DURHAM, N.H. – Franklin Pierce senior guard Darryl Minnifield posted a team-high 17 points to lead the Ravens (1-0) past the University of New Hampshire Wildcats (0-2), 70-69, in an overtime thriller played at Lundholm Gymnasium on Monday night.
The Ravens scored first in the extra stanza on a jumper by Nazim Senaldi to capture the momentum. After a crucial free throw miss by Raven guard Jack Barrett, UNH stormed down the court and sophomore guard Tyrece Gibbs (Brockton, Mass.) drilled a 3-pointer to bring the Cats’ to a 68-67 disadvantage. Gibbs finished the night with 14 points and two rebounds. Senaldi, who tallied 12 points on the night, registered a clutch free throw to put the Ravens up 70-67 with 7 seconds left in the contest. Junior guard Jude Roybal (Albuquerque, N.M.) raced down the court and double-pumped a long distance shot that went through the net as time expired, but it was just shy of a 3-pointer.
UNH never led during the overtime session and the game featured nine lead changes and six ties. The Ravens spoiled the Wildcats home opener as the team shot 44.3% from the field for the game, while UNH shot 46.0%. UNH out-rebounded its opponents by a margin of 34-23. The difference maker in the contest was the Ravens stingy defense as they were responsible for 18 UNH turnovers, which led to 21 points.
Junior forward Mike Christensen (Reston, Va.) tied a career-high for points with 22, while senior co-captain Blagoj Janev (Sydney, Australia) posted 17 points and eight rebounds. Freshman guard Dan McGeary (Newtown, Mass.) also notched a career-high 12 points in the loss.
The Ravens featured four scorers reaching double digits, including freshman guard Marcus Wellman’s career-high 15 points and four rebounds in his collegiate debut.
The Wildcats return to action on Saturday (Nov. 18) when they play host to non-conference foe Central Connecticut State University Blue Devils. The contest is set for 12:00 noon in Lundholm Gymnasium.