PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Senior Tony Martinez (Barnstead, N.H.) scored 26 points Saturday, leading a group of five Plymouth State College players in double figures, as the Panthers defeated Western Connecticut 92-74 in a Little East Conference men's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium.
Martinez connected on 10-of-16 field goal attempts, including a team-high three successful three-point tries. Junior Jason Blackburn (Hudson, Mass.) hit 7-of-14 shots to finish with 19 points to go along with his team-leading eight rebounds. Sophomore Kenny Stewart (Londonderry, N.H.) came off the bench to chip in with 14 points, freshman Frankie Finklea (Dorchester, Mass.) added 11 points, and sophomore Dan Craig (Chelmsford, Mass.) chipped in with 10.
The victory moves PSC back over the .500 mark at 9-8 overall and 4-3 in the LEC. Western Connecticut drops to 9-7 overall and 5-4 in conference play.
The Colonials had two players score in double figures. Junior Kevin Matthews (Ossining, N.Y.) scored 20 points while dishing out eight assists, and classmate Leonard Rinas (Bristol, Conn.) came off the bench to contribute 13 points, nine coming from three-point range.
Western held a slim lead during the first eight minutes of the contest, but PSC went on a 26-7 run to take a 17-point advantage (43-26) with 3:27 to play in the half. The Panthers held on for a 14-point lead (47-33) at the break.
The Colonials chipped away at the deficit during the second half, twice coming to within four points (61-57 with 9:39 to play and 63-59 with 8:41 remaining), but the Panthers went on a 14-4 run to regain a double-digit lead and then won going away.
Plymouth State gets right back into action Sunday (Jan. 28) with a LEC contest at arch-rival Keene State (1 p.m.), a game that will be televised live on WMUR-TV. WCSU plays a non-conference match-up Wednesday (Jan. 31) at Lasell (7 p.m.).