- Plymouth State University's men's basketball team received a post-season berth for the fourth straight season and eighth time in the last 10 years Monday with an invitation to the 2005 Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) New England Division III Tournament.
The second-seeded Panthers, 19-9, will host seventh-seeded Western New England College, 17-9, Wednesday evening (7:00 p.m.) at Foley Gymnasium in a first-round contest.
The other first-round games Wednesday include top-seeded Colby-Sawyer hosting eighth-seeded Keene State, third-seeded Wheaton entertaining sixth-seeded Emerson, and fourth-seeded Rhode Island College hosting fifth-seeded Lasell. The semifinals and championship will be at the sites of the highest remaining seeds either Friday-Saturday or Saturday-Sunday, with the announcement of the dates and sites coming Thursday morning.
Plymouth State, which went to the NCAA Tournament last season after consecutive ECAC appearances in 2002 and 2003, made this year's tournament after finishing third in the Little East Conference during the regular season (with a 9-5 record) and advancing to the championship game of the LEC Tournament. PSU fell just short of an LEC title for the third-straight year last Saturday with a heart-stopping, 135-130 double overtime epic loss to Western Connecticut in the championship game.
Western New England received the seventh seed after finishing second in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference with a 13-5 mark but falling to Johnson & Wales in the first round of the GNAC Tournament.
"We will remember the LEC Championship game against Western Conn. for many years to come," said PSU head coach John Scheinman. "We'll be telling our grandchildren about that one. It was a very tough loss to take. But this week we have to re-focus, and prepare for Western New England."
The Panthers are led by senior Nick Pelotte (Bingham, Maine), who had a sensational LEC Tournament and was named Most Outstanding Player despite not being on the winning team. He averaged 35.4 points 6.3 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 2.3 steals while shooting 49 percent from the floor (91-of-186) and 50 percent from three-point range (39-of-78).
PSU is making its ninth appearance in the ECAC Tournament. The previous showings came in 1989, 1991, 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002 and 2003. The Panthers advanced to the championship game in 1994, 1999 and 2002. Plymouth State also participated in the NCAA Tournament in 1996 and 2004.
-- 30 --