PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Showing little signs of a three-week layoff, the Plymouth State University men's basketball team shot 60 percent from the floor Tuesday evening and rolled to an 85-58 non-conference victory over Middlebury College in the first game of 2006 at Foley Gymnasium.
PSU, which won its first seven games of the season before dropping its final contest of December, improves to 8-1 on the season, while Middlebury, which also captured its first seven games before suffering a loss, dropped its second straight and dipped to 7-2.
The hosts, which shot 55 percent in the first half and 64 percent after the break, were led by junior Mike Walcek (Dover, N.H.), who connected on 7-of-10 from the field to finish with a game-high 17 points. Senior Mark Dunham (Salem, N.H.) converted all five of his shots, including four from beyond the three-point line, to finish with a season-high 16 points.
Senior Kevin Boutilier (North Andover, Mass.) and senior Charles Gaddy (Hartford, Conn.) did the work inside for the winners, Boutilier finishing with 12 points and nine rebounds and Gaddy collecting 12 points and eight boards.
Freshman Ben Rudin (Scarsdale, N.Y.) was the only Middlebury player to reach double figures in scoring, tossing in 16 points.
Plymouth State led from wire to wire. The home team went up by 10 points (19-9) midway through the opening half, but Middlebury hung around, trailing by 12 points at the break (37-25).
It was all PSU in the second half, as the hosts extended their lead to 17 points (46-29) in the first five minutes and made it a 21-point margin (57-36) with 10 minutes on the clock before coasting home with the win.
Plymouth State plays another non-conference game Thursday at Johnson & Wales University (7:30 p.m.) before returning home to host Little East Conference foe UMass Dartmouth on Saturday (3:00 p.m.) Middlebury returns home to host instate rival Norwich on Thursday (7:00 p.m.)
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