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PSU Men’s Basketball falls to Wheaton in Tip-Off Tournament final

              NORTON, Mass. - Freshman Anthony Coppola (Watertown, Mass.) capped his first weekend of collegiate basketball by being named Most Valuable Player of the 13th Wheaton Tip-Off Tournament, leading the Lyons to a 95-88 victory over Plymouth State University during Saturday's championship game in Emerson Gymnasium.

              Sophomore teammate Jaxon Leo (Leesburg, Va./New Hampton-N.H.) joined Coppola on the All-Tournament team as the Lyons captured their sixth Tip-Off Tournament crown. Junior Ben Huntington (Hampstead, N.H.) (right) earned All-Tournament Team honors for the Panthers.

              Norwich University downed Fairleigh Dickinson University at Florham in the consolation game, 80-68.

              In a rematch of last year's Plymouth State Tip-Off Tournament title game, won by the host, the Lyons held the Panthers to 1-of-8 shooting to begin the game, as Wheaton started 8-of-14 while forging an 18-11 lead. Plymouth State responded with a 10-1 run to take a 21-19 edge. Wheaton later led by as much as nine points (39-30), as 14 of its final 23 points of the half came on free throws.

              After Wheaton pulled away to a 61-46 lead in the second half, the Panthers rallied with a 13-2 run to pull to within four (63-59).  The Lyons answered with 10 straight points to get the lead back up to 14.  PSU got back to within three points (88-85) with 1:45 remaining, but couldn't get any closer.

              Coppola led the Lyons with 19 points on 7-of-13 shooting, Leo went 6-of-8 for 16 points, and senior Brent DiGiovanna (Hanover, Mass.) had 11 points with eight rebounds. Freshman Bud Gaffney (Berkley, Mass.) provided 13 points.

              Huntington recorded a game-high 26 points for PSU, hitting 7-of-13 field goal attempts and all nine free throws, while senior Chris Wilkinson (Newmarket, N.H.)finished with 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Sophomore Mike Chergey (Bow, N.H.) chipped in with 15 points, and sophomore Jason O'Keefe (Everett, Mass.) added 10. The Panthers shot 18-of-19 from the charity stripe.

              Plymouth State, 1-1, will play its home opener on Tuesday at Foley Gymnasium, hosting Castleton State College in a non-conference contest (7:30 p.m.)

(Courtesy of Wheaton Sports Information)

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