PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Junior Mike Chergey (Bow, N.H.) and sophomore Ryan Lambert (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton) scored 23 points apiece Saturday afternoon to lead the Plymouth State University men's basketball team to a 91-76 victory over Western Connecticut State University in a Little East Conference game at Foley Gymnasium.
The Panthers rebounded from a sub-par performance in Thursday's non-conference loss at Lyndon State to wrap up the first semester of conference play with a win, improving to 3-5 overall and 2-0 in LEC games. WestConn dropped its third straight game and heads into the holiday break at 4-5 and 0-2.
Chergey made 10-of-14 field goal attempts for his 23 points, while Lambert made 8-of-10 shots overall, including 3-of-5 from three-point range, for his career-high 23 points. Senior Ben Huntington (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton) added 16 points and five assists and junior Jason O'Keefe (Everett, Mass.) chipped in with 10 points.
Freshman Leroy Mayers (Bronx, N.Y.) and senior Dashon Jennings (Bridgeport, Conn.) shared team-high scoring honors for WestConn with 13 points apice, while freshman Daquan Brooks (Bristol, Conn.) finished with 12 points and five assists.
The first half was anyone's game, with seven lead changes and neither team leading by more than six points. WestConn made a pair of free throws in the final seconds to cut the PSU lead to 43-41 heading into the locker room.
The Panthers started the second half with a 10-1 run to open up an 11-point margin (53-42). PSU pulled away to its largest lead, 65-49, with 13 minutes remaining. WestConn closed to within seven points twice in the last five minutes, the last time at 82-75 with three minutes to play, but Chergey made back-to-back buckets to get the lead back up to 11 and seal the win for the home team.
PSU has one more game before the break for final exams and the holidays, Sunday at Dartmouth College at 2:00 p.m. Western is back on the court with a home game on Wednesday, Jan. 7, against Green Mountain College (7:00 p.m.)
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