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January 8, 2005

Pelotte and Pope lead PSU Men’s Hoop past Eastern Conn.

 PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Senior Nick Pelotte (Bingham, Maine) and sophomore Andreas Pope (Brooklyn, N.Y.) combined for 47 points Saturday afternoon to lead the Plymouth State University men's basketball team to an 80-70 victory over Eastern Connecticut State University in a Little East Conference men's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium.

              Pelotte connected on 8-of-15 from the field and 10-of-12 from the free throw line to finish with a game-high 28 points, while Pope made 9-of-13 shots, including a pair of dunks, to end up with 19 points.  Pope added a team-high 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals.  Junior Kevin Boutilier (North Andover, Mass.) also chipped in with 11 points.

              The victory was PSU's sixth in a row this season as the Panthers improved to 8-3 overall and 3-0 in conference play.  Plymouth State has also won eight straight over Eastern Conn., which dropped to 3-7 overall and 0-3 in the LEC.

              Junior Michael Stallings (Waterbury, Conn.) led the Warriors with 18 points off the bench.  Senior Mike Bartunek (Durham, Conn.) contributed 14 points off the bench, and freshman Shiwon Davis (Stratford, Conn.) led the starting unit with 11 points.

              PSU got off to a slow start and fell behind 18-7 eight minutes into the game.  The Panthers regrouped, though, outscoring the visitors 24-10 over the final eight minutes of the half to take a 39-35 lead at the break.

              The hosts then opened the second half with a 17-4 burst to build a 17-point margin (56-39), and ECSU got no closer than 10 points until the final minute of the game.

              PSU shot 55.8 percent from the floor, connecting on over 50 percent in both halves, while holding Eastern to a 38.8 percent shooting clip.  Each team collected 36 rebounds.

              The Panthers return to action Tuesday with an LEC affair at UMass Boston (7:30 p.m.).  Eastern Conn. returns home to host UMass Dartmouth on Tuesday (7:30 p.m.)

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