BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Plymouth State University men's basketball team was held scoreless for the final three minutes of the game Tuesday night but held on for a 55-54 victory over Bowdoin College in a non-conference contest at Morrell Gymnasium.
PSU led 55-50 with three minutes to play, but Bowdoin cut into the lead with a pair of free throws and then a layup with 1:45 on the clock. Both teams failed on their next two chances, setting up a Bowdoin possession with seven seconds remaining.
The Polar Bears had two chances to win it at the buzzer - a floater in the lane and an offensive put-back - but both shots were off the mark as Bowdoin dropped their fifth game this season by three or fewer points. The Panthers improve to 13-7 this season while the Polar Bears fall to 11-8 overall.
The Panthers were led by junior Ryan Lambert (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton) with 13 points while senior Mike Chergey (Bow, N.H.) finished with 12 and classmate Jason O'Keefe (Everett, Mass.) 11. Sophomore Will Hanley (New Canaan, Conn.) had a career-high 23 points and 11 rebounds to lead Bowdoin while senior Mark Phillips (Ashland, Mass.) pitched in 12 points and eight boards.
Plymouth State's hot shooting gave the visitors a nine-point lead heading into halftime, 36-27. The Panthers hit five three-pointers in the opening stanza, including two apiece from Chergey and junior Matt Feehan (Nashua, N.H./South) to open up as much as a 15-point advantage before Hanley responded for the home team with 11 points down the stretch to cut into the Plymouth State lead. The Polar Bears connected on 57% of their shots but committed 10 turnovers in the opening half.
Bowdoin burst out of the locker room on a 11-1 run, sparked by a Hanley three-pointer. A Phillips put-back gave Bowdoin their first lead since 2-0, 38-37 with 14 minutes remaining. Plymouth State was able to open up a five-point lead after a Lambert trifecta with six minutes to play, and maintained the five-point edge with less than three minutes to go.
Despite shooting 38% for the game, Plymouth took advantage on the offensive glass and earned 17 second-chance points on the night.
The teams return to conference play in their next outings, Bowdoin visiting Middlebury Friday at 8:00 p.m. for a NESCSC contest and Plymouth State traveling to Western Connecticut State University on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. for a Little East Conference match-up.
(Courtesy of Bowdoin Sports Information)
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