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Western Conn. nips PSC

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Western Connecticut State University overcame a 10-point second-half deficit Saturday and went on to post a 93-91 victory over Plymouth State College in a Little East Conference men's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium.

The victory improves WCSU to 7-4 overall and 1-2 in LEC action, while PSC drops to 6-4 and 1-2.

Plymouth State surged to a 55-47 halftime lead, shooting 68 percent from the floor in the opening 20 minutes. The Colonials, who connected on 50 percent of its first-half shots, drained 65 percent in the second half to help pull out the win.

Senior guard Leonard Rinas (Bristol, Conn.) was the big scorer for the Colonials, finishing with 29 points. He hit 9-of-15 from the field, including 6-of-11 from three-point range. Classmate Kevin Matthews (Ossining, N.Y.) was the only other Colonial to reach double figures, finishing with 16 points.

Senior Jason Blackburn (Hudson, Mass.) had a solid performance for the Panthers, scoring 25 points (on 10-of-18 shooting) and grabbing a game-high 10 rebounds. Junior Donnelle Combs (Mitchellville, Md.) came off the bench to score 16 points, while sophomore Ryan Chicoine (Gorham, Maine) and junior Kenny Stewart (Londonderry, N.H.) contributed 15 points apiece and freshman Nick Pelotte (Bingham, Maine) added 12.

Western Conn came back to take its first lead (67-66) on a Rinas jumper with 14:38 on the clock. The score was tied at 76-all with 8:30 to play, but WCSU went on an 8-2 run and never trailed the rest of the way. PSC got to within two points down the stretch and had the ball in the closing seconds, but couldn't get the tying basket.

The Panthers return to action Tuesday with an LEC contest at UMass Boston (7:30 p.m.). Western Connecticut visits Keene State on Tuesday (7:30 p.m.)