- Junior Mike Walcek (Dover, N.H.) scored 16 points Saturday afternoon to lead the Plymouth State University men's basketball team to a key 59-49 victory over the University of Massachusetts Boston in a Little East Conference contest at the Clark Athletic Center.
PSU, 15-8 overall, won its second straight conference game and maintains fourth place in the LEC with a 7-5 mark, while UMB, 14-9 overall, dropped out of sole possession of first place in the LEC and now shares the top spot with Keene State, both schools at 9-3.
UMass Boston owned a 46-45 edge with 5:56 to play in the game, before Plymouth State held the Beacons scoreless for the next 4:24, while scoring eight unanswered points. Sophomore A.J. Titus (Roxbury, Mass.) snapped UMB's scoring drought with a three-pointer at 1:32, but they would be the only points the Beacons would score in the final 5:56 of the game. The Panthers outscored the Beacons 14-3 in that time frame, fueled by a pair of three-pointers by senior Mark Dunham (Salem, N.H.)
The teams were not separated by more than six points the entire first half, with UMass Boston owning the largest margin (24-18) with 1:25 remaining. PSU scored the final four points of the stanza to cut the deficit to 24-22 at the intermission.
The Beacons netted the first six points of the second half to open up a 30-22 advantage, but the Panthers shot back with a 12-2 run to take a 34-32 margin with 15:41 left. UMass Boston went back on top with consecutive hoops for a 36-34 lead and held onto the edge until the 6:09 mark when PSU took the lead for good.
Walcek added six rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block to his day for the Panthers and Dunham finished with 11 points and three steals.
Sophomore Mark Doran (South Boston, Mass.) led UMB with a game-high 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting, while adding six rebounds. Junior Tony Barros (Dorchester, Mass.) contributed nine points and six boards, while freshman Rodney Bennett (Boston, Mass.) pulled down a season-high 12 rebounds.
The teams now head into the final week of the regular season. PSU hosts archrival Keene State on Tuesday at Foley Gymnasium (7:30 p.m.) and wraps up things up Saturday at home against Eastern Connecticut (3:00 p.m.) The Beacons travel to Southern Maine on Tuesday (7:30 p.m.) and conclude the regular season Saturday at Rhode Island College (3:00 p.m.)
(Courtesy of UMass Boston Sports Information)
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