Men's Basketball: FPU pulls rank, tops St. A
RINDGE - Franklin Pierce University showed its veteran savvy Saturday in a game when nothing less would do.
Senior point guard Eric Jean Guillaume scored 15 of his game-high 26 points in the second half as the Ravens held off 10th-ranked St. Anselm, 75-66, in a matchup of the two top teams in the Northeast-10.
As a result, the two teams now share first place in the NE-10 standings.
On a day when the Hawks' leading scorers, sophomore Roy Mabrey (5 points) and freshman Mike McCahey (14 points), were held to 17 points under their combined average, Jean Guillaume showed why he was the conference player of the year a season ago and a favorite to win the award again this season.
When the Hawks (19-4, 15-4 NE-10) tied the game at 54 on a 3-pointer by John Nielsen with 8:51 left, Jean Guillaume responded with his own 3. He scored 10 of the next 12 points for the Ravens (18-5, 15-4) to put them up 66-59 with 2:27 left.
"He's not a good player for no reason. When they needed him, he stepped up," St. Anselm coach Keith Dickson said of Jean Guillaume.
"I just looked to be aggressive," Jean Guillaume said. "If I make that (3), I felt it would give us a boost. I feel like I have to take those shots."
The Hawks beat the Ravens, 87-75, in December when FPU was ranked seventh nationally. McCahey had 25 in that game and Mabrey had 15. Jean Guillaume said the Ravens wanted to slow those two down and make the rest of the Hawks beat them this time around.
Mission accomplished. While Mabrey -- who was in double figures the past 21 games -- and McCahey were a combined 8-for-28, only Chris Santo (15 points) did much to fill the void.
"I think we did a real nice job defensively, and they missed some shots they normally make, and you have to have that if you're going to beat a team like that," FPU coach David Chadbourne said.
The Hawks trailed 40-33 at half, but it could have been much worse. They went seven minutes without scoring as the Ravens turned a 10-3 deficit into a 28-10 lead.
St. Anselm was 0-for-10 and committed six turnovers during that stretch, struggling against an aggressive FPU defense that disrupted the passing lanes.
FPU made 12 of 14 shots during that run, including all three of their 3-point attempts, and scored 11 points off turnovers. Jean-Guillaume was in the middle it for the defending conference champions, sandwiching a 3 between a pair of breakaway baskets.
A jumper by Adrianos Vourliotakis-Perdikaris put the Ravens up 28-10 midway through the half and led to Dickson calling his second timeout in less than four minutes. The message apparently got through, as the Hawks responded by scoring 13 of the next 17 points to get the game back in order.
"For us, we were pleased to get off the mat," Dickson said.
Santo was the spark with eight points in that stretch. The Hawks made two 3's to start the run, but they also went hard to the basket and only turned the ball over once.
"Then it became a possession game, and they made more plays than we did," Dickson said.