012) – Franklin Pierce University shot nearly 73-percent in the second half in claiming an 82-79 victory and snapping Stonehill College's four game winning streak in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Sophomore Ellis Cooper (Northampton, Mass./Northampton) led five Franklin Pierce players in double-figures with 18 points (16 second half) on 7-of-10 shooting from the field to go with five rebounds and five blocked shots. Senior Adedamola Abu (Mattapan, Mass./Marblehead) added 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field and a 2-for-2 effort from the line, with five boards.

Sophomore Andre Blackwood (Paterson, N.J./Paterson Catholic) contributed 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting off the bench, including 2-for-4 from deep, while senior Nigel Van Oostrum (Sheffield, England) contributed 11 points on 5-of-6 shooting, five rebounds, five assists and two steals. Sophomore Adrianos Vourliotakis Perdikaris (Cholargos, Greece) chipped ten points and three boards off the bench.

Junior Brian Hamor (Schenectady, N.Y./Bishop Gibbons) led Stonehill with a game-high 21 points (19 second half), seven assists and five rebounds. Senior Patrick Lee (Fayetteville, N.Y./Fayetteville-Manlius)  posted his tenth career double-double (seventh of the season) with 14 points and a game-high 14 rebounds (six offensive), while classmate Andre Tongo (Acton, Mass./Acton-Boxborough) added 13 points, six boards and two assists. Junior Adam Fazzini (Drums, Pa./Crestwood) chipped in with 14 points off the bench on 4-of-6 shooting overall, including 3-of-5 from three-point range, while converting 3-of-5 free-throws.

Senior Patrick Lee had a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 14 rebounds before fouling out. (PHOTO BY Br. Charles McBride)

Franklin Pierce shot a blistering 72.7-percent (16-for-22) from the field in the second half to finish shooting 61.5% (32-52) from the field overall, while converting 75% (15-20) of its free throws. The Ravens made the most of Stonehill's 15 miscues, posting a 23-12 advantage in points off turnovers, while committing just 12 themselves. Stonehill shot 44.1-percent (30-68) from the field, including 45.2% (19-42) in the second half, while hitting 10-of-27 (37%) three-pointers and converting 9-of-12 (75%) free-throws. The Skyhawks finished with a 38-25 rebounding advantage, including a 20-19 edge on their own offensive end that resulted in a 21-13 second chance points margin.

Franklin Pierce jumped out to a pair of early five point leads, but Stonehill used an 8-0 run to take a three point lead (14-11) with 12:45 remaining in the half after back to back three-pointers from Fazzini and Tongo. The Ravens scored the next six points to regain the lead (17-14) on a jumper by Blackwood 11:34 before halftime before sophomore Mitch Amelio (Carlsbad, Calif./La Jolla Country Day) drained a three to knot it up at 17-17 with 10:41 left.

The teams traded baskets before Franklin Pierce opened a six point lead (25-19) on an Abu layup with 7:55 left in the half. Fazzini was fouled shooting a three and made all three free-throws before Tongo knotted the score again (25-25) with a three-pointer with 6:24 left. The see-sawed back and forth for the next three minutes, but the Skyhawks were held scoreless over the final 3:13 as Franklin Pierce scored the final five points of the frame to carry a four point edge into halftime (36-32) after a layup from Vourliotakis.

Stonehill scored the first four points of the second half to knot the score (36-36) after a Lee put back. Franklin Pierce then used a 12-2 run over the next three minutes to open its first double-figure cushion (48-38) after a Vourliotakis layup with 15:21 to play. The Skyhawks cut the lead to five (55-50) with an Amelio three with 11:44 remaining, but the Ravens responded with the next 11 points over the following three minutes to open a game-high 16 point (66-50) advantage after two free-throws from Abu with 8:14 left.

Stonehill wouldn't go away quietly, using a 13-2 run to close within five (68-63) after a three-point play from Hamor with 4:47 left. Franklin Pierce was able to hold firm, pushing the lead back to eight (79-71) with a conventional three point play by Cooper with 1:18 remaining, but the Skyhawks were still able to cut the deficit to four (8-76) with another Hamor three point play with 21-seconds to go. Cooper missed both free-throws at the other end, but a turnover cost the Skyhawks a chance to close within a possession and freshman Ryen Vilmont (Philadelphia, Pa./Hamden South) sealed the win with a pair of free-throws with 11 seconds to go before Tongo capped the scoring with a three with 0,4-seconds left.

Stonehill (14-6, 11-5 NE-10), among teams receiving votes in this week's NABC Division II poll, returns to action on Saturday when it visits Merrimack College at 3 p.m. The Skyhawks return home on Saturday, February 11, to host Saint Michael's College on Senior Day at 3:30 p.m. Franklin Pierce (15-5, 11-5 NE-10) hosts Saint Michael's this Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Game Highlights