PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Keene State College went on a 16-4 run midway through the second half Tuesday night, and the Owls went on to post a 69-63 victory over Plymouth State College in a key Little East Conference men's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium
PSC trailed most of the game, but battled back to overcome a 13-point first half deficit (26-13) to take a one-point lead (47-46) with 11 minutes remaining in the game. But the Owls responded with eight straight points to take a seven-point advantage with eight minutes on the clock, and PSC could get no closer than three points the rest of the way.
Keene State (18-6) joins Plymouth State (17-6) in a tie for second place in the LEC, both with 9-4 conference records. They are a game behind Western Connecticut (10-3), with one game remaining in the regular season.
The Owls had a balanced offensive attack, with four players scoring in doubles figures. Juniors Alphonse Michalski (Northampton, Mass.) and Brandon Johanson (Hopewell Jct., N/Y.) finished with 15 and 14 points, respectively, while classmate Matt Wheeler (Shrub Oak, N.Y) added 13 and junior Chris Timson (Beverly, Mass.) chipped in with 10. Senior Derek Swenson (Attleboro, Mass.), who was averaging 14 points a game, was limited to five points.
Senior Kenny Stewart (Londonderry, N.H.) led the Panthers with 17 points, including a significant milestone. Stewart's jumper with seven minutes remaining in the second half pushed him over the 1,000-point barrier for his career, making him the 18th player in PSC men's basketball history to reach the milestone. Sophomore Anthony Oglesby (Brooklyn, N.Y.) added 15 points and seven rebounds, and sophomore Matt Budrow (Round Pond, Maine) added seven points and seven rebounds off the Panther bench.
PSC's leading scorer, sophomore Nick Pelotte (Bingham, Maine), suffered an ankle injury in the first half after scoring seven points, and did not return.
Plymouth State has a non-conference encounter Thursday at Castleton State (7:00 p.m.) before wrapping up the regular season Saturday at home against Rhode Island College (3:00 p.m.). Keene State's final regular-season game is Saturday against UMass Dartmouth.