PLYMOUTH, NH - Eastern Connecticut State University outscored Plymouth State College 22-7 in the second overtime Saturday, handing the Panthers their fourth straight defeat, 105-90, in a Little East Conference men's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium.
The two teams were tied at 72-all at the end of regulation and at 83-apiece at the end of regulation. The overtimes were a parade of players fouling out, as five Warriors and five Panthers were each called for their fifth foul.
Junior Tony Martinez (Barnstead, NH) led the Panthers with 27 points and five rebounds before fouling out. Three other Panthers reached double figures in scoring - Kenny Stewart (Londonderry, NH) with 13, JaModi Robinson (Framingham, Mass) with 11, and Mark Dunham (Derry, NH) with 10.
The Warriors got 30 points and 17 rebounds from senior Jay Wetherell (Milford, Conn) and 23 points and nine assists from sophomore Rich Vega (Hartford, Conn). Manny Robertson (Burlington, VT) added 17 points and Tom Gostomski (Meriden, Conn.) chipped in with 15.
The Panthers led by as much as 15 points (56-41) with 12 minutes remaining in regulation, but ECSU whittled away at the lead. The Warriors cut the Panther lead to one several times in the final minutes of regulation, and Stewart made one of two free throws for PSC with 18 seconds remaining to make it a three-point PSC lead (72-69), but Vega drained a three-pointer with 10 seconds left to force the first overtime.
ECSU took a two point lead in the closing seconds of the first extra period. Stewart and Dan Craig (Chelmsford, Mass.) each hit the front end of a one-and-one but couldn't make the second, and the teams went into the second OT.
The Panthers ran out of gas in the second overtime with five players on the bench fouled out and two others sitting with injuries, and ECSU ran away with the win. Wetherell scored 11 points in the final overtime and Vega added four.
ECSU improves to 8-8 overall and 3-4 in the LEC, while PSC drops to 9-7 and 3-4. The Panthers are home again Tuesday (Jan. 25) to host LEC foe Southern Maine (7:30 p.m.)
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