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Panthers down ECSU to move to 7-1

PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Guards Kenny Stewart (Londonderry, N.H.) and Nick Pelotte (Bingham, Maine) scored 16 points apiece Saturday afternoon at Foley Gymnasium, leading Plymouth State College's men's basketball team to a 75-60 Little East Conference victory over Eastern Connecticut State University.

The victory, PSC's third straight, gives the Panthers a 7-1 overall record (2-0 LEC) through the first semester, the best start since the 1993-94 team also started the season at 7-1. Eastern drops to 3-4 overall and 1-1 in conference play.

Stewart hit 6-of-9 field goal tries and added a team-high six assists, while Pelotte's points were well below his 24-points-a-game average. Sophomore Matt Budrow (Round Pond, Maine) came off the bench to add career-highs of 13 points and nine rebounds, and sophomore Anthony Oglesby (Brooklyn, N.Y.) chipped in with 10 points and six boards.

The visitors had three players reach double figures in the scoring department - senior Christopher Morgan (Higganum, Conn.) with 13, junior Steven Barunek (Durham, Conn.) with 12, and classmate Michael Kipphut (Meriden, Conn.) with 10.

Eastern led most of the first half, holding a 10-point lead (26-16) with six minutes left before the break, but PSC rallied with an 18-6 run to take a 34-32 halftime lead.

It was a one-point game (PSC leading 43-42) with 12:40 on the second-half clock, but again the Panthers rallied, pushing the lead back to 11 (61-50) with seven minutes left. Eastern cut the deficit to six (61-55) a minute later, but the Panthers outscored the Warriors 14-5 over the final six minutes to win going away.

The Panthers shot 50 percent for the game (29-58), while holding ECSU to a 37 percent rate. The hosts also had a 39-33 advantage on the boards.

PSC is now idle for final exams and the holiday break. The Panthers are back in action on Tuesday, Dec. 31, with a non-conference game at Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers, Fla. (3:30 p.m.).