PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Senior Adam DeChristopher (Brockton, MA) scored a game-high 28 points Tuesday night to lead the Plymouth State College men's basketball team to a 91-81 victory over Rhode Island College in the opening round of the Little East Conference Tournament.
PSC, the top seed in the tourney, advances to the semi-finals, which will be held at Plymouth State Friday evening. The Panthers will face fifth-seeded Eastern Connecticut in the 8:00 p.m. game, as ECSU pulled a 68-52 upset at fourth-seeded Southern Maine Tuesday. Second-seeded Keene State, a 91-82 winner over UMass Boston Tuesday, will meet third-seeded Western Connecticut in Friday's 6:00 p.m. Semi-final in Plymouth. WCSU defeated defending champ UMass Dartmouth Tuesday in Danbury, Conn., 56-49.
DeChristopher connected on 8-of-14 field goal attempts, including 5-of-6 from three-point range. He scored PSC's first nine points in the first two minutes of the game, hitting his first three three-point attempts. The Panthers also got 17 points off the bench from junior JaModi Robinson (Framingham, MA), who hit seven of his 10 field goal attempts. Senior Todd Steffanides (Fitchburg, MA) also contributed 12 points, eight assists and four steals, and Shannon Gallagher (Plymouth, NH) added 10 points.
Plymouth State, 19-6, led by six points at the half (42-36), but opened up the second half with a 27-9 run to go ahead 69-45 with 9:07 remaining. RIC battled back to cut the lead to eight points (85-77) with 1:27 to play, but Tony Martinez (Barnstead, NH) made a basket for PSC, and DeChristopher and Steffanides made free throws down the stretch to ice the win.
The Anchormen, 6-19, got 19 points, nine rebounds and six assists from junior Will Robinson (West Warwick, RI). Senior Steve Clarke (Coventry, RI) contributed 15 points, and freshman Juan Carter (Providence, RI) added 12.
The Panthers will be meeting Eastern Connecticut Friday for the third time this season, and the second time in less than a week. PSC edged the Warriors in overtime last Saturday in Plymouth, 82-76, in a game that clinched a share of the LEC title and home-court advantage for PSC throughout the LEC Tournament. PSC also edged the Warriors in Willimantic, Conn., 60-57, on Jan. 16.
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