Men’s Hoop Lowers Magic Number to One with 94-92 Win at Franklin Pierce

Men’s Hoop Lowers Magic Number to One with 94-92 Win at Franklin Pierce


When and Where: February 15, 2017 – Rindge, N.H. (The Fieldhouse)
Southern New Hampshire University 94, Franklin Pierce University 92
SNHU 18-6 (14-5 Northeast-10), FPU 13-12 (10-9 Northeast-10)

Junior Dimitri Floras (Merrimack, N.H.) registered a career-high 24 points as the Southern New Hampshire University men's basketball team pulled out a 94-92 victory against Franklin Pierce on Wednesday night at the Fieldhouse.

Floras shot 10 of 16 from the field, including 2 of 4 from beyond the arc, and 2 of 3 from the line, while dishing five assists and grabbing a pair of rebounds. Senior Devin Gilligan (Amherst, N.H.) supported Floras' effort with 20 points (8-14 FG, 4-5 FT), including 13 after halftime, three rebounds and three assists, with redshirt-junior Chris Walters (Stamford, Conn.) notching a double-double of 17 points (7-13 FG, 3-4 FT) and 11 boards. Sophomore Daquaise Andrews (Queens, N.Y.) tallied 12 points (5-13 FG, 1-1 3-FG, 1-2 FT), seven rebounds and five assists, while senior Jerome Harris (Hartford, Conn.) also netted 12 points (4-6 FG, 4-5 3-FG).

Jordan Lackey paced the Ravens with a game-best 31 points.

In a contest that featured 19 lead changes, Southern New Hampshire held a 94-88 lead with over a minute to play when back-to-back Donte Gittens baskets pulled Franklin Pierce to within 94-92 with 33 seconds to go. After the Penmen ran the clock down under 10 seconds and missed a layup, the Ravens grabbed the rebound, but Gitten's 3-pointer to win it as time expired was no good.

Seven points from Lackey powered a game-opening 13-0 rush that spanned the first 3:48. The Penmen responded by ripping off a 13-2 run – with five points from Gilligan – to trim their deficit to 15-13 at the 11:50 mark. With the margin still at two nearly three minutes later, a Walters layup knotted the game at 25 with 8:40 to go in the opening half.

Franklin Pierce responded with five straight points to re-gain the lead, but a 9-2 counter-run – with four points from freshman Eamonn Joyce (Medford, Mass.) and three from Floras – put SNHU in front, 34-32, with less than six minutes remaining. After a Falu Seck 3-pointer leapfrogged the Ravens back in front, a 7-2 spurt opened a 41-37 advantage for the Penmen with 3:50 on the clock.

The back-and-forth continued as eight straight points gave the Ravens the lead back before the Penmen answered with an 8-0 run of their own – highlighted by 3-pointers from Harris and freshman Ryogo Sumino (Kanagawa, Japan) – to make it 49-45. A Lackey trey at the buzzer would trim the Franklin Pierce deficit to 49-48 at the break.

The SNHU lead was still one over three minutes into the second half when a 5-0 run, which included a Harris trey, nudged the margin to six at 62-56 with 16:13 remaining. Franklin Pierce would twice cut it to one over the next seven-plus minutes, but could not get over the hump until a run of five straight points gave it a 78-77 edge with 6:40 left. Ten lead changes and a tie would follow before a three-point play from Floras sparked a 7-0 run, which included another Harris triple, that opened a 94-88 lead for the Penmen with 1:18 to go, setting up the nail-biting final minute.

-With the win, the Penmen reduce their magic number to clinch the NE10 Northeast Division to one. SNHU maintains its two-game lead on Merrimack College and crosstown-rival Saint Anselm College, which both won Wednesday.
-Walters' double-double was his seventh of the season and 19th of his career.
-Southern New Hampshire narrowly outshot Franklin Pierce, 55.2 percent (37-67) to 54.7 percent (35-64), including 56.3 percent (9-16) to 50 percent (9-18) from downtown.
-Neither team was very good at the stripe, with Franklin Pierce holding a 59.1 percent (13-22) to 55 percent (11-20) advantage.
 -The Ravens outrebounded SNHU, 37-31, and turned in a more impressive assist-to-turnover ratio (19/8-14/7), while the Penmen won the paint (50-46).

Up Next:
The Penmen return to action Saturday, Feb. 18 (3:30 p.m.) when they play host to Stonehill College on Senior Day at the Fieldhouse. It is also Faculty and Staff Appreciation Day, with SNHU faculty and staff receiving free admission for them and one guest.

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