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PSC falls in LEC opener to defending champs

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Sophomore Steve Patrick (Lynn, Mass.) came off the bench to score 20 points in 12 minutes Saturday at Foley Gymnasium, leading the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth to a 95-76 victory over Plymouth State College in the Little East Conference men's basketball opener for both schools.

The victory improves UMD to 5-1 overall, while PSC falls to 3-2. The Corsairs have knocked off the Panthers six straight times.

Patrick hit 7-of-9 field goal attempts, including 3-of-4 from three-point range, to lead a group of six Corsairs who scored in double figures. Senior Brian Austin (Winchendon, Mass.) tossed in 17 points, and senior Ryan Cassidy (Framingham, Mass.), juniors Carl Stephens (Lynn, Mass.) and Brian Cagle (Norwich, Conn.) and freshman Chris Lapriore (Grafton, Mass.) each contributed 10 points.

Sophomore Mike Loughlin (Manchester, N.H./West), who had a career-high 26 points in Thursday's victory over Salem State, came back with a solid 18-point effort against UMD to lead all PSC scorers. Junior Kenny Stewart (Londonderry, N.H.) added a strong all-around game with 17 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals, and freshman Nick Pelotte (Bingham, Maine) came off the bench with 10 points, five assists and three steals.

The visitors led the entire game, building a double-digit lead midway through the first half and never looking back. PSC was able to cut the deficit to six points at the half (48-42), but the Corsairs opened the second half with a 15-6 run to take a 15-point advantage (63-48). UMD went up by 20 points (74-54) with 9:50 remaining, and PSC didn't challenge the rest of the way.

The Panthers return to action this Tuesday (Dec. 4), participating in the Granite State Challenge at New Hampshire Technical Institute in Concord, sponsored by Jacob's Bridge Through Autism. PSC will take on New England College in the opener at 5:30 p.m., followed by the Keene State vs. Colby-Sawyer match-up at 7:30 p.m.