Balanced scoring puts five Panthers in double figures
WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – Senior forward Chris Robitaille tallied game-highs of 19 points and eight rebounds Saturday afternoon as Eastern Connecticut State University got past Plymouth State University, 73-63, in Little East Conference men's basketball action at Geissler Gymnasium.
Junior Brian Salzillo and freshman Trachone Preston also scored in double figures for the Warriors with 17 and 16 points, respectively. Eastern improved to 8-5 overall and 2-1 in conference play.
Plymouth State had balanced scoring with five players in double figures, which accounted for all 63 Panther points. Sophomore Alex Burt (Dover, N.H.) tossed in a team-high 17 points, followed by junior Petey Skevas (Wethersfield, Conn.) with 13, senior Stephan Roberts (Kissimmee, Fla.) with 12, junior Mark MacGregor (Rochester, N.H.) with 11 and senior Kevin Eisenberg (Moultonborough, N.H.) with 10.
The game was closer than the final score might indicate. There were six lead changes in the first half and Eastern held its largest lead at the break, 28-23. Plymouth State mounted a rally out of the locker room, outscoring the home team 21-9 over the first seven-and-a-half minutes to grab its largest lead, 44-37, with 12:38 on the clock.
Eastern came back to take the lead for good with six minutes to play on a pair of buckets by Salzillo, including a three-pointer, but the Warriors led by just two points, 63-61, with 2:20 to play. A free three and another clutch three-pointer by Salzillo with 1:28 to play pushed the lead up to six, and Eastern held off the Panther rally with good free throw shooting down the stretch.
Both teams play LEC games again on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m., as PSU hosts the University of Massachusetts Boston and ECSU entertains the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
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