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Traore, Men's Basketball Stand Strong in 84-79 Win over California University (Pa.)

Traore, Men's Basketball Stand Strong in 84-79 Win over California University (Pa.)

RINDGE, N.H. (11/21/22) – In a rare Monday midday matchup, the Franklin Pierce men's basketball team accrued a convincing, hard fought victory over non-conference opponent California University (Pa.), pulling away in the final seconds for an 84-79 final at The Fieldhouse.

The win improves men's basketball to 3-1 (1-0 NE10) on the season, as the Vulcans fall to 2-3 overall with the loss.  

The first half of the game got off to a rather slow start, as the Vulcans held a 4-3 lead through the first four minutes. Beginning at the 13:33 mark, senior Brandon Kolek (Cumberland, R.I.) knocked down back-to-back three pointers, putting the Ravens ahead 13-12. The next five minutes would feature five separate lead changes between the two teams, before a 6-0 run by Pierce would put them back in the lead for the remainder of the half.  With 3:17 left to play, Franklin Pierce added some depth to their lead with 11 unanswered points, including consecutive three-pointers from Mohamad Traore (Hyde Park, Mass.), to conclude the first 20 minutes up 41-31 on the Vulcans.

Jarnel Snow-Guzman (Lynn, Mass.) opened the second frame scoring with a layup, but defensive miscues midway through by the Ravens saw California pull back to within four points. With 11:34 on the clock, Brandon Kolek completed a three-point play to end a 6-0 streak by the Vulcans, only to see them respond with a pair of three-point buckets of their own to shave the Raven lead down to 58-57. Out of a 30-second timeout, sophomore Wol Maiwen (Auburn, Maine) secured repeating layups, sparking an eventual 11-3 run featuring three-point plays from Snow-Guzman, Traore and Kolek, to put Pierce ahead 75-68 with 3:07 to go. The Vulcans never gave in, however, and continued to pressure the Raven defense up to an 81-79 advantage in the final minute. As the seconds ticked away, the Ravens escaped in the end on free-throws, holding on for the 84-79 triumph.

All five starters for the Ravens contributed, as Mohamad Traore had his best afternoon of the season for the Ravens, netting 21 points shooting 7-of-13 from the floor with seven rebounds and four assists. Sean Bresnan (Yonkers, N.Y.) collected 16 points in the effort, while Brandon Kolek and Jarnel Snow-Guzman each hit the double-digit plateau scoring 14 and 10 points respectively. As a team the Ravens shot 29-of-68 (42.6%) in field goals, including 12-of-34 (35.3%) from three-point range.

Ravens men's basketball will next play at Northeast-10 opponent, in-state rival Saint Anselm College on Sunday, November 27th for a 1:00 p.m. tipoff.