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Salem State hands PSU Men’s Basketball first loss of season

SALEM, Mass. - Senior pre-season All-America Eric Downie (Medford, Mass.) and classmate Brandon McCombs (Springfield, Mass.) both collected double-doubles Thursday night as Salem State College won its third straight game with an 87-70 victory over previously undefeated Plymouth State University in a non-conference men's basketball game at James Twohig Gymnasium.

Downie finished with a game-high 24 points and 11 rebounds, making 10 of 20 shots from the floor, while McCombs added 13 points and 10 boards. Sophomore Dylan Holmes (Groton, Mass.) chipped in with 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting, and freshman point guard Nick Tokarski (Springfield, Mass.) finished with four points and 10 assists.

The Panthers got a strong performance from freshman Mike Chergey (Bow, N.H.), who converted 8-of-13 shots from the field and finished with a season-high 20 points. Senior Devin Ruocco (Dover, N.H.) added 18 points for the Panthers, making four three-pointers, and classmate Mike Walcek (Dover, N.H.) finished with 16 points and a team-high seven rebounds.

It was a tight game the first 11 minutes, but SSC went on a 29-7 run en route to a 52-30 lead at the intermission. The Vikings led by as many as 26 points (56-30) early in the second half with the Panthers only getting as close as 11 (67-56) with 7:18 to play.

Salem State shot 58 percent from the field in the first half but just 32 percent after the break, while PSU connected at just a 27 percent in the first 20 minutes and 42 percent in the second frame. Salem State collected a 48-37 advantage on the boards.

PSU returns to Little East Conference action Saturday at Foley Gymnasium against Western Connecticut (3:00 p.m.), while SSC's next game is next Tuesday at home against Newbury College (7:00 p.m.)

(Courtesy of Salem State Sports Information)

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