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February 10, 2009

PSU Men’s Basketball downs Keene State in overtime

(Game Box

              KEENE, N.H. - Plymouth State University outscored Keene State College 10-2 in overtime Tuesday night to post a 78-70 Little East Conference men's basketball victory at Spaulding Gym.

              Junior guard Eric Hondal (Miami, Fla.) and sophomore forward Tom Dowd (Portsmouth, N.H.) hit key free throws in the closing minute of the extra session to give the rival Panthers the win.  The Panthers improve to 10-12 and 6-5 in the LEC, while the Owls are now 10-11 overall and 6-5 in conference play.  Both teams are tied for third in the Little East.

              With an earlier 71-63 in Plymouth, PSU swept the season series.  Overall, PSU moved ahead of KSC 52-51 in the longtime series between the two teams.

              The loss disappointed a capacity "Code Red" Owl crowd, who packed the gym to support KSC field hockey player Erin Dallas.  The junior from Marlow, N.H. had been hospitalized since developing a post-surgical infection following ACL surgery in mid-December.

              Senior Ben Huntington (Hampstead, N.H.) led the Panthers with 19 points, while sophomore Ryan Lambert (Derry, N.H.) came off the bench to toss in 16 points.

              Senior Tyler Kathan (Ludlow, Vt.) finished with a game-high 20 points and 12 rebounds for the Owls.  Freshman Derek D'Amours (Agawam, Mass.) added 16 points and freshman Cody Snow (Leyden, Mass.) had a season-high 14 points.

              Kathan scored 14 first-half points, including a three-pointer at the buzzer to send the Owls to the locker room with a slim 38-37 lead. Huntington had nine first half points for the Panthers.

               Lambert hit a pair of free throws to put the Panthers up 66-60 with 4:22 to play in the second half. Huntington later hit a hoop to make it 68-61 with 2:02 to go. Kathan connected for a pop shot in the lane to cut the deficit to three points with 1:11 to play, and D'Amours hit a three -pointer to knot the score at 68-all with 32 seconds on the clock.

              The Panthers held the ball for the final shot.  Junior Mike Chergey's (Bow, N.H.) desperation shot came up short, sending the game into overtime.

              Junior Bryan Tracy (Manchester, N.H./Central) hit a lay-up in overtime to put PSU up 71-68.  A minute later, he hit one of two free throws to make it a 72-70 game. After Keene was forced to foul, Hondal and Dowd sealed the win by hitting free throws. Keene State shot 1-of-8 in the extra session.

              Both teams struggled from three-point land. The Owls hit just four of 20 attempts while the Panthers connected on four of 18 shots from behind the circle.

              Keene State and Plymouth State are on the road for LEC games on Saturday.  The Owls travel to Western Conn. and the Panthers head to UMass-Boston. 

(Courtesy of Keene State Sports Information) 

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