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February 25, 2002

Panthers to host ECAC first-round game

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - It will be an exciting evening of college basketball Wednesday night at Foley Gymnasium when the Plymouth State College men's and women's teams begin play in the 2002 ECAC New England Tournaments. Both Panthers squads earned the right to host an ECAC first-round game with outstanding regular season performances. The twinbill is open to the public, and admission is free for everyone.

PSC, 18-8 overall, is the top seed in the women's draw, and will host eighth-seeded Coast Guard, 16-10, Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. The Panther women, who will continue to play at home as long as they remain alive in the tournament, are participating in the ECAC Tourney for the third straight season and fourth time overall. The rest of the women's first-round games include #7 Wellesley at #2 Norwich, #6 Western New England at #3 Babson, and #5 Colby-Sawyer at #4 Keene State. The PSC-Coast Guard winner meets the survivor of the Keene State/Colby-Sawyer encounter on Saturday, and the championship game is Sunday at the site of the highest remaining seed. The Panther women, led by fourth-year head coach Lauren Lavigne, finished third in the Little East Conference during the regular season, and were eliminated from the LEC tournament in the semifinals by NCAA-bound Eastern Connecticut. Coast Guard, which set a school record with 16 wins this season, was upset by WPI in the first round of the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference Tournament. PSC defeated Coast Guard 73-47 back on Dec. 4 in New London, Conn., but the Bears have gone 15-5 since that decision.

Plymouth State, 16-10, is the fourth seed in the men's bracket, and will host fifth-seeded Roger Williams, also 16-10, Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. It is PSC's first post-season appearance in three years since making three straight ECAC Tournaments from 1997-99, and the seventh ECAC appearance in school history. The remainder of the men's first-round games include #8 Fitchburg State at #1 Keene State, #7 Johnson and Wales at #2 Salve Regina, #6 Gordon at #3 UMass Dartmouth. The PSC-Roger Williams winner meets the survivor of the Keene State/Fitchburg State encounter on Saturday, and the championship game is Sunday at the site of the highest remaining seed. The Panther men, led by third-year head coach John Scheinman, finished fourth in the Little East Conference during the regular season, and were eliminated from the LEC tournament in the semifinals by regular season champion Keene State. Roger Williams, which was 10-15 a year ago, finished in fourth place in the Commonwealth Coast Conference and was knocked out of the CCC Tournament in the semifinals by Colby-Sawyer.

PSC and Roger Williams did not meet this season, but the Panthers defeated the Hawks in the consolation game of the D3hoops.com Classic in Washington, DC, on Dec. 30, 2000.

Plymouth State is seeking its first ECAC Championship in either men's or women's basketball.

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