March 7, 2009

Courtesy of UNE

PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Senior Erastus Shannon (Amityville, N.Y.) and juniors Mike Campbell (Bronx, N.Y.) and Daniel Phillips (Baldwin, N.Y.) combined to score 64 points to lead the Farmingdale State College Rams to a convincing 90-73 win over the University of New England in a first-round game of the NCAA Division III National Championship played on the campus of Rhode Island College.

Members of the Skyline Conference, the Rams improved to 25-3 while advancing to tomorrow's second round to face MIT, a 73-68 overtime winner over host RIC.

Trailing 8-7 just over three minutes into the contest, the Rams went on a 15-3 run over the ensuing 9:12 to take a 22-11 lead.  Campbell tallied six points during the spurt.

Farmingdale State went on to take a 42-26 advantage at intermisson after shooting 53.3 percent (16 of 30) in the frame, while limiting the Nor'easters to 24.3 percent (9 of 37) accuracy.  The Rams nearly doubled-up UNE on the glass, taking advantage ot their significant height advantage to establish a 31-16 rebounding cushion.

The duo of Campbell and Shannon had 22 points at the break.

The Nor'easters forced six turnovers on Farmingdale State's first eight possessions of the final frame, but were unable to cut into the deficit.

After a jumper by UNE senior Jaykyri Simpson (East Cleburne, Texas) made the score 53-37 in favor of the Rams, Farmingdale State put together 13-6 run to claim a 66-43 lead and put the game out of reach with under 10 minutes to play.

The Rams continued to sizzle from the floor after halftime, converting a remarkable 67.9 percent (19 of 28) of their field goal attempts.  For the game, FSC tallied 52 of its 90 points from inside the lane and held a sizeable 53-30 rebounding margin.

The trio of Campbell, Shannon and Phillips was 27-for-36 from the floor.  Shannon and Campbell each finished with 22 points, while Phillips added 20.  Skyline Conference Player of the Year Damien Santana (Brooklyn, N.Y.) contributed a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds to go with five assists.

Simpson had team highs of 17 points and seven boards to lead the way for UNE.  First-year guard Anthony Johnson (Austin, Texas) had 11 of his 13 points in the first half, and Johnnie Jefferson (Dallas, Texas) scored 11 of his 13 after the break.

The Nor'easters suffered thru a 10-for-46 (21.7 percent) performance from beyond the three-point arc and made just 34.2 percent (26 of 76) of their field goal tries.

UNE ends its season with a mark of 24-5 -- those 24 wins matching a school record established by the 1988-89 squad.

"We were able to change a culture on campus," reflected TCCC Coach of the Year Jason Mulligan after the game.  "After taking over a team that had won five games the year before I arrived...for us to win 24 games and a conference championship this year is remarkable."

The Nor'easters will lose four seniors, including first team all-conference selections Jefferson and Simpson.