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Plymouth State falls to Southern Maine in men’s hoop

 GORHAM, Maine - Senior Jason Levecque (Westbrook, Maine) powered in a layup with seven seconds left in the game Tuesday night to lift the University of Southern Maine to an 88-87 upset win over Plymouth State University in a Little East Conference tilt at the Warren G. Hill Gymnasium.

            Southern Maine improves to 9-15 overall and 4-9 in the LEC.  Plymouth State drops to 17-7 overall and 9-4 in conference action.  Suffering their second straight conference loss, the Panthers slipped into a three-way tie atop the LEC standings with Rhode Island College and Western Connecticut State University.

            PSU meets Western Conn. in the regular season finale this Saturday in Danbury, Conn., with the conference title and the top seed in the LEC Tournament on the line.  Co-leader RIC will host fourth-place Keene State (8-5 in conference play), while USM visits UMass Dartmouth.

            In a game with nine ties and 14 lead changes, Levecque's clutch heroics began with 30 seconds to play when he drilled a three-pointer to give the Huskies a two-point edge at 86-84, following senior Ryan Garland's (Hermon, Maine) game-high 10th assist.  The Panthers answered right back, however, with senior Nick Pelotte's (Bingham, Maine) third three-ball of the game to swing the score in favor of Plymouth State, 87-86.

            Following a 30-second time out, the Huskies took it the length of the floor where a driving Mike Franceour (Somersworth, N.H.) dished off to a slashing Levecque for the game-winner.  Levecque was fouled on the play, but did not convert the free throw.  Pelotte took a jumper from the left of the key as time expired, but missed.

            Levecque and Franceour paced the Huskies with 20 points each to lead five Huskies in double-figures.  Junior Bill Hardwick (Boothbay, Maine) scored 16 points and grabbed a team-high eight rebounds off the bench for the Huskies, while Garland and junior Jesse McKinnell (Manomet, Mass.) chipped in with 10 points each.

            Pelotte finished with a double-double on 25 points and 13 rebounds, both game-highs, and added six assists and three steals.  Sophomore Andreas Pope (Brooklyn, N.Y.) was 10-of-14 from the floor en route to a 23-point, nine-rebound performance, while junior Mark Dunham (Salem, N.H.) and junior Kevin Boutilier (North Andover, Mass.) added 12 and 10 points, respectively.

            The Huskies finished the game shooting 52.5 percent (31-59) from the field including a blazing 64 percent (16-25) effort in the second half to earn the win.  Plymouth State, which averages over 50 percent for the season, hit at a 47.9 percent clip on Tuesday.

(Courtesy of USM Sports Information)

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