WORCESTER, Mass. – The Philadelphia University men's basketball team's 2011-12 season came to a close after its upset bid fell just short in a 59-58 loss to Franklin Pierce in the opening round of the NCAA Division II East Region Tournament Saturday night in Laska Gym on the campus of Assumption College.
Guard Jim Connolly led all players with a game-high 19 points for the Rams (19-10), who entered the tournament as the eight seed. Connolly moved into 39th place on the Philadelphia University all-time scoring list with 1,127 points.
Center Temi Adebayo had 14 points, 11 rebounds, and six blocked shots in his final collegiate game. In two seasons with the Rams Adebayo blocked 201 shots, which is fifth all-time.
Guard Nick Christian netted 17 points.
Top-seeded Franklin Pierce (22-7) got 13 points from Ellis Cooper.
Christian connected on a free-throw with 6:09 left to give the Rams their largest lead of the game at 52-48. Franklin Pierce's Adedamola Abu (11 points) converted a three-point play to cap a 5-0 spurt and give the Ravens a 53-52 advantage at the 4:45 mark.
Adebayo gave Philadelphia its final lead of the game when he connected on a free throw to make the score 58-57 with 2:08 to go. Eric Jean-Guillaume scored the eventual game-winning basket on a lay-up with 42 seconds remaining.
In the first half, the Rams dug out of a 22-15 hole with an 11-2 run, capped by a Connolly lay-up, to take a 26-24 lead. Franklin Pierce led at the break, 35-32.
The Ravens shot 42.0 percent (21-of-50) from the field, while the Rams shot 35.2 percent (19-of-54). Franklin Pierce owned a 43-31 rebounding advantage. The contest featured 10 ties and 12 lead changes.