WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Juniors Jason O'Keefe (Everett, Mass.) and Bryan Tracy (Manchester, N.H./Central) combined for 42 points Saturday afternoon as Plymouth State University opened Little East Conference play with a 71-59 victory over Eastern Connecticut State University at Geissler Gymnasium.
O'Keefe, who had a career-high 28 points two nights ago at Tufts, finished with a game-high 22 points against Eastern, connecting on 8-of-13 from the field, while Tracy added a season-high 20 points, including three three-point baskets. They helped PSU snap a two-game losing skid and improve to 3-4 overall (1-0 in the LEC), while ECSU drops to 3-4 overall (0-1 in conference play).
Sophomore Tom Dowd (Portsmouth, N.H.) also finished in double figures for the Panthers with 11 points.
Sophomore Broderick Sawyer (Norwalk, Conn.) and freshman Jeremy Thompson (Berlin, Conn.) led the Warriors, Sawyer with a team-high 17 points and Thompson with a double-double of 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Dowd and O'Keefe keyed a run of 10 straight points midway through the second half that helped Plymouth State to the win. With the score tied at 47-all, Dowd completed a three-point play, and O'Keefe followed by sinking a three-pointer and dropping in consecutive layups around at Eastern turnover to give Plymouth a 57-47 lead with 6:20 left. Dowd set up O'Keefe's three-point field goal with a defensive rebound. O'Keefe then stole the ball and went in alone for his second bucket in that run, and Dowd's pass set up O'Keefe for his third basket.
During a 17-8 run over 10 minutes in the second half, Plymouth held Eastern without a field goal. The Warriors scored their eight points on 12 free throw tries in that span. After Eastern tied the game at 45-all with 10:08 left, Eastern did not convert from the floor until there were just two minutes left.
PSU is back in action Thursday with a non-conference game at Lyndon State (7:30 p.m.)
(Courtesy of Eastern Connecticut Sports Information)
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