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PSU Men’s Basketball defeats UMass Dartmouth

 PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Senior Nick Pelotte (Bingham, Maine) scored 25 points Saturday afternoon to help lead Plymouth State University's men's basketball team to a 86-76 Little East Conference victory over the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth at Foley Gymnasium.

              Pelotte, who leads the LEC with 25.2 points per game, also handed our six assists and made three steals.  He scored 16 points in the second half, and got 10 of his 25 points from the free throw line.  PSU has now won 11 of its last 13 to improve to 13-5 overall and 7-2 in conference play, while UMD, which has made 11 NCAA and five ECAC appearances since 1984, dropped to 9-9 overall and 3-6 in the LEC.

              Pelotte got offensive help from junior Kevin Boutilier (North Andover, Mass.) and senior Matt Budrow (Round Pond, Maine).  Boutilier made all eight of his shots to finish with 17 points, 12 coming in the first half, while Budrow finished with 13 points and a team-high nine rebounds.

              Junior Chris Lapriore (Grafton, Mass.), sophomore Paul Pawlowski (Taunton, Mass.) and senior Joe Britto (New Bedford, Mass.) combined for 58 of UMD's 76 points.  Lapriore led the team with 20 points, while Pawlowski and Britto added 19 apiece.

              Plymouth State never trailed in the game, taking a 20-10 lead eight minutes into the first half and never looking back.  PSU enjoyed a double-digit lead most of the first half before settling for a seven-point margin (42-35) at intermission.

              The Panthers led by as much as 14 points in the second half (51-37), but UMD rattled off a 15-2 spurt to pull to within a point (53-52) with 12 minutes to play.  PSU never lost the lead, and got it back up to 10 points (73-63) with three minutes on the clock.  The Corsairs again fought back and narrowed the margin to six points with under a minute to play, but PSU sealed the win by making six straight free throws in the final 18 seconds.

              PSU shot a blistering 58.8 percent from the field for the game, while UMD converted at only a 38.9 percent clip.  The Panther also had a 40-28 advantage on the glass.

              Plymouth State gets back into action on Tuesday at Foley Gymnasium, hosting Bowdoin in a make-up game from one that was postponed on Jan. 6.  UMD returns home to host Salem State on Tuesday (7:00 p.m.)

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