With the regular season now complete, the basketball teams at Plymouth State College have their sights set on winning the Little East Conference Tournaments.
The Panther men, who shared the LEC regular season title with UMass Dartmouth by going 12-2 in league games, earned the No. 2 seed in the men's tournament. Coach Paul Hogan's squad, 18-6 overall, will host seventh seeded Southern Maine Tuesday at Foley Gymnasium (7:00 p.m.), as the Huskies completed an 8-16 regular season, 4-10 in the LEC. PSC lost the tie-breaker with UMD for the No. 1 seed, due to a two-game split with third-place Keene State, while the Corsairs swept the third-place Owls.
The PSC women, who finished the regular season at 11-12 overall and 4-10 in the conference, have drawn the sixth seed in the tournament. Coach Marti Kingsley's squad will travel to third-seeded Western Connecticut Tuesday (7:00 p.m.) to take on the Colonials, who finished the regular season at 19-5 overall, 10-4 in the conference.
"We're very happy to have won a share of the regular season title," said Hogan. "We're a little disappointed that we didn't get the whole thing done, but we've had a great season. The 12-2 record is by far our best conference record ever. The thing I like about our team is that we're a good road team, with nice wins at Keene, Western Connecticut and Rhode Island College."
The regular season title for the Panther men is PSC's first and only since the 1988-89 Panthers shared the regular season crown with Southern Maine. That year, PSC hosted the tournament but USM won the tourney championship.
"USM will bring a dangerous team to Plymouth Tuesday night," said Hogan. "They have a Player of the Year-type player in Mike Fennessy, and they have been over a .500 team since he joined them. His presence alone makes them a formidable opponent."
The highest remaining seeds after Tuesday's games will host the semi-finals and final next Friday and Saturday (Feb. 27-28). Barring an upset, the men's tournament will be completed at top-seeded UMass Dartmouth, while the women's tourney will be decided at nine-time champion Southern Maine. Both LEC tournament champions will earn automatic bids to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournaments.
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