Skevas and Benson lead Panther performance
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore guards Petey Skevas and Sheldon Benson led four scorers in double figures Tuesday evening as Plymouth State University downed the University of Southern Maine, 72-59, in a key Little East Conference men's basketball game at Foley Gym.
Skevas scored a game-high 15 points, doing most of his damage at the free throw line with an 11-for-11 performance, while Benson converted all five of his field goal attempts, including all three from three-point range, to finish with 13 points. Skevas added three assists and five steals as PSU improved to 6-10 overall and 2-6 in the conference play.
The Huskies got a double-double from senior Jeremy Jackson, who scored 13 points and collected 13 rebounds. Sophomore Brandon Tomah and sophomore Conor Sullivan contributed 11 points apiece, and senior Chris Pagentine chipped in with nine points and seven boards. The Huskies dropped to 7-10 overall and 1-7 in the Little East.
Plymouth State didn't trail in the first half, leading by as much as nine points four different times. The Huskies stayed in the game and ran off nine straight points late to pull into a 25-all tie with 2:30 to play. Tomah had both a traditional three-point play and a three-pointer from beyond the arc to key the rally. Skevas converted a lay-up for PSU with 30 seconds left in the half to give PSU a 30-28 advantage at the break.
The teams stayed locked in a tight battle the first eight minutes of the second half, with PSU leading by one (42-41) at the 12:00 minute mark, but the Panthers ran off eight straight points to get the lead up to nine again. Benson and junior Matt Cloutier each drained threes during the rally.
The Huskies wouldn't go away, but Skevas made seven free throw attempts in the final three minutes to help PSU maintain the lead, and Walker clinched the win with three baskets in the final minute.
PSU shot just 41 percent from the field but held the Huskies to less than 33 percent shooting. The hosts finished with a 47-39 advantage on the boards.
Both teams play LEC home games on Saturday, PSU hosting the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and USM entertaining Western Connecticut State University.
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