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March 1, 1999

PSC Men's Hoop to make fourth straight post-season appearance

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Plymouth State College men's basketball team will make its fourth straight post-season appearance Wednesday (Mar. 3), hosting Wheaton College at Foley Gymnasium in a quarter-final game of the ECAC Division III New England Tournament.

The Panthers are the top seed in the eight-team field, and will have home-court advantage as long as they remain alive. The semi-finals are slated for Friday (Mar. 5) at the sites of the top two remaining seeds, with the championship game set for Sunday (Mar. 7) at the home of the highest remaining seed.

"Naturally we were disappointed in coming so close to making the NCAA Tournament," said PSC first-year head coach Jim Ferry. "But we're excited that the ECAC selection committee has recognized the outstanding season we've had, and seeded us first. We're determined to end our season on a positive note, and we're going to do everything we can to win this tournament."

The other quarterfinal games Wednesday include No. 7 Colby-Sawyer at No. 2 Williams, No. 6 Salem State at No. 3 Colby, and No. 5 Amherst at No. 4 Keene State.

Plymouth State brings a 20-7 overall record into the tourney, only the third 20-win campaign in the school's history. (The 1988-89 team went 20-7 and the 1993-94 squad finished 20-10). PSC shared the Little East Conference regular season title with Keene State, both going 11-3 in conference games. The Panthers advanced to the LEC Tournament championship game with victories over Rhode Island College and Eastern Connecticut, but fell in the title game to Western Connecticut.

Wheaton will bring a 17-9 overall record into the ECAC Tournament. The Lyons finished with a 8-4 record in the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) and knocked off MIT in the first round of the NEWMAC Tournament before falling to Springfield in the semi-finals.

This will be PSC's third straight appearance in the ECAC New England Tournament, and sixth overall. The Panthers also went to the ECAC's in 1989, 1991, 1994, 1997, and 1998, advancing to the championship game in 1994, making it to the semi-finals in 1997, and falling in the opening round at Colby Sawyer last season. PSC also went to the NCAA Tournament in 1996.

This year's Panther team features a strong senior class, led by point-guard Adam DeChristopher (Brockton, MA), the two-time LEC Player of the Year. Other key players include forwards Eric McQueen (Lawrence, MA) and Tony Martinez (Barnstead, NH), center Jamal Pettiford-Jones (Portsmouth, NH) and guard Todd Steffanides (Fitchburg, MA).

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