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Lesley nips PSU Men’s Basketball

Panthers fall to Lynx at buzzer

            CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – A John Sanchez jumper with three seconds remaining Tuesday night broke a 67-67 tie, giving Lesley University a 69-67 win over visiting Plymouth State in non-conference men's basketball play at the Nicholas Athletics Center.

            Sanchez penetrated to his right in draining a 15-footer for the win. He finished with 16 points on 9-of-10 shooting at the charity stripe to go with a game-high nine assists. Lesley's Bryant Itonyo led all scorers with 22 points on 6-of-9 shooting from three-point range, including 4-5 shooting from deep in the first as Lesley (8-10) opened up a sizable early lead.

            Sophomore Petey Skevas led the Panthers with 19 points, 11 of which came as Plymouth State (6-12) chipped away at the Lynx 39-29 halftime lead. Senior Kyle Walker added 17 points off the bench.

            A Kris Bennett dunk and Itonyo's first three-pointer pushed the Lynx to a 12-2 lead in the opening minutes, and another Itoyno triple started a 10-0 run that was capped by a Matt Gibson trey, jolting the Lynx ahead 22-4. The Panthers then got hot from long-range, with Walker, Skevas and Brian Chergey all landing three-point baskets in a 14-2 Plymouth run. Itonyo, who enjoyed his second straight game with five or more threes, landed two three-pointers to squash the Panthers run and make it a 32-20 game, and the Lynx went into halftime with a 39-29 lead.

            PSU made a pair of layups in a span of 15 seconds out of the break made it a six-point game again, and the Panthers kept their deficit to a dozen or less for the entire half. Trailing by 10 just outside the 14:00 mark, Skevas layups bookended an 8-0 run to pull within two at 48-46, but a pair of Lynx free throws preceded another Itonyo bomb that provided some breathing room, if only temporarily.

            With the Panthers down two at the 3:00 mark, Jesse Sabolis made a steal and fed Skevas, who streaked in on a fast break to tie the game for the first time since the opening tip. An Itonyo mid-range pull-up put the Lynx back on top at the 1:15 mark, but Walker hit a pair of clutch free throws with 17 seconds on the clock.

            After a Lynx timeout, Sanchez put an array of moves on Walker from the right wing, penetrated to his right and calmly sank the game-winner.  A Skevas desperation heave from 60 feet missed high and to the left.

           Lesley travels to Wheelock on Thursday night, when Plymouth State plays host to Johnson State. 

(Courtesy of Lesley Sports Information) 

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