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March 17. 2013 9:40PM

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)
Eric Jean-Guillaume, the two-time Northeast-10 Player of the Year, scored 17 points to lead Franklin Pierce University to an 80-63 rout of New Haven in the semifinals of the NCAA East Regional Division II Men's Basketball Tournament at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester Sunday.

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.









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