Burt leads Panthers to victory in Westfield Tournament opener
WESTFIELD, Mass. – Junior guard Alex Burt (Dover, N.H.) tied for game-high honors with 19 points Friday evening to lead Plymouth State University to a 76-58 victory over Saint Joseph's College of Long Island, N.Y., in the opening game of the Rick Martin/Holiday Inn Express Men's Basketball Classic, hosted by Westfield State University.
The Panthers displayed balance in their season opener with 10 players reaching the scoring column. Reserve sophomore guard Logan Kesty (New Boston, N.H./Bishop Guertin) was Plymouth's second leading scorer with 11 points, followed by starters Curtis Arsenault (Berlin, N.H./Phillips Exeter) with nine, senior Petey Skevas (Wetherfield, Conn.) with eight, and junior Shomari Morgan (Manchester, N.H./Memorial) with seven.
Plymouth State went on a 13-4 run to take a 16-8 lead with 11:28 remaining in the first half, sparked by two 3-point baskets by Kesty and a trey from freshman guard Nathan Clarke (Reading, Mass.) The Panthers built their lead to 16 points, 29-13, at the 5:59 mark, keyed by eight consecutive points from Arsenault, and led at the intermission, 38-21.
PSU's largest lead in the second half was 21 points, 61-40, with 7:21 remaining. The Panthers shot 45 percent from the field, including a fine 9-for-20 effort from beyond the arc, and were 13 for 17 from the foul line.
St. Joseph's shot 38 percent (23 for 60) from the field, including 3 for 20 from 3-point range. The Golden Eagles also struggled from the foul line, canning 9 of 21 attempts.
Plymouth won the rebound battle, 44-33, led by eight boards from 6-6 senior forward Mark MacGregor (Rochester, N.H./Spaulding).
Daryl Charles, a 6-5 junior forward, pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds for the Golden Eagles and also scored 17 points. Freshman guard Andy Laurent led the Long Islanders with 19 points.
(Courtesy of Westfield State Sports Information)
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