No. 5 seed Bloomfield Moves Past No. 1 seed Franklin Pierce 69-60 For Berth in East Regional Final
WORCESTER, Mass. (March 11, 2012) – Sophomore Terry Hicks drilled a career-best seven three-point field goals and finished with 21 points as No. 5 seed Bloomfield College claimed a 69-60 victory over No. 1 seed Franklin Pierce University on Sunday night in the 2012 NCAA Division II Men’s Basketball East Regional Semifinals at Laska Gym on the campus of Assumption College.
The Deacons advance to the NCAA East Regional Final for the second consecutive season where they will face No. 2 seed Stonehill (23-8) on Tuesday night in a 7:00 p.m. (ET) tip at Assumption College.
Bloomfield (26-7) has defeated five different teams from the Northeast-10 Conference in its last five NCAA Tournament wins (AIC, Stonehill, Bentley, UMass-Lowell, Franklin Pierce).
The Deacons advanced to the East Regional Final as the No. 7 seed in 2011 and went on to earn the first NCAA Elite Eight berth in the program’s history. Last season saw Bloomfield defeat Stonehill 79-66 in the semifinals of the 2011 NCAA East Regional.
The Deacons exhibited some hot shooting in the first half to take early control of the contest as they posted a .531 (17-of-32) clip over the opening 20 minutes.
Franklin Pierce led for the opening two minutes before a jumper by Matt Wafula gave Bloomfield the lead at 17:30 and started a 28-17 run to up its advantage to as high as 13 before entering halftime holding a 42-30 margin.
Hicks was lights out from the field in the first half as he buried 5-of-6 three-point field goals attempts and went into intermission with 15 points. Wafula also posted double-figures in the first half with 11.
Franklin Pierce (22-8) erased a 12-point halftime lead for Bloomfield as it tied the score at 46-46 on a three-pointer by Eric Jean-Guillaume with 14:06 remaining in regulation. The Ravens kept it within striking distance until a 9-0 run by the Deacons brought the lead back to double-digits at 61-50 with 5:59 remaining.
The Ravens cut the lead to 66-60 with 2:28 left but could get no closer as Bloomfield’s defense did not allow them to score another point for the remainder of the contest allowing it to seal the win.
Joining Hicks in double-figures were Bloomfield teammates Wafula, who tallied 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting. Senior Ahmad Harris added 11 points, eight rebounds and eight assists while Kevin Udo turned in one of his best individual efforts on both ends of the floor as he tallied 10 points, nine rebounds and four blocks.
Sophomore Ellis Cooper paced Franklin Pierce in the loss with 22 points while Jean-Guillaume finished with 21.