Men’s Basketball Surges Past Franklin Pierce 79-68

damien rance

THE BASICS:

- Score: Assumption 79, Franklin Pierce 68

- Records: Assumption (5-6, 1-4 NE10), Franklin Pierce (5-6, 2-4 NE10)

- Location: Rindge, N.H. (The Fieldhouse)

- The Lead: Assumption led by 12 points at the half and withstood a second-half run by Franklin Pierce to pull away in the final two minutes for a crucial conference victory, 79-68, over the Ravens Tuesday evening on the road.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

- Assumption was unfazed by an early full-court press, taking a 7-3 lead in the opening 2:31. Franklin Pierce tied it up 9-9, but 11 straight from the Hounds pushed the lead to 20-9 on a Cal Connelly (Rochester, N.H. / Spaulding) layup with 12:28 left in the period.  

- The two teams traded baskets over the next six minutes, though the Ravens eventually closed it to 29-22 with 5:45 left in the half. A quick 6-2 run trimmed it to just 31-28 less than three minutes later, however, Michael Speight (Morningside, Md. / Wise) connected on a three-point play to double the lead with 2:32 left. That jumpstarted a 13-4 run to end the half for the Hounds, for a 44-32 lead at the break.

- Assumption led 49-39 with 15:19 left, however, a 13-4 run by Franklin Pierce closed the gap to just 53-52 with 10:09 left in regulation. The Ravens were able to eventually tie the game up at 57 and again at 59 apiece with 6:09 remaining.

- Four straight from the Hounds pushed the lead back to four and after a pair of Franklin Pierce free throws, Matthew Kelly (North Potomac, Md. / Quince Orchard) came through with a three-point play for the 66-61 advantage with 3:57 left. The Ravens cut it to 69-65 with 2:22 remaining, but a basket by Vujadinovic and then an assist to Damien Rance (Melbourne, Australia / Pope John XXIII) extended it the lead to 73-65. Assumption held off the Ravens over the last minute to earn the 11-point win.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

- Assumption shot 53.3 percent in the contest and 4 of 12 from downtown while limiting the Ravens to 42.9 percent overall and just 5-for-24 from beyond the arc. Franklin Pierce had a slight 33-32 rebounding edge but committed 17 turnovers as they never held the lead in the contest.

- Kelly lead the team with 19 points, five rebounds and three assists while Branislav Vujadinovic (Belgrade, Serbia / St. Joseph) posted 14 points, three rebounds and two assists. Connelly chipped in 13 points and three rebounds.

- Speight supplied 11 points off the bench while Patrick Fleming (Dobbs Ferry, N.Y. / Iona Prep) added a team-high nine rebounds with two assists and two points. Rance contributed eight points and five boards in 22 minutes.

UP NEXT:

- The Hounds return to action on Sunday, Dec. 30 when they travel to play Caldwell at 1 p.m.

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