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Keene State rallies past PSU Men’s Basketball

MacGregor with top performance for Panthers

              KEENE, N.H. – The Keene State College men's basketball team outscored rival Plymouth State University 34-21 in the second half Tuesday night en route to a 71-61 Little East Conference victory at Spaulding Gym.

              Junior Rashad Wright scored 14 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds to ignite the Owls' second-half surge. Winners of the two straight, Keene State (11-4, 5-1 LEC) remains second in the LEC standings. 

              Sophomore Mark MacGregor led the Panthers with 17 points and nine rebounds and junior Matt Cloutier added 11 points off the bench, but PSU fell to 5-9 overall and 1-5 in conference play.

              PSU ran off eight straight points to take a 36-29 lead on a run that included a long-range three-pointer from the top of key by Cloutier.   With the Panthers up by eight 40-32 after a baseline jumper  by Cloutier, KSC scored the last two buckets of the half, including a buzzer beating three-pointer by junior Ryan Martin that made it a 40-37 game at halftime.

              Cloutier, who hit all of his four of his attempts, had 11 first half points for PSU, which hit half of its shots (13-of-26) from the field. KSC was off the mark behind the arc, connecting on just four of its 16 shots.

              KSC got the lead back (46-42) early in the second half on a mini-run that featured a couple of crowd-pleasing dunks by junior Rashad Wright.  Keene State used it defense to pull away from the Panthers midway in the half.  A steal by junior Anthony Mariano led to a lay-up by junior Nicco DeMasco, and DeMasco's block resulted in a three-pointer by Martin that gave KSC a 58-52 lead at the 9:50 mark.

            The pesky Panthers made one last run at the Owls. MacGregor made it a five point game (65-60) after hitting a couple from the line with 3:14 to play. Martin was fouled taking a three-pointer and hit all his attempts from the stripe to push the Owls' lead back up to eight points (68-60) with 3:02 to go.

            After senior Ollie Hunter made one of two free throws, KSC got the ball back in the rebound action and DeMasco found Wright underneath for a figure roll that extended the lead to 71-60 with just over a minute to play.

              Both teams return to LEC play on Saturday. The Owls travel to UMass Dartmouth and the Panthers visit Rhode Island College. 

 (Courtesy of Keene State Sports Information) 

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