CONCORD, N.H. - Junior Ben Huntington (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton), and sophomore Mike Chergey (Bow, N.H.) combined for 46 points Tuesday evening as Plymouth State University defeated New England College, 89-75, in the opening game of the annual Jacob's Bridge Through Autism Classic, hosted by New Hampshire Technical Institute.
Huntington made 10 of his 17 field goal attempts, including 3-of-8 from three-point range, to score a game-high 26 points, while Chergey connected on 8-of-12 from the field and finished with 20 points. Sophomore Bryan Tracy (Manchester, N.H./Central) also reached double figures in scoring with 13 points.
Leading the way for the Pilgrims was Roosevelt Dale (Providence, R.I.) who finished with a team-high 13 points and nine rebounds, while Ryan Jaziri (Norwich, Conn.) and Christian Howell (Mattapan, Mass.) each finished with 10 points.
It was anyone's game for the first 10 minutes, and NEC held a four-point lead with nine minutes to play in the first half. But PSU turned it up a notch in the last nine minutes, outscoring the Pilgrims 25-6, to take a 45-30 lead into the locker room. Huntington scored nine points in the stretch, while Jaziri had all six NEC points on a pair of three-pointers, the last one of the half coming with just under four minutes on the clock.
The Panthers drained three straight three-pointers to open the second half, two by Tracy and one by freshman Ian Dempsey (Andover, Mass.), pushing the lead up to 24 points. Then Huntington hit consecutive threes to make it a 28-point game, and never challenged the rest of the way.
In the second game of the evening, Keene State remained unbeaten in the eight-year history of the event with a 76-60 victory over Colby-Sawyer College. The tournament benefits Jacob's Bridge Through Autism, an organization that provides assistance and raises awareness for families with children that have autism.
PSU, 3-1, returns home to host Salem State College Thursday evening at Foley Gymnasium (7:30 p.m.). NEC, 1-3, plays Thursday at Newbury College (7:00 p.m.)
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