Chergey tops Panthers with season-high scoring
KEENE, N.H. – Sophomore Ryan Martin (Wayne, Me.) scored 25 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field, 3-of-4 from behind the arc and a perfect six-for-six from the line to lead Keene State College to a 94-85 victory over Plymouth State University in a Little East Conference men’s basketball game at Spaulding Gymnasium.
Keene State, which has won three straight, improves to 13-5 and moves into a tie for second place in the LEC with a 5-3 mark. Plymouth State (8-9, 3-5 LEC) saw its two-game winning streak come to an end.
Juniors Anthony Mariano (Naugatuck, Conn.) and Ollie Hunter (Bedford, N.H.) added double-figures for the winners with 14 and 13 points, respectively, and they both finished with eight rebounds.
The Panthers placed five players in double-figures. Junior Brian Chergey (Bow, N.H.) led the way with 18 points, seniors Ian Dempsey (Andover, Mass.), Ryan Lambert (Derry, N.H.) and Tom Dowd (Portsmouth, N.H.) each finished with 13 points, and senior Matt Feehan (Nashua, N.H.) added 11 points. Lambert had a game-high nine rebounds.
Playing a strong defensive first half, the Owls turned a block by sophomore Rashad Wright (Agawam, Mass.) into a three-pointer by junior Anthony Mariano (Naugatuck, Conn.) at the other end of the court. Junior Derek D’Amours (Agawam, Mass.) followed with another hoop from behind the arc to stake KSC to a 27-13 lead at the 10:22 mark.
The Panthers used a 16-4 run to get back into the game. A conventional three-point play by senior Bill Stowell (Stratham, N.H.) cut the Owls lead to 31-29 with 5:19 to go. The Owls scored the final nine points of the half, capped off by a pair of free throws by sophomore Ryan Bourgeois (Bedford, N.H.) to take a 49-37 at the break. Martin hit all three of his shots from behind the arc on the way to finishing with 13 first half points.
KSC maintained its advantage early in the second half. With KSC up 63-50, PSU strung together seven straight points to close the gap to 63-57 on a corner three-pointer by Chergey. A three-pointer by Feehan made it a 69-66 game at the 8:29 mark. D’Amours, who finished with 19 points, scored five straight points and Martin followed with a scoop shot in the lane to make it 80-70 with 6:06 to go.
The Panthers made one last run at the Owls. A top-of-the-key three-pointer by Chergey cut the deficit to five points (85-80) with 2:40 to play. Lambert converted another three-pointer in PSU’s next possession to make it 85-83 with 2:10 to play. D’Amours answered with a lay-up and a pair of free throws to put KSC up 89-83.
A basket by Dowd made it 89-85 with 54.6 seconds on the clock. Martin was fouled on the Owls next possession. He hit both shots to give KSC a 91-85 lead with 49.2 seconds to go. After a missed Panther shot, Mariano was fouled in the rebound action. He made one of two shots to put KSC up 92-85. Martin, who leads Division III in free throw pct., put the game away with two more free throws to account for the final score.
The overall series between the two in-state rivals is tied at 53-53.
Keene State is at Southern Maine on Saturday (3 p.m.). PSU travels to Johnson State on Thursday (7:30 p.m.).
(Courtesy of Keene State Sports Information)
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