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January 8, 2009

PSU Men’s Hoop defeats UMaine Farmington

(Game Box

              PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Three Plymouth State University players combined to score 63 points Thursday evening as the Panthers defeated the University of Maine Farmington, 78-65, in a non-conference men's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium.

              Junior Jason O'Keefe (Everett, Mass.) led all scorers with 25 points for the Panthers, while senior Ben Huntington (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton) and junior Bryan Tracy (Manchester, N.H./Central) added 19 points apiece.  Tracy made 7-of-11 shots from the field, including 5-of-8 from three-point range, while O'Keefe drained 9-of-19 overall and 4-of-9 from beyond the arc.  Huntington converted 6-of-9 from the floor and added a team-high seven assists as the Panthers stopped a two-game losing skid and improved to 5-7 overall.

              Sophomore Eric Taylor (Oakland, Maine) came off the bench to score a team-high 16 points for the Beavers.  Junior Josh Tanguay (Gorham, Maine) added 14 points and senior Pat Howell (Nobleboro, Maine) chipped in with 11 as UMD suffered the loss in its first game back from winter break, falling to 3-5 overall.

              The Panthers never trailed in the contest, taking an early lead and extending it to double digits (22-12) midway through the opening half.  PSU maintained the advantage and took a 41-30 lead into the locker room.  O'Keefe scored 18 first-half points for PSU, making four of his seven three-point shots.

              Plymouth State held the lead the entire second half, but UMF did not go home without a battle.  The Beavers got the deficit down to four points three times in the second half, the last one coming with seven minutes remaining, 61-57, but PSU responded with nine straight points to get the margin back up to 13 points with 2:30 remaining, sealing the victory.

              UMF shot 53.5 percent from the field for the game and PSU connected at a 49 percent clip, but the Panthers had a 34-20 advantage on the glass.  The home team also sank 11 three-pointers while the visitors made just three.

              PSU returns to Little East Conference action on Saturday, visiting pre-season favorite Rhode Island College for a 3:00 p.m. tilt.  UMD returns home to host Bowdoin College on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. 

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