PLYMOUTH, NH - Two members of the Plymouth State College men basketball team have earned the top weekly honors from the Little East Conference, and for the first time this season, neither one is named Tony Martinez.
Panther sophomore forward Jason Blackburn (Hudson, Mass.) was selected LEC Player of the Week, and freshman guard Mark Dunham (Derry, NH) was named LEC Rookie of the Week. It is the first weekly honor for either player, while Martinez has been recognized nearly every week (seven times total).
Blackburn and Dunham were instrumental in PSC winning both games last week to stretch its winning streak to four. The Panthers edged Keene State in overtime, 111-110, on Tuesday, and handed UMass Boston an 83-64 defeat on Saturday.
A 6'4" center-forward, Blackburn had his best week of the season, averaging 20.0 points and 13.0 rebounds. He shot a blistering 78.9 percent from the field (15-of-19) and 75 percent from the free throw line (9-of-12), while making his only three-point attempt. He registered double-doubles in both games, racking up 19 points and 12 boards in the Keene State win and 21 points and a career-high 14 rebounds in the UMB victory.
A 6'0" shooting guard, Dunham has been PSC's top three-point shooter all season, and ranks fifth in the conference in three-point field goal percentage at .375 (36-of-96). He averaged 12.5 points last week, connecting on 61.5 percent from the field (8-of-13) and 62.5 percent from three-point range (5-of-8). Dunham also added four steals and two assists in the week.
PSC, which has won four straight for the first time this season, is 13-9 overall and 6-6 in the LEC for head coach John Scheinman. Heading into the final week of the regular season, the Panthers are locked in a three-way tie for fourth place in the conference with Eastern Connecticut and Keene State, all at 6-6, while Western Connecticut is just a game ahead at 7-5. The top four teams in the LEC get home-court advantage for the opening round of the conference tournament next Tuesday (Feb. 22).
The Panthers wrap up the regular season with a pair of games against the top two teams in the LEC. PSC travels Tuesday (Feb. 15) to Southern Maine to face the second-place Huskies (11-10, 8-4) at 7:30 p.m., and returns home Saturday (Feb. 19) to host league-leading UMass Dartmouth (14-8, 9-3) in the regular season finale at 3 p.m.
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