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January 14, 2012

PSU Men’s Basketball upsets Western Conn.

Panthers knock Colonials from top of LEC

              PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore Petey Skevas scored a team-high 16 points, handed out a career-high 11 assists and collected five steals Saturday afternoon as Plymouth State University upset Western Connecticut State University, 82-72, in a Little East Conference men's basketball game at Foley Gymnasium.

              The Panthers snapped Western's 11-game winning streak and knocked the Colonials from a share of the LEC lead.  PSU stopped its own four-game skid and improved to 5-8 overall and 1-4 in the Little East while WCSU fell to 13-2 overall and 4-1 in conference play.

              PSU used a team effort to pull out the win, with five players scoring in double figures.  Senior Brian Chergey and sophomore Mark MacGregor scored 15 points apiece, senior Jesse Sabolis chipped in with 13, and sophomore Sheldon Benson added 10.

              The Panthers shot 50 percent from the field as a team while holding Western to less than 36 percent.  WCSU senior DaQuan Brooks, the two-time LEC  Player of the Year who's averaging more than 25 points a game this season and was coming off a career-high 46-point effort Tuesday at Keene State, wound up with 25 points but made only 7-of-23 shots against the PSU defense, including just 3-of-15 from three-point range.  Senior Gary Robinson also produced a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards.

              Brooks did provide a big highlight in the first half for the Colonials.  His basket and free throw for a traditional three-point play with six minutes remaining broke Western Connecticut's 45-year-old career scoring mark.  Brooks finished the game with 1,835 points, eclipsing the mark of 1,813 by John Osborne from 1963-67.

              The score was close the entire first half, with six ties and seven lead changes. Neither team led by more than five points, and Skevas made two free throws with no time on the clock to give PSU a 35-34 lead at the intermission.

              The Panthers started to pull away in the second half, getting the lead up to six points, but Western went on a 14-6 surge to take a two-point lead with just over 10 minutes to play, capped by a three-point by Brooks.  PSU answered with 12 unanswered points to regain the lead for good, 63-53.  Keying the rally were a pair of baskets by Benson and a three-point play by Sabolis.

              Western got back to within five points with 1:26 to play, but PSU answered with six unanswered points to hold off the Colonial challenge.

              Both teams play their in-state LEC rivals on the road this Tuesday, Plymouth State traveling to Keene State and Western Connecticut visiting Eastern Connecticut. 

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