PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Plymouth State University's men's basketball team opened the New Year Sunday afternoon with a 73-69 non-conference victory over Johnson & Wales University at the Harborside Recreation and Athletic Center.
The Panthers, who were held to 18 points below their season scoring average, improve to 8-1 overall while JWU drops to 3-4. Junior Nick Pelotte (Bingham, Maine) led the way in the victory with 15 points, seven rebounds and four assists while senior J.J. Truman (Enfield, N.H.) was also in double-figures with 14 points.
Sophomore guard Brian Fernandes (Fall River, Mass.) led the Wildcats with 19 points and five rebounds while Sam Tamargo (Los Angeles, Calif.) added 15 points and senior Rohan Russell (Providence, R.I.) 14 points in the setback.
The two teams battled back and forth evenly throughout the first half with six lead changes in the first 10 minutes. Johnson & Wales used an 11-3 run to take a 32-24 advantage with 2:57 left in the half, but the Panthers responded with an 8-0 run of their own to tie the game at 32-32 with 1:05 on the clock. JWU took the 35-32 lead into the locker room.
Johnson & Wales jumped out early in the second half and led by six (47-41) with 14:55 left in the game. Plymouth State responded, however and took a five-point lead, 52-47, with under 10 minutes left. PSU's lead would be as many as six points late in the game before junior Wascar Viscaino (Providence, R.I.) made the score 71-69 on a three-pointer with 14 seconds left in the game. That would be as close as the Wildcats would get, however as PSU senior Mike Loughlin (Manchester, N.H./West) hit a pair of free-throws to seal the victory.
Pelotte's points in the game improves his career total to 990, leaving him 10 shy of the magic 1,000-point barrier. He is likely to become the 19th men's player in Plymouth State history to reach the milestone in PSU's next game, which is Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Bowdoin.
(Courtesy of JWU Sports Information)
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