FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – Regis College quickly established a double-digit lead and withstood a couple of comeback attempts by Framingham State University, as the Pride defeated the Rams, 88-70, Tuesday night in a non-conference men's collegiate basketball game at the FSU Athletic Center.
For the third time this season, Ademola Afonja (Staten Island, N.Y.) scored 21 points as he hit 8-of-14 field goal attempts and 5-of-6 free throw chances, plus he pulled down five rebounds and blocked three shots. Gibou Njie (Miramar, Fla.) contributed 14 points off the bench, while Jalil Wilkerson (New Haven, Conn.) added eight points, nine rebounds, and seven assists.
Regis scored the first 13 points of the game, led by Afonja with eight of those points. After a jumper by Tyri Hampton put Framingham State on the board, the Pride rattled off a 15-4 scoring run thanks to a balanced offense that saw eight different players score during that stretch.
Framingham State (1-3) closed its deficit to 12 at 31-19 with a 13-3 scoring run, capped by six straight Ram points by Emmanuel Payton. Regis extended its advantage back to 20 thanks to a 10-2 run, punctuated by a traditional three-point play from Njie, and the Pride would take a 43-25 advantage into the locker room at halftime.
The Rams opened the second half with a 10-2 scoring run over the first two minutes, led by Emmanuel Valmir with five points during that stretch. Regis seemingly put the game out of reach with a 27-7 scoring run, featuring three three-pointers by Njie and two long distance baskets from Dimitri Rosa (Tiverton, R.I.), that extended the Pride lead to 30 at 72-42.
However, the Rams fought back one more time, outscoring the Pride 24-8 to close to within 14 at 80-66 with 2:40 remaining in regulation. The Pride did not allow their lead to shrink any further, going 8-of-10 from the free throw line in the final two-and-a-half minute to secure their second straight victory.
Payton led the Rams with 25 points, three assists, and four steals, plus he grabbed five rebounds, while Hampton finished with 10 points and eight rebounds and Khaneil Bruce contributed nine points, eight rebounds, and three steals. Framingham State shot just 37.2 percent (29-of-78) of its field goal attempts, including 4-of-14 from behind the three-point line.
For the second consecutive game, Regis hit more than half of its field goal attempts, finishing at 54.2 percent (32-of-59) shooting from the field, including 8-of-12 from behind the three-point line, as well as 76.2 percent (16-of-21) of its free throw opportunities. The Pride also won the rebounding battle, 46-35.
Rosa was perfect from behind the three-point line, making all four attempts for 12 points, while Jordan Seldon (Dorchester, Mass.) fought through foul trouble to finish with 10 points and six rebounds. The Pride did commit 25 turnovers, leading to 23 points by Framingham State, plus the Rams collected 17 second chance points off 18 offensive rebounds.
Regis (3-2) returns to action next Monday, Nov. 26, at Newbury College beginning at 7 p.m. The Pride will host Wheaton in their home opener next Thursday, Nov. 29, also starting at 7 p.m.