PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Junior Mike Chergey (Bow, N.H./Bow) and senior Ben Huntington (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton) combined to score 51 points Saturday evening to lead Plymouth State University to a 79-69 victory over Bard College in the first game of the Days Inn of Campton Men's Basketball Tip-Off Tournament at Foley Gymnasium.
Chergey scored a game-high 28 points on 13-of-20 shooting, mostly from the inside, while Huntington added 23 points on 10-of-17 shooting, mostly from the perimeter. Junior Bryan Tracy (Manchester, N.H./Central) chipped in with eight points and a game-high 11 rebounds as PSU won its season opener for the eighth straight season.
The Panthers will play in the tournament championship game Sunday at 4:00 p.m. at Foley Gym, while Bard will play in the consolation game at 2:00 p.m. PSU will face Wheaton College in the title game, as the Lyons defeated Centenary College (N.J.) in Saturday's second game, 82-72.
Several Bard players had strong performances on Saturday. Junior Justin White (New York, N.Y.) scored a team-high 27 points and pulled down eight rebounds, while sophomore James Martin (Atlanta, Ga.) added 22 points.
Bard had the lead the first four minutes of the game, but PSU rallied and held the lead the rest of the first half. The biggest margin was 12 points (31-19) with six minutes to play, but Bard whittled the lead down to three points at the half, 41-38.
The visiting Raptors took a brief lead early in the second half, and held a one-point advantage, 54-53, with 10 minutes left, but PSU regained the lead for good with 9:49 remaining. It was a five-point Panther margin with 2:45 on the clock, when PSU scored six straight points to get the lead back to double digits with less than a minute remaining.
The game marked the return to the sideline for PSU coach John Scheinman, who was on a leave of absence last season.
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