action:article | category:SPORTS22 | adString:SPORTS22 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » College Sports

March 27. 2013 8:57PM

Pressure game for FPC cagers in NCAA Div. II Elite 8


Franklin Pierce's Ellis Cooper (43) is fouled by Bridgeport's Dezmon Hickman, left, as he lays it up during the NCAA Division II regional championship game at the SNHU Fieldhouse. (JOSH GIBNEY/UNION LEADER)
Ball security.

That is the one thing above all that Franklin Pierce University coach David Chadbourne wants his players to remember today when they face Metro State of Denver, Colo., in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Division II men's basketball tournament.

The Ravens (24-8) have made it to the Elite Eight for the first time in program history, but if they expect to stick around they better handle the pressure Chadbourne expects from the Roadrunners (30-2) today at noon in the first of four games at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky.

The winner advances to a semifinal game Saturday against the winner of Florida Southern-Western Washington. The championship game will be Sunday, April 7 in Atlanta, Ga.

"They score a lot off the other team's mistakes," Chadbourne said of the Roadrunners. "That's our biggest emphasis. We have to make sure their defense doesn't create offense."

Metro State averaged just under nine steals and forced teams into almost 17 turnovers a game. One thing that works to FPU's advantage is that it just faced a team in the regional finals that plays a similar style.

The University of Bridgeport averaged just over 10 steals and forced almost 18 turnovers a game this year. The Purple Knights put the Ravens to the test in the championship game of the East Regional, holding the Ravens under 60 points for the just the second time all year.

FPU turned the ball over 21 times in that game - seven more than its season average - and needed some second-half heroics from two of its complimentary players, sophomore Ryen Vilmet and junior Andre Blackwood, to pull out a 57-52 win.

"That was a great lesson," Chadbourne said. "I'm not sure Metro is quicker than Bridgeport, but they're bigger."

Chadbourne knows senior guard Eric Jean-Guillaume, the two-time player of the year in the Northeast-10, will need to be better than he was against the Purple Knights, when he scored seven points on 3-for-15 shooting and turned the ball over four times.

"He has to be good with the ball and he has to make good decisions," Chadbourne said.

The Ravens could get a boost if 6-foot-5 junior point guard Georgios Papapetrou is ready to go. Papapetrou suffered muscle spasms in the first round of the regional and hasn't played since.

"If he's playing the way he's capable of playing, he'll make a big difference," Chadbourne said.

While the Ravens are wading in unfamiliar waters, the Roadrunners are in the Elite Eight for the seventh time since 1998 and are 5-1 in tournament games at Freedom Hall, including their national championship victory over Kentucky Wesleyan in 2000.

While Metro State has a roster that includes three players from California, two from Australia and two from Texas, its leading scorer and rebounder is a local product, 6-8 senior center Jonathan Morse of Boulder, who is averaging 14.7 points and 8.6 rebounds. Chadbourne, however, said the team revolves around its backcourt of junior Brandon Jefferson (14.6 points) and senior Demetrius Miller (13.9).

"Those two guards are what make them go," Chadbourne said.

 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk, right, tangles with Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask in the first period of Game 1 of their NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinals hockey playoff series in this 2013 file photo.

NH-based insurer sues NHL to limit its defense in players concussion lawsuits

A's claim former Fisher Cat Marcus Walden

Mariano Rivera's son to pitch for NH squad

Kevin Davis, CEO and president of Bauer Performance Sports, displays Bauer Hockey's latest innovation in hockey skates — the Vapor APX 2 with easily changeable skate blades in this 2013 file photo.

Exeter-based Bauer continues to expand beyond hockey with $330M purchase of baseball firm Easton-Bell

Hollis-Brookline head football coach resigns unexpectedly

New owners for Waukewan Golf Club

Matches announced for USA v. Cuba clash at Rockingham Park this weekend

Boston Marathon victim Jeff Baumann throws out the first pitch prior to the start of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Fenway Park last year.

Service's creed on display in support of airman affected by Boston bombing

40-year-old Manchester mechanical engineer wins MMA decision

New Hampshire Motor Speedway touts viability of casino site in Loudon

USA Knockouts Tamed in Cuba

U.S., Cuba boxers clash in Havana, U.S. bouts set for Rockingham Park in Salem

Lee USA Speedway opens season April 13

Newmarket woman plans world-record cross-country run for charity

CHIP KELLY

Is Chip Kelly racist?

World Series of Boxing event moved to Rockingham Park - USA vs. Cuba

Manchester man in top 30 candidates for Padres public address announcer

NH man helps MLB players deal with stresses on, off the field

Review of the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook

New Hampshire Motor Speedway may run Sprint Cup race in 2015 under the lights

How Boston lost the Patriots and 'New England' grabbed the NFL's 'Gold Standard'

Twin State Speedway gets new manager

Yale promotes former UNH coach to offensive coordinator

Bulldogs sign UNH's Nick Sorkin

Flyers Notes: Flyers sign speedy New Hampshire forward

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!