Franklin Pierce Tops Stonehill, 75-61

Sophomore Carter Smith led the Skyhawks with 15 points, six rebounds and two assists. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Ellis double-double leads balanced effort for Ravens 

RINDGE, N.H. (November 26, 2013) – Franklin Pierce University, among teams receiving votes in this week's National Association of Basketball Coaches' (NABC) Division II poll, used a balanced effort to claim a 75-61 victory over Stonehill College in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at Franklin Pierce Fieldhouse tonight.

Senior Ellis Cooper (Northampton, Mass./Northampton) posted a double-double to lead a balanced effort for Franklin Pierce with game-highs of 19 points and 15 rebounds to go with four steals and two assists as he made 5-of-10 shots from the field and converted 9-of-11 free-throw attempts on the night. Junior Ryen Vilmont (Philadelphia, Pa./Hamden South) added 14 points, shooting 4-for-8 from three-point range, with seven rebounds and two assists, while freshman Donte Gittens (Hartford, Conn./The Master's School) contributed 11 points, four assists and two boards. Senior Andre Blackwood (Paterson, N.J./Paramus Catholic) chipped in ten points, two assists and two rebounds for the Ravens.

Sophomore Pierce Cumpstone added 14 points, four rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots tonight. (PHOTO BY Bert Lane)

Sophomore Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) led Stonehill with 15 points on 6-of-14 shooting, including 3-for-6 from three-point range, six rebounds, two assists and two steals. Classmate Pierce Cumpstone (Bainbridge Township, Ohio/Kenston) added 14 points, aided by 4-of-8 shooting from three-point range, four rebounds, three assists, two blocked shots and two steals. Freshman Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown) snared a team-high ten rebounds to go with seven points and two assists.

Franklin Pierce finished shooting 41.5-percent (27-for-65) from the field, connecting on 10-of-27 (37%) three-pointers, while shooting 11-for-16 (68.8%) from the free-throw line. The Ravens held a 46-37 rebounding advantage and posted a 32-18 edge in points in the paint. Stonehill was limited to 36.4-percent (24-for-66) shooting, including 33.3% (12-36) in the second half, hitting 9-of-24 (37.5%) three-pointers and went to the line just five times, converting four tries.

Franklin Pierce scored the final nine points of the second half to turn a four point deficit into a five point lead (38-33) at the intermission. Cooper converted a three-point play to give the Ravens the lead, while Gittens scored the last four points of the stretch, capped by a dunk off a Cooper steal with three seconds left.

Both teams struggled to shoot the ball over the opening seven minutes of the second half as Stonehill scored the first six points of the frame to regain the lead (40-38) after a layup by sophomore Daniel Brix (Monroe Township, N.J./St. Joseph) just under six minutes into the half. The Ravens ended their second half scoring drought with back to back Blackwood layups to reclaim the lead (42-40) with 12:47 to play.

Franklin Pierce wouldn't trail again and reeled off 12 straight points to take control of the game (54-42) after a put back by Cooper with 8:39 remaining. Gittens had five points during the run, while Vilmont also drilled a three-pointer. Stonehill drew back within nine points on three occasions over the following two minutes on pair of three-pointers by Cumpstone as well as a Smith triple, but would get no closer. The Ravens sealed the win with a 13-6 run over five minutes to open a 16 point lead (73-57) after two Vilmont free-throws with 1:35 left.

Stonehill (2-4, 0-3 NE-10) is off until after the holiday when it returns to Merkert Gymnasium to host Assumption College on Wednesday, December 4, at 7:30 p.m. Franklin Pierce (7-1, 2-1 NE-10) visits Assumption on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.

For the latest on Stonehill Athletics, follow the Skyhawks via social media on Twitter and Facebook. Fans can also download the Stonehill Skyhawks mobile app on iTunes and the Android Market.

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