PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Plymouth State University recorded the first NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament victory in school history Thursday night, knocking off Castleton State College, 75-57, in a first round match-up at Foley Gymnasium.
The Panthers, 24-5 overall, advance to the second round where they will face Amherst College Saturday at 7:00 p.m. in Amherst, Mass. The upset-minded Spartans conclude the season at 16-13.
Freshman Andreas Pope (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and junior Anthony Oglesby (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led the Panther contingent, two of five PSU players who scored in double figures. Pope finished with a team-high 19 points after connecting on 6-of-7 from the field, including three power dunks in the second half. Oglesby recorded his 12th double-double of the season, scoring 14 points and collecting a game-high 14 rebounds. Pope and Oglesby also had four steals apiece.
The three other Panthers who scored in double figures included senior Mike Loughlin (Manchester, N.H.), who had 11 points, and senior J.J. Truman (Enfield, N.H.) and junior Nick Pelotte (Bingham, Maine) added 10 points apiece.
Senior Sean Manovill (Bomoseen, Vt.) led the Castleton State effort, scoring 19 points. Senior Bill Jones (Clayville, N.Y.) added 12 points, a team-high eight rebounds and six steals, and senior Dan Bevis (Athol, Mass.) chipped in with 10 points.
It was anyone's game for the first 10 minutes, with the visitors holding an 18-15 advantage midway through the first half. PSU went on a 12-2 surge to pull ahead 27-20 with four minutes to go in the half, and settled for a 29-22 lead at the intermission.
Plymouth State built its lead up to double digits early in the second half, and maintained a 39-29 advantage with 15:43 on the clock. But the Spartans would not go away quietly, going on a 10-1 spurt to pull to within one point (40-39) with 12 minutes to go.
The hosts regrouped, however, responding with eight straight points and 22 of the next 24 to go ahead 62-41 with 6:50 remaining, and Castleton State never challenged the rest of the way.
PSU continued its strong defense and rebounding, holding the Spartans to a 39.7 shooting percentage and recording a 45-27 advantage on the boards. The Panthers also made 26-of-33 from the free throw line, while CSC was just 3-for-8 from the stripe.
Plymouth State extended its school record for wins in a season. The previous mark was set by the 1998-99 squad, which finished 22-8. The only other Panther team to participate in the NCAA Tournament was the 1996 unit, which lost at Williams College in the first round.
-- 30 --