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Strong second half leads PSU Men’s Hoop past New England College

CONCORD, N.H. - Plymouth State University's men's basketball team outscored New England College 45-20 in the second half Tuesday evening, turning a one-point game at halftime into a 73-47 rout in the first game of the Jacob's Bridge Through Autism Tournament, held at New Hampshire Technical Institute.

The Panthers remain undefeated (3-0) on the season, while NEC suffered its first loss (2-1). Keene State edged Colby-Sawyer, 81-80, in the second game of the sixth annual event, leaving the Owls unbeaten (4-0) on the season and the Chargers with their first loss (2-1).

Plymouth State, which shot only 37 percent from the field en route to a 28-27 lead, regrouped to shoot 56 percent in the second half. The Panthers came out of the locker room with a 14-4 run to take a double-digit lead (42-31) with 14 minutes on the clock. The Pilgrims were within a dozen (50-38) with 11 minutes to play, but PSU went on a 13-2 burst to go up by 23 and put the game away.

Junior Andreas Pope (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led the Panther onslaught with 25 points and six assists, converting 10-of-15 from the field. Senior Kevin Boutilier (North Andover, Mass.) was the only other PSU player to score in double figures, finishing with 13 points.

The Panthers had a 45-36 advantage on the boards, and it was a team rebounding effort. Four players had five rebounds, and three others collected four apiece.

Sophomore Ryan Jaziri (Norwich, Conn.) led the Pilgrims with 18 points, while classmate Kingsley Onyechi (Lowell, Mass.) added 10 points. Junior Antoine Sylvia (Brockton, Mass.) led all rebounders with a game-high 12 boards.

PSU returns home to host Salem State in a non-conference game Thursday at Foley Gymnasium (7:30 p.m.) The Panthers will travel to defending Little East Conference champion Western Connecticut Saturday for the LEC opener (3:00 p.m.)

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