Junior Jack Cole led the Skyhawks with 16 points, six rebounds and two blocked shots. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)
Cooper lifts Ravens to victory with 20 points, including two clinching free-throws
EASTON, Mass. (February 19, 2014) – Franklin Pierce University held off Stonehill College down the stretch to claim a 76-73 victory in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.
Senior Ellis Cooper (Northampton, Mass./Northampton) led Franklin Pierce with 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field and converting 4-of-7 free-throws, including a pair with 6.3-seconds to play to seal the victory. He also added seven rebounds, two assists, a blocked shot and steal on the night. Junior Ryen Vilmont (Philadelphia, Pa./Hamden South) contributed 16 points, four rebounds, five assists and two blocks, while senior Ant Lessane (Brooklyn, N.Y./Pacific) posted 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including 2-for-3 from three-point range, in 21 minutes off the bench.
Junior Jack Cole (New Providence, N.J./New Providence) led Stonehill with 16 points on 7-of-11 shooting, including a three-pointer, six rebounds and two blocked shots in 23 minutes before fouling out. Freshman Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown) notched his third double-double of the season with 11 points and a game-high ten rebounds with two assists and two steals, while sophomore Pierce Cumpstone (Bainbridge Township, Ohio/Kenston) added ten points on 5-of-8 shooting off the bench with five rebounds, three assists and three steal. Sophomore Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) contributed ten points and nine assists, while classmate Adam Bramanti (Middleton, Mass./Masconomet Regional) buried 3-of-7 three-pointers for nine points.
Franklin Pierce rode 54.5-percent (30-for-55) shooting from the field to victory, connecting on 10-of-26 (38.5%) three-pointers. The Ravens held a 32-30 rebounding edge, but was outscored 11-4 in second chance points and also turned the ball over 18 times. Stonehill finished shooting 46.8-percent (29-for-62) from the field, including 55.6% (15-for-27) in the second half, converting 6-of-19 (31.6%) three-pointers and 9-of-11 (81.8%) free-throws for the night.
Freshman Ryan Logan posted his third double-double of the season with 11 points and a game-high ten rebounds. (PHOTO BY Jan Volk/SportsPix)
Franklin Pierce emerged from a contest that featured 13 ties and six lead changes, holding off a Stonehill squad that fought back from a ten point deficit early in the second half. Cooper sealed the win with a pair of free-throws with 6.3-seconds left after Bramanti missed on a drive through the lane at the other end to cut the lead to one. Junior Paul Becklens (Boston, Mass./Bridgton Academy) drilled a three-pointer with 1:30 remaining that broke the final deadlock of the night (72-69). Logan drained was fouled and drained two free-throws at the other end for Stonehill with 1:08 left. Both teams turned the ball over on their next possession and then Vilmont was fouled with 17-seconds to go and made both attempts to push the Franklin Pierce lead back to three (74-71).
Franklin Pierce scored nine of the last 12 points of the first half to take a seven point lead (39-32) into halftime with Cooper scoring the final basket of the frame with 1:43 remaining. Lessane scored four points during that stretch, while Vilmont drained a three-pointer. The Ravens pushed their lead to a game-high ten points (46-38) after a layup by senior Adrianos Vourliotakis Perdikaris (Athens, Greece) two minutes into the second half.
Stonehill quickly drew back within five (46-41) less than a minute later following a Smith jumper and Bramanti three. Cole pulled Stonehill within three (50-47) with 12:09 remaining, but Lessane drilled a three to answer at the other end. The Ravens reclaimed a seven point cushion (56-49) with a Becklens triple midway through the half, but the Skyhawks reeled off nine straight points to take its first lead of the half (58-56) following a layup by sophomore Josh Heyliger (Queens, N.Y./The Hill School) with 7:04 to play.
Franklin Pierce regained the lead with baskets from Cooper and Vilmont and the teams traded baskets until the Ravens opened a five point advantage with a Vilmont three with 2:37 remaining. Bramanti answered with a three ball on the other side before Smith forced the final deadlock of the night (69-69) with 1:54 to play.
Stonehill (7-17, 4-15 NE-10) is back in action on Saturday when it visits rival Bentley University for an NE-10 clash at 3:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return to Merkert Gym next Tuesday, February 25, when it closes out the season with a Senior Night matchup with Saint Anselm College at 7:30 p.m.