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Franklin Pierce gains NE-10 men's basketball final
The stifling defense of Franklin Pierce players Curtis Christian, left, and Ryen Vilmont stopped players like New Haven's Justin Exum in the first half. (JAY REITER/UNION LEADER)
In the semifinal opener Dion Waiters scored 18 points including a go-ahead lay-up with 43 seconds left as the University of Bridgeport defeated Assumption 58-56.
Bridgeport will meet Franklin Pierce for the tournament championship on Tuesday at 7 p.m. at SNHU.
Franklin Pierce, on 57-percent shooting from the field (17-for-30), held a commanding 44-19 halftime lead against New Haven and never looked back.
Guillaume was 7-of-10 from the field in 33 minutes of action.
He was one for four starters to finish the game in double-digit points. Adrianos Vourliotakis Perdikaris, Ellis Cooper and Ryen Vilmont were all instrumental in preventing New Haven from mounting a comeback in the second half.
The Ravens roared out of the gates on a 16-0 run for a 20-4 lead just eight minutes into the game.
Ellis dominated that spurt with two lay-ups, a three-point basket and a free throw before Jean-Guillaume capped it with a three-point field goal.
Ryen Vilmont scored five straight points to keep the margin at 16, before the Ravens went on a 17-5 run over the final 5:10 of the first half. Jean-Guillaume hit another three-pointer for a 30-14 lead and his lay-up with 48 seconds remaining made it 42-17.
Jean-Guillaume was just heating up. He opened the second half with a lay-up and a three-point shot to extend the Ravens' lead to 49-24. FPU maintained a 25-point lead seven minutes into the second half, 59-34.
New Haven couldn't close the gap because Ellis and Adrianos Vourliotakis Perdikaris were matching them point for point. The two players combined for eight points during an 8-2 mini run that extended FPU's lead from 65-42 to 73-44 with 9:03 left. Cooper retired to the bench for the remainder of the game at that point and Jean-Guillaume was pulled with 7:24 remaining.
A lay-up and two free throws from Tim Beinert had given Assumption a 56-55 lead with 54 seconds remaining. After Waiters made his lay-up, Assumption played for the last shot, but Beinert missed a jumper with seven seconds remaining.
Jo Jo Swift of Bridgeport was fouled with four seconds left and made one free throw for the final margin of victory. A desperation three-point shot by Assumption's Kevin Donahue missed the mark for the potential win. Beinert tallied 18 points to lead the Greyhounds.